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Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Posted on: October 17, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 7:07 am

By Evan Brunell

One of the Red Sox players accused of drinking beer in the clubhouse has come out and admitted such.

"It was the wrong thing to do," Jon Lester told the Boston Globe, saying he was one of the players to drink beer in the clubhouse this season -- but never on a day he pitched, and far less often than has been suggested.

"It was a ninth-inning rally beer," he said, shades of A.J. Pierzynski's own explanation for drinking while on the job with the White Sox. "We probably ordered chicken from Popeye's like once a month. That happened. But that's not the reason we lost."

"Most of the times, it was one beer, a beer," Lester added. "It was like having a Coke in terms of how it affected you. I know how it looks to people and it probably looks bad. But we weren't up there just drinking and eating and nobody played video games. We watched the game."

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Lester says the reason the Red Sox lost was because "we just played bad baseball as a team in September. We stunk. To be honest, we were doing the same things all season when we had the best record in baseball."

However, by the same token, the lefty also admits that the occurrence was a bad habit and he should have been on the bench more. How can he say, then, that drinking beer and secluding himself in the clubhouse had no impact on the club's fortunes? It's a pretty vague statement to make, but isn't it possible the loss of solidarity and gelling of the team -- which outgoing manager Terry Francona cited as a problem -- contributed to September's downfall?

"Are there things I regret? Sure there are," he added. "But nothing happened that had me unprepared to pitch. I don't blame people for wanting answers because we had a hell of a team and we lost. You can't have a team that gets paid like we get paid and loses and not expect people to want answers."

Speaking of Francona, Lester admitted that it was time for a change.

"I love Tito and he did a great job for us when he was here. On a personal level I was more than grateful for what he did for me and my family," he said. "But there comes a time when your authority is no longer there. You kind of run your course. People who knew how Tito was and we pushed the envelope with it. We never had rules, we never had that iron-fist mentality. If you screwed up, he called you on it. That was how it worked.

"I never say guys [were] purposely breaking rules or doing the wrong thing in front of him and rubbing it in his face. But this particular team probably needed more structure."

Lester didn't feel comfortable speaking for the others accused in the fiasco, such as Josh Beckett and Jon Lackey and others, but felt he had to speak out in light of all the stories.

"We're not bad people and we're not a bad group of guys," he said.

Lester spoke at length with the Globe, also touching on the issue of player conditioning and the accusation that players allowed themselves to get out of shape.

"It's probably because of how we eat," he said of why pitchers gain weight as the season progresses. "We have some crazy hours with the travel and you get in at 4 a.m. and you get room service or something quick. But unless your body fat is going up 10 percent or something like that, you don't have a problem.

"I've heard what people are saying in Boston. I can tell you that guys were in the weight room. Guys were doing their shoulder [exercises] and guys were prepared to pitch. If we win a few more games in September and make the playoffs, none of this comes out. But we didn't and that's on us as a team and on me personally. I take a lot of the blame for this, a lot."

As part of the solution, Lester thinks high-character players are needed, citing Alex Cora, Eric Hinske and Sean Casey as previous influencers.

"We need that good veteran presence," he said. "If you have somebody like that, it makes everybody better. Everybody is accountable and we have plenty of people to look up to. That's not the problem. But we have a lot of guys who are kind of middle-aged in terms of their careers. Sometimes you need veteran guys who know their roles and can reach out to everybody."

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Since: Apr 15, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:26 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Wow listen to all the preachers on this board. You come on here and try to sound as politically correct as possible and say how this is just "atrocious" and "down right ignorant" man I wish I was as perfect as you all. As for all the rest who took this into humor thank for the good laugh I needed it this am thank you for showing at least someone out there can take stupid news like this with a grain of salt and make it humorous.Sealed

And yes trade them to the Mets I'll bring the beer

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:59 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Man'in up.  I like that.  We forgive in this country if you come clean (usually).

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:40 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

I think the whole thing is awful, and the Sawx should trade Beckett & the Mets!  Laughing

They can keep Lackey, I can't stand how he's always showing up his fielders when he's on the mound.

The Sox can have "Little Pelf" in return, he only drinks Shirley Temples.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:24 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

I guess they missed Victor Martinez in the clubhouse

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:13 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

In fact, didn't the Cowboy Up morons of 2004 do much worse?Kevin Millar, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and company---those guys were had Jack and Jim Beam in the clubhouse.

Thank you Austin for showing us the REAL PROBLEM!  Yes definately the reason the Red Sox lost is because of the beer, they were drinking weak beer instead of the real mans drink, good ole American Whiskey!  Probably some European beer instead of the local brews too.  Just goes to show you that not buying and drinking good American products are why we are in this awful state!

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:52 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

The 2011 Red Sux are just the gift that keeps on giving. They squeezed about a decade's worth of shame and controversy into one month of baseball. Absolutely awesome job. 

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:26 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

this clubhouse are full of angels compared to the rest of the league.  let's not be ignorant!

and i'm going to re-post this from austin
This is ridiculous.
I don't even like the Red Sox and to me this sounds like more finger pointing and scape goating.
A starting pitcher having a beer on his off day is nothing to write home about. It certainly did not affect the team's production. In fact, didn't the Cowboy Up morons of 2004 do much worse?
Kevin Millar, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and company---those guys were had Jack and Jim Beam in the clubhouse. Didn't seem to bother them too much.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:21 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Look at how close these losers came to making the playoffs! If Crawford goes all out to catch the ball SOX win or if he just sits back for it to drop for a good throw to the plate SOX win, no he half asses it and screws the whole thing up. No, he alone is not the problem but it is a shining example of why they lost. Also Papelbon and the catcher screwed up. Every throw to the same spot, low and away, I don't care how hard you throw the ball these are professional hitters are going to hit you if all they have to do is look to one spot. Mr. Francona, that does fall to you. I have NEVER seen such a pathetic effort from such a talented team in my entire life. Boston fans deserve a full refund and season tickets for next year. Shameful, truly shameful for being one of the 3 best teams in baseball and best to many analysts. Players more important than the team? Shameful and truly pathetic. I used to have a great deal of respect for Jon Lester but now? Not that he nor his clubhouse of overpaid children care one iota for what we think. Is the whole world going mad?

Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:24 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

The inmates were clearly running the asylum. How can a professional athlete, even if he isn't playing, start drinking during the game? Totall uncalled for and he and his teammates should be ashamed of themselves for the way they conducted themselves. There is simple no excuse for what they did. He must still be drinking if he thinks that Eric Hinske is a high-character player.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:35 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

A rally beer.. he's got to be kidding right... this guy is drinking on the job and admits wonder thet were losers....

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