Three of the Boston Red Sox’s starting pitchers drank beer, ate fast-food fried chicken and played video games in the clubhouse in the midst of the team’s historic September collapse, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
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The report identifies pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey as the main culprits, claiming the three began the practice during games late in the 2010 season and were joined at times by fellow starter Clay Buchholz.
According to the Globe, the trio slacked off on their training regimens as the season wore on, ignoring pleas from strength and conditioning coach Dave Page. Lester, Lackey and Beckett went a combined 2-7 with a 6.45 ERA in September as the Sox went from nine games up in the Wild Card race to missing the playoffs.
Previous reports after the season suggested some Red Sox pitchers had been drinking in the clubhouse during games, but no names were mentioned.
The Globe cited numerous interviews with members of the Red Sox organization, though most wished to remain anonymous.
The late-season swoon resulted in the departure of manager Terry Francona, who according to the report, was living in a Boston hotel during the season after separating from his wife of 30 years.
Francona told the paper his marital problems had no effect on his ability to manage the team.
"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. "I wasn’t terribly successful this year, but I worked harder and spent more time at the ballpark this year than I ever did."
The explosive report comes with general manager Theo Epstein set to leave Fenway Park to lead the front office of the Chicago Cubs.
According to WEEI, Epstein and the Cubs have agreed on a five-year contract worth more than $15 million, with the deal expected to be finalized later this week. Epstein’s title has not yet been determined, but he will reportedly ascend to a position of greater authority within the Cubs organization.
The Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918 in 2004 under the stewardship of Epstein and Francona, then went on to win another title in 2007.