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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: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:39 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

First off hats off to the Boston fans who aren't trying to defend these players actions, how can someone even defend it?  They are at work and they are drinking a beer. I don't care what profession you are in go into work and start having beers and see what happens.  Management should come down on these players hard, maybe some type of breach of contract, it's B S that these guys are goin to get away with this.  Also the "it's like having a coke" you just made yourself look like more of an idiot then you already are.  Lastly don't point to Tito as a reason why they lost, in all of sports baseball is the sport where the manager has the least affect onthe game.  After making the line up its on the players to preform, period.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:34 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

I've never had an opinion of Lester until now, but rally beer?

Coolest dude on the planet.

Sounds like a good guy to be in a bar with. 

Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:21 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Hey 3Peater, The Indians handled the Red Sox very well this season.  It's just ashame they didn't play the Sox in September, they would have had 3 easy wins too.

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:20 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:13 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

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: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 11:58 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

A rally beer? Did it work? No it did not! The hapless Red Sox still got pawned by the opposition. 

Since: Sep 19, 2009
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:45 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

This is not news. A ball player having a 9th inning beer? It's American beer for Pete's sakes. It takes a half dozen to just start a buzz.

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:50 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations


Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:40 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Cavs Fan? Good for you for admitting that first off, most would not. See below regarding the last 10 years:
Pats= 3 championships
Sox=2 championships
Celts= 1 championship
Bruins=1 championship 


Is what is my friend, people like you root against Boston teams because of our greatness, you wont find a bunch of "anti Cleveland" sentiment out there (unless they have visited Cleveland) because your teams are irrrelevant. Hate us all you want, just means we matter  

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