Sources: Lester only told part of the story

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Sources: Lester only told part of the story

A friend of mine said this Red Sox saga would make one hell of a book . . . though not if you're a Sox fan.

The latest chapter unfolded Monday when Jon Lester told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that some of the assertions in last week's Globe