Sources: Sox pitchers drank in dugout during games
BOSTON -- Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drank beer in the Red Sox dugout during games, according to two Red Sox employees who witnessed the drinking on multiple occasions at Fenway Park.
On nights when they were not pitching, Beckett, Lester and Lackey would exit the dugout as early as the 6th inning, walk back to the clubhouse, and fill cups with Bud Light beer. They would then return to the dugout with cups of beer and drink while watching the game. It did not make a difference whether the Red Sox were winning or losing at the time, and the practice became more frequent later in the 2011 season.
According to the Red Sox employees, it was exclusively those three pitchers, (Beckett, Lester and Lackey) who were drinking in the dugout during games.
One 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.’ Beckett 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.”
The second Red Sox employee said Beckett, Lester and Lackey appeared “bored on nights they weren’t pitching and this is how they entertained themselves".
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reports that he independently confirmed that three pitchers were drinking in the dugout during games this past season.
In statements released late Tuesday night, Beckett, Lester, Lackey and former Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the team that the allegations about drinking in the dugout during the 2011 season were false. Team management added that they believe their statements to be factual and honest.
The Red Sox released the following statements on Tuesday night after 7News released the reports:
JON LESTER: "The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false. Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media.
JOSH BECKETT: "I cannot let this allegation go without response; enough is enough. I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but this has gone too far. To say that we drank in the dugout during the game is not true."
JOHN LACKEY: "There are things that went on this season that shouldn't have happened, but this latest rumor is not true, and I felt that it was important to try to stop this from going any further."
TERRY FRANCONA: "In 32 years of professional baseball, I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout."
PRESIDENT/CEO LARRY LUCCHINO ON BEHALF OF THE BOSTON RED SOX:
"Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona. Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual.
"As we continue our internal examination to fully understand what went wrong in September, 2011, we appreciate these strong and clear statements from our players.
"It is time to look forward and move forward, rather than allow a reckless, unsubstantiated accusation from 'anonymous sources' to mislead the public."
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