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Report: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drank beer in dugout during games

Oct 18, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT

red sox mugs

Oh, man. Remember the report yesterday which claimed Jon Lester only told “part of the story” on the beer/fried chicken situation? Well, this might be the other part.

According to a report from Joe Amorosino of WHDH-7 NBC in Boston, citing two “Red Sox employees,” Josh Beckett, John Lackey and the aforementioned Lester drank beer in the dugout during games.

Previous reports indicated that they only drank in the clubhouse and Lester admitted as much yesterday in an interview with Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. However, if Amorosino’s sources can be believed, it was a much bigger issue.

On nights they weren’t pitching, the trio would reportedly exit the dugout as early as the sixth inning, walk back to the clubhouse and fill cups with Bud Light beer. They would then return to the dugout with the cups to watch the remainder of the game. Says one Red Sox employee, the trio appeared “bored on nights they weren’t pitching and this is how they entertained themselves.” It didn’t matter if the Red Sox were winning or losing and this happened more often in the latter part of the season.

“Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’. Becket was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him.

It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once.”

Bud Light? Seriously guys, that’s just unacceptable. In all seriousness, it’s impossible to say whether this sort of behavior resulted in the Red Sox losing games. Remember, they dealt with plenty of injuries down the stretch, too. But as an outsider, this strikes me as unprofessional and disrespectful to teammates and staff fully engaged in the game at hand.

UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has confirmed Amorosino’s report via a team source.

UPDATE II: Jon Lester told Gordon Edes of that Amorosino’s report is “completely false.”

  1. pisano - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Lackey looks like Gomer Pyle on a 5 day bender.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:39 PM

      That literally made me bust out laughing. Well-done.

  2. schlom - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Isn’t this better than drinking in the clubhouse? I’m not sure I’d care about this as long as it was just a cup – it might be different if they were getting totally blasted on the bench but I doubt that happened.

    • southofheaven81 - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      No, no it is not.

      • clydeserra - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

        why not? they are supporting their team mates, which was one of the complaints against them

  3. mkd - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    So they were drinking beer flavored water…what’s the big deal?

  4. halladaysbiceps - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Seriously, can you bloggers stop writing about the beer/chicken thing in regards to this beaten story? We get the idea. They were drinking and whatever else. It’s been 2 f&cking weeks of this bullshit. Enough is enough. Write about something else.

    You make yourself look ridiculous with this crap. My god, write about the WS and the impending free agents in baseball and their possible destinations. Who cares about this Red Sox locker room BS at this point. It’s overdone.

    • SmackSaw - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      Damn straight.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:35 PM

        You know what, SmackSaw, it’s friggin old. We get the picture. That’s my beef.

        For Christ’s sake, if you get paid to write about baseball, I would rather see a sabermetric story on this site than seeing this repetitive nonsense. And that’s saying a lot because I hate sabermetrics.

    • bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      If you think DJ, Craig, Aaron and company has been ridiculous over the last two weeks . . . a couple of days of coverage in Boston dwarfs what HBT has posted.

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

      Totally agree with you. Anything no written by Craig on this site is tmz fodder or something contrived. I think they pay these guys by page count.

      Edit function in ‘012 and a new back up band!

    • clydeserra - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

      you dont’ understand the internet, do you?

  5. yankeesgameday - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    I don’t know… But the part about them grabbing cups and COMING BACK to the dugout to hang and watch actually makes me like this story better. It feels more social to me somehow.

  6. aburns77 - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    let me first say that HBT’s continued use of the red sox beer mug for all of these stories are fantastic, i laugh everytime i see it. that said, I think that these revelations while intriguing are indicative of a larger league-wide culture that we the viewing public aren’t aware of. i’m not saying that everyone on a major league roster is half in the bag during the game, but merely that drinking has been a large part of baseball culture since forever and to think that the red sox is the only team doing this is foolish.

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:23 PM


      86 mets anyone?
      78 Yanks?
      Mickey frakking Mantle?
      Babe Ruth?

      You think none of these guys or teams ever had a beer during a game?

      Let’s all put on our big boy pants and get the shocked looks off our faces.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        Very good point, but times change.

        Even though the ’86 Mets weren’t THAT long ago, that team was a walking bender…but as I’ve said, they won, so that colors our perception of them.

        I’m not a prude by any stretch and I love beer, but something about this story bugs the hell out of me. This is no way for players on a modern-day baseball team to behave.

  7. SmackSaw - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    My guess is that Babe Ruth was chugging beer and who knows what else when he was pitching for the Sox.

    • jdd428 - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM

      Yeah, I think George Herman actually drank beer while he was on the mound.

  8. bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Another Red Sox employee described the routine like this: “Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’.

    Only 3 kind of people are in the dugout corridor during games . . . security, trainers and clubbies.

    And if they intend on keeping their jobs, none of them are too bright for flappin their choppers.

  9. bigtrav425 - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Whoooooooooooooooooooo F/N CARES!!!!! it wasnt on the days they were pitching (that iv read atleast) so whats the big friggin deal! please take all your PCness and get he F out of my country

  10. peed1 - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Seems reasonable, baseball can get boring.

  11. 24missed - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I care that they were drinking and blowing it. It is pretty crappy to do to your teammates, manager, coaches and so-forth. Let alone the fans.

    Drinking in the clubhouse happened. Now, in the dugout? How does that excuse their little group from scrutiny? I can’t fathom thinking someone had my back when their guzzling a beer as I go out to the field. Nice teammate.

