Players, Francona deny WHDH report

Players, Francona deny WHDH report
October 19, 2011, 3:50 am
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All three of the Red Sox pitchers who were accused of drinking beer in the dugout during games last season categorically and emphatically denied the accusations in a release by the team.

WHDH TV (Channel 7) in Boston said Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester would leave the dugout for the clubhouse late in the game and return to the dugout with plastic cups filled with beer.

Said Lester: "The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false. Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media."

"I cannot let this allegation go without response; enough is enough," added Beckett. "I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but this has gone too far. To say that we drank in the dugout during the game is not true."

Added Lackey: "There are things that went on this season that shouldn't have happened, but this latest rumor is not true, and I felt that it was important to try to stop this from going any further."

Former manager Terry Francona asked that the Red Sox release a statement on his behalf, too.

"In 32 years of professional baseball," said Francona, "I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout."

Team president and CEO Larry Lucchino concluded with this statement: "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."

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