The “anonymous sources” are at it again, this time with a story no one had heard before and no one claims to have known about.
After Jon Lester went on the record talking about drinking in the clubhouse, WHDH Channel 7 News in Boston came out with a story about there being drinking in the dugout during games as well.
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 didn’t 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. One Red Sox employee said Beckett, Lester and Lackey appeared “bored on nights they weren’t pitching and this is how they entertained themselves.”
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’. Becket was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him.
So here we have more anonymous sources giving out details about what supposedly was happening behind the scenes. This seems to be the pattern now, we get a story about the Red Sox fueled by nothing but anonymous sources and then someone from the Red Sox responds, and then we get another story. This time around, not only did Jon Lester respond, but also John Lackey and Josh Beckett have finally made their voices heard, along with Terry Francona and Larry Lucchino.
Beckett and Lackey both issued brief statements admitting there were mistakes made this season but calling the allegation of drinking in the dugout “not true”. Lester said the report was “inaccurate” and “completely false” while Francona stated that in all his time in baseball he has never seem someone drinking beer in the dugout.
Team President Larry Lucchino released a statement about the statements released (this is getting dizzying):
“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.“
So the Red Sox are trying to send a few messages as an organization. They aren’t happy with the anonymous sources giving the information to the media or with the media’s use of almost nothing but those anonymous sources. More importantly, the message is clear that they are going to stand behind their players regardless of what gets said about them in the press.
If the Theo Epstein to the Chicago Cubs deal doesn’t get finalized and announced before tonight’s World Series game begins, the teams have to wait to make the formal announcement until after the World Series is over. This means the rumors will pour out of Fenway until the Red Sox can start moving forward with a new general manager and focus their attention on finding a new manager. Time is not the friend of the Red Sox or their fans right now. There’s just too much of it and the need of the media to fill it with every whisper they hear. The end of the World Series will hopefully mark the beginning of a new, less dramatic, chapter for the Red Sox.