    Hope they weren’t driving home. Seriously.

  12. jimeejohnson - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    No historic choke and all is forgiven. One of the most overrated teams EVER might have taken the game more seriously. Ruth could afford to drink beer in more ways than one. Personally, I think they were conscientious for drinking light beer, but why not Amstel or even non-alcoholic beer? Yeah, right!

  13. aaronzona2011 - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    a pitcher on an off day is basically a spectator once side sessions have been thrown, fans in the stands are drinking beer so why can’t they? the only unfair thing is they can get served after the 7th inning stretch.

  14. mornelithe - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    As an employee/part of a team, partaking in something that your active teammates are unable to is a sign of poor team spirit, and terrible discipline. It should never have been allowed in the first place, honestly. And I’m rather shocked that Beckett, Lester and Lackey are so full of themselves that they’d behave in such fashion in front of their teammates who HAVE to work every, single, night. I figured Beckett was fairly full of himself, but I honestly expected more from Lester.

    These players, all of them, need a serious wake-up call. They need to understand that their actions, no matter how innocuous, can affect the rest of their teammates…even the smallest distraction can cause issues. Man up, show some team spirit, and FFS be able to not drink for more than 4 hours at a time…cripes, am I the only one kind of disgusted about this?

    • dapperdan50 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM

      I totally agree with you Mornelithe. I AM disgusted with these guys who I have rooted for so much (well, maybe not so much for Lackey, who seems to have no talent and a pretty poor character). And judging from Lester’s comments of the last couple of days, he still doesn’t get it. And if he doesn’t get it, I doubt that Lackey and Beckett have a clue.

      The ‘move’ from clubhouse to dugout also raises more doubts in my mind about whether it is conceivable that teammates or coaches actually did not know what these guys are up to.

      The good news is that a lot of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of Francona. I truly respect him for what he did in 8 years. I never remember him calling any player out publicly in those 8 years. Overall it’s a good thing to be so supportive to your players, but he took it to an extreme and it blew up in his face this year. I’m reasonably confident that Lucchino and Cherington will see this and hire a manager who, along with many other skills, will know when he needs to kick some butt even while mostly being a “players’ manager.”

  15. kbeau19 - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    this just shows why they aren’t in the WS and the rangers are not only that but those 3 really did not perform near good enough to do that you guys are comparing them to legends who produced even if they where drinking beer….think about it, it says they started later in the season and when did they crash and burn? exactly so those 3 especially lackey who is garbage haven’t earned the right

    • mornelithe - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      Nah, it’s why they aren’t in the playoffs, I still don’t think they had the pitching to survive to the world series, myself.

  16. canowack - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Gives the Bo Sox a damn good reason to shut everybody the *uc* up next season! good luck rangers…

  17. steveohho - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Doc Ellis claimed he pitched his no hitter on acid. Maybe hitting Blotter rather than Bud would be Boston’s ticket to the playoffs?

  18. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 18, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    It’s kind of like getting into a car wreck (in so many ways) while drunk. It doesn’t really matter if the accident happened because you were drunk. You do the thing that is known to cause a bad outcome, and you get a bad outcome, people will draw the lines.

    Beckett seems more and more like an awesome guy every day.

  19. meyerwolf - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    I thought the PC police said the whole thing was only a problem because they weren’t in the dugout, supporting their teammates, but in the clubhouse knocking back a few and playing video games?

    Now it appears it is really the act of drinking, in itself, that is a problem? Jeez… Let’s face it, anyone up in arms about this is just a damn hypocrite.

    • dapperdan50 - Oct 19, 2011 at 7:45 AM

      Whether this happened in the dugout or not (and I tend to accept the strong denials issued following this latest report), the issue is not the drinking per se. These pitchers formed a clique and flaunted a non-caring attitude. And the result was horrendous—historically horrendous. Look at the difference between Beckett’s and Lester’s numbers for Sept. vs. for the rest of the season. People have already forgotten what a great season both were having up till then; their performance—both of them—truly fell off a cliff in Sept. (You can’t say the same about Lackey; he consistently sucked all season long.)

      I truly believe that these pitchers had an attitude problem and lost their edge, their motivation, and their support of the team. Their pre-adolescent sneaking around to engage in the ‘illicit’ drinking group is evidence of this problem.

      For a pitcher to have a sub-3.00 ERA (closer to 2.00 or less—Beckett and Lester were that good) for most of the season and then blow up to 6 or 7 for a month or more is potentially troubling, but not all that uncommon. But when this drop-off seems to hit several pitchers in unison, you really have to wonder—and hopefully find out—what might be going on beyond a single injury or change in mechanics.

      • meyerwolf - Oct 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        So, wait, did you read somewhere the beer guzzling started around the end of August, causing their performance to decline significantly in September? No, you didn’t. If they were doing this, they were doing it all season long. Even during the time they were knifing through the rest of the league as if it were butter.

        I get it, people need an explanation. But it’s a load of hogwash. Did you know the Braves collapsed too? They gave up quite a big lead too. Why’s that, dapperdan? Were they chugging beers too?

        Just accept that pitchers will struggle sometimes. Yes, at times, even two, three or four starts in a row. (Or, for the more dramatic among us; “AN ENTIRE MONTH?!?!”) Too bad for the Sox, it were their two only decent starters that struggled and they had no depth at all to pick up the slack. But please, do me a favour, don’t act as if beer had anything to do with it.

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