Tag:beer drinking
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:42 am

Report: Lester not a part of Beergate

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox dysfunction
One thing we need to keep in mind about Wednesday's revelation from the Boston Globe about all the problems on the 2011 Red Sox is that the entire thing was based upon anonymous sources. Now, those can be very accurate and likely much of the report was dead-on accurate. Several good reporters worked on the story. It's just that when people go anonymous, it's possible there's a bit of exaggeration and even back-stabbing. And since we don't know exactly who the sources are, we don't know exactly how much of the Red Sox players in question were actually seen first-hand doing the activities that were reported.

In that light, it's absolutely worth passing along conflicting reports, for the sake of fairness. And we have one right now.

The latest is that Red Sox ace Jon Lester may have been unfairly lumped in with John Lackey and Josh Beckett.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that he's heard from "a trusted team source" that Lester should not be included with Lackey and Beckett (and occasionally Clay Buchholz, according to the original report) on the alleged beer, chicken and video game activity during games.

It's certainly enough for me to give Lester the benefit of the doubt, for now.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:40 pm

Pierzynski has had beers during games, too

By Matt Snyder

OK, maybe we need to start going with Beergate or something, to make it easier to reference. But the revelation earlier Wednesday that several Red Sox pitchers drank beer in the clubhouse during games has spawned several side stories, including that White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski believes sometimes you just need a beer. He said as much on the "Dan Patrick Show" Wednesday, when asked if he'd ever had beer during games (via ChicagoTribune.com):
“Yes, absolutely I have before,” Pierzynski said. ”Sometimes you’re just really struggling and you just say, ‘Hey, you know what, I need something to calm me down and let’s have a beer.’ A couple of us will do it together, and sometimes it works out."

"It's just, sometimes you just need a rally beer. If you’re in extra innings and you’re in about the 15th inning and you really need to get going again, that sometimes works for you."
No word on whether or not the beer is what makes Pierzynski just so darn mean -- remember, he was voted the "meanest" player in baseball -- but it's a bit surprising to hear about someone drinking while still playing. I wasn't near as taken aback by the Red Sox pitchers drinking on days when they aren't pitching as I was with the fact that they didn't seem to want to support teammates or keep up with a training regimen, but the Pierzynski comments would bother me a bit if I were a White Sox executive.

Then again, they did win the World Series in 2005, like the Red Sox did in 2004 and 2007. Maybe the Cubs need to get some beer down to the clubhouse.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:01 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:34 pm

McKeon had to lock clubhouse to keep Beckett out

By Matt Snyder

Earlier Wednesday, the Boston Globe broke a lengthy report that painted the Red Sox organization in a pretty bad light, specifically former manager Terry Francona and the players. The part of the story that has gained the most traction is that starting pitchers Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester and sometimes Clay Buchholz would drink beer, eat fast-food fried chicken and play video games in the clubhouse during games, instead of sitting in the dugout and supporting teammates.

It turns out, Jack McKeon had an issue with keeping Beckett in the dugout himself. McKeon managed the Florida Marlins in 2003 when they won the World Series and Beckett was his ace. McKeon told the Palm Beach Post about his issue with Beckett and fellow starter Brad Penny.
“In between innings they’d go to the clubhouse to get a drink or hang out,’’ McKeon recalled this afternoon from his home in North Carolina.

“I said, ‘Hey, I got no rule against going up if you have to go to the bathroom or something, but get back.’ A couple of times I looked down the bench to talk to somebody and they weren’t there. They were in the clubhouse. So I went up and got them out and said, ‘OK, boys that’s it. We’ll lock the door.’”
Even funnier, McKeon eventually made bathroom passes for the players to use during games. So he had to act like a teacher to keep his kids in the dugout to observe the game and cheer on their teammates.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:38 pm

Report: Red Sox pitchers drank beer during games

By Matt Snyder

The collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox has had significant fallout already, as manager Terry Francona is gone and general manager Theo Epstein appears to be on his way out as well.

And, since it's Boston -- just as would be the case in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. -- the local crowd is ready to place blame. Things unraveled on a team that was expected by many to win the World Series, so it's someone's fault. Well, you have Francona and Epstein. Carl Crawford was awful after signing a huge contract. John Lackey was terrible again. But there's more ...

The Boston Globe has given us several scapegoats. Let's try to sum it up -- again, this is all via Boston.com:

• Francona reportedly lost control of the team amidst problems with his health and marriage, though he took exception to the claims.

Red Sox dysfunction
“It makes me angry that people say these things because I’ve busted my [butt] to be the best manager I can be,’’ Francona said (Boston.com). “I wasn’t terribly successful this year, but I worked harder and spent more time at the ballpark this year than I ever did.’’

On the "health" front, the report painted a picture of Francona's reliance on pain-killers.

• Reportedly the Red Sox players were angry that, in late August, they were forced to play a day-night doubleheader due to Hurricane Irene and complained to management that it cared more about money than winning. After that doubleheader, the Red Sox would not win two straight games again all season.

Tim Wakefield reportedly cared more about getting his 200th win than the team overall doing well. “I think the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that record,’’ Wakefield told Fox Sports.

• Team captain Jason Varitek reportedly stopped exerting leadership in the clubhouse, while only Dustin Pedroia "and a few other players" remained fully committed to winning.

• And now the big one. The starting rotation, specifically Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and occasionally Clay Buchholz have been accused of regularly drinking beer and eating fast-food fried chicken while playing video games in the clubhouse during games. From the Boston.comarticle:
Drinking beer in the Sox clubhouse is permissible. So is ordering take-out chicken and biscuits. Playing video games on one of the clubhouse’s flat-screen televisions is OK, too. But for the Sox pitching trio to do all three during games, rather than show solidarity with their teammates in the dugout, violated an unwritten rule that players support each other, especially in times of crisis.

Sources said Beckett, Lester, and Lackey, who were joined at times by Buchholz, began the practice late in 2010. The pitchers not only continued the routine this year, sources said, but they joined a number of teammates in cutting back on their exercise regimens despite appeals from the team’s strength and conditioning coach Dave Page.

“It’ s hard for a guy making $80,000 to tell a $15 million pitcher he needs to get off his butt and do some work,’’ one source said.

For Beckett, Lester, and Lackey, the consequences were apparent as their body fat appeared to increase and pitching skills eroded. When the team needed them in September, they posted a combined 2-7 record with a 6.45 earned run average, the Sox losing 11 of their 15 starts.
Needless to say, this isn't going to sit well with Red Sox Nation.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com