For Red Sox Nation, it’s the nightmare that won’t end, but for the rest of us, it’s purely story that keeps on giving. At first we learned that certain Red Sox pitchers took to the habit of drinking beers and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games. Next, an employee of the team told a Boston radio station that he saw players drinking beers in the dugout. Now, as if the debauchery in Beantown couldn’t get any worse, an unconfirmed, slightly inebriated source inside the organization is reporting that Red Sox players were actually drinking beers on the field during games.
As the buzzed employee describes, “from my vantage point during the games you could see that many of the position players were nursing beers they held in either their mitts or their back pockets, and that there was almost always a case of Pabst on the backside of the pitcher’s mound alongside the rosin bag.”
While the team adamantly denied drinking in the dugout, the persistence of these reports coupled with a few Icehouse Tall Boys in the right hands has some players changing their tune.
“Alright, yeah, it’s true,” admits the Red Sox top pitcher and 3rd best chugger, Jon Lester. “Whaddya gonna do about it?” he continued, draping his arm over my shoulder and speaking uncomfortably close to my face.
The on-field alcohol consumption not only explains Boston’s shockingly bad play in September, but the general arc of their season as a whole. Like a sober undergrad picking up the pong ball for the first game of the night, the Red Sox came out of the gate slowly, losing their first 6 games, unable to find their touch. By mid-season they had gotten that “perfect buzz” going, hitting their stride and finding themselves on top of the league. However, as Hall of Fame legend Jimmie Foxx notes in his autobiography, Drinking, Baseball, and Me, and Drinking, “eventually you’re just too drunking fuck to see the ball any good.” This seems to have been the case with the Red Sox, whose record in September was matched only by their sordid behavior on the field.
“Cats out of the bag! Big whoop!” Lester yelled, as if I wasn’t standing a mere three feet from him. “We’d take a drink after turning two, shotgun a beer whenever Papi went deep, do keg stands in the clubhouse during rain delays and pass out shots to the entire organization when Crawford got an RBI.”
But not everybody on the team shares Lester’s drunken candor. “I was playing, like, really, really hard. For one hundred and sixty -two games,” said Dustin Pedroia, clearly shaken by these postseason revelations. “What the fuck, guys?” he added.
“Yeah we kept the booze out of reach of Dustin, Jacoby, and Jed,” chuckled Josh Beckett, who was kicking back with a beer on his Texas ranch after a particularly trying drinking season. “I mean, someone had to be ready to play when the Yanks came to town, right?”