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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: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:35 pm
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Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:33 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations


Cleveland fan here, so not much for me to cheer for, but I get such joy from rooting against Boston. It was great watching their choke job. Giving up a 9-game lead in one month is some serious yacking. Couldn't happen to a better town. 

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:30 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

ooooooooooo! Big words from what I'm sure is a little Bawston man. By the way, the Celtics finished last year in the same position as the Cavaliers, sitting home on a couch, so I'm not quite sure what your point is, other than confirming what I already said about Red Sux fans. Enjoy that off-season. Too bad that $175 million payroll couldn't buy you a pennant, choker. 

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:22 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Watching the Red Sux implosion, the whining of "fans",  the finger pointing  has been the soothing ointment this Yankee fan needed.  Thank you Boston, and all of New England for taking the sting out of NY's early exit.  I've seen some classless things in my life, but you have taken the cake, pie, brownies and doughnuts!  Soap Operas in their heyday couldn't provide this much entertainment!!

PS:  I wanted to work the word "Schadenfreude" in, but I didn't want to hear a collective "Huh?"

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:29 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

No Lester fan here but I also don't know why him having a rally beer in the clubhouse would cause others on his team to "not try to win".  Is that really all that it takes to remove the "competitive spirit" from someone? "Lester's having a beer, I might as well not try to get a hit"?  Does anyone else realize how stupid that sounds?

As others have mentioned, if Boston had won it all, half the teams in the league would immediately initiate rally beers as the reason for their success.

Team Chemistry is what people say when they don't know how to explain something.  It has as much to do with winning in baseball as the brand of gas used in the bus.  Teams have regularly won it all or been cellar-dwellars while loving each other as brothers or fighting like cats and dogs -- the one has zero correlation with the other.

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:25 pm
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Since: Jun 21, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:22 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

The article confirms what we now know.  The Red Sox players were not committed to winning.  Lester admitted to a beer in the clubhouse while the game was going, other players in the clubhouse watching the game.....they should have been on the bench with the rest of the team to add support.  Of all the players on a baseball team, the starting pitchers are the ones who have the likelyhood of having a beer or two ( in some cases too much ).  Position players play each day, relief pitchers can be called on anytime, starters pitch every fourth or fifth day.  They have time on their hands, and should be monitored more closely by their manager.  Lester is a highly paid athlete.  He should know better and he should be the one conducting himself as a leader on the team.  I would argue that he is the face of the Red Sox.  If the players were committed to winning, they would not allow themselves to get out of shape during the season, hold each other accountable, and frankly uphold the term Professional as a Major League Baseball Player.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:05 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

The pitchers drinking and eating fried chicken during the game, the manager hooked on pain killers, Lackey divorcing his wife as she battles cancer....can you get more Beverly Hillbillies than the '11 BloSox?

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:14 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

BOSTON needs to chill out !!!!! they didnt make the playoffs with their injuries to their pitching staff and although the move to let beltre and martinez go didnt pan out because of their great years with youk on the shelf when they needed him, but hell man THE SOX was ONE GAME from the playoffs to the rays who werent good enuugh to beat TEXAS but neither was the YANKESS or DETROIT. To let the manager and epstein stien whatever his name is is not smart by the owners, was the playoffs that important when you couldnt win it anyway??? to let the fans cause such an uproar its not like you can win a world championship when you want to ask your neighbors what have the yankees done lately should they go firing people because they lost to TIGERS??? THE EAST WAS SHUT OUT RAYS-YANKS AND THE SOX EVEN THE GREAT PHILLIES DIDNT MAKE IT. STOP OVERREATING IT MAKES YOU LOOK BAD. I may look bad and dont care at all if you do not like what im saying but come on the sox had a great year!!

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:03 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Hey CavsFan .. maybe if you weren't such a moron, you woulda noticed the idiot who made the comments on Youk is a lame TROLL who just opened that screen name up today, and obviously not a Red Sox fan.   BTW ... how bout them Cavs .. BWAAA AHAHAHAHAAAAA   Now shaddup until spoken to next time dingleberry.  Sealed

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