Former strength and conditioning coach Dave Page admitted that some Red Sox players failed to maintain appropriate fitness levels and that he felt like a scapegoat after being fired on Tuesday during an interview on WEEI Friday afternoon.
"The bottom line is we weren't ready to play physically, fundamentally or mentally the way we should have been, like a championship team should have been," he said.
"We got to the end of the year where we had four guys -- without naming names -- we had four guys that we thought didn't make it to that part of the season where we hoped they would be: one position player -- an everyday guy, one pitcher -- a starting pitcher, and two bullpen guys," Page said. "For the most part, everybody else had stayed within where we wanted them to be. They were what we expected. Most of them were working."
Page refused to name the players in question, but did say that Josh Beckett, who has received harsh public criticism for his weight gain, was not among them. He also downplayed allegations that fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse contributed to the team's collapse.
"I think that whole chicken and beer thing has gotten a lot of unnecessary play, to be honest with you. I really didn't see chicken in the clubhouse all that often. I'm in and out of there a lot. ... I rarely saw the chicken. The beer, if they're drinking beer, it's probably upstairs. And I wasn't up there. ... In my opinion, it wasn't as rampant as it's gotten made out to be."