Red Sox ban beer, figure to be less drunk in 2012
The Red Sox beer ban comes after the team crookedly stumbled out of the AL East race last season, blowing a nine-game wild card lead. As the Red Sox tanked, reports emerged that pitchers Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and John Lackey had been polishing off beers and fried chicken while playing video games during actual Red Sox games.
New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine laid down the booze ban Saturday, the Boston Globe reports, as one of his new rules as the Sox' skipper. "It’s just what I’ve always done," Valentine told the Globe, referring to his no-beer policy. "I’m comfortable with it that way."
Most of us would consider a ban from drinking on the job as a completely obvious and common-sense move. In the 48 hours since Valentine implemented the booze ban, it has actually been an enormously controversial move.
Among the first to complain loudly is former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, the guy who Valentine replaced. Now an ESPN baseball analyst, Francona is well-positioned to complain loudly about anything that Valentine does.
"I think it's a PR move," Francona said Monday on ESPN' Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning". "I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it. It's probably more of a PR move just because, you know, the Red Sox took such a beating at the end of the year."
This beating included a humiliating Boston Globe expose, in which it was alleged that starters Beckett, Lester, and Lackey drank beer and ate fried chicken during games. It did not help matters when all three appeared in a country music video for a song entitled, "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer".
When informed that Francona had called the booze ban a PR move, Valentine told the Boston Globe "I don't really have a comment on that," before commenting, "Remember, you're getting paid (at ESPN) for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff."
Starting pitcher Josh Beckett -- named as an in-game beer-drinker and chicken-snacker in the Globe expose -- also spoke up on the matter Saturday, denying everything while directing his ire at whomever had snitched on him.
"Somebody made that stuff up, just like somebody made up that we were doing stuff," Beckett told WEEI, in a hilariously profanity-laden interview. "I don't understand what the big deal is. Somebody was trying to save their own ass, and it probably cost a lot of people their asses. The snitching (expletive), that's (expletive). It's not good."
It's still all good for Boston area Popeye's and KFC franchises. Fried chicken has not been banned from the 2012 Boston Red Sox clubhouse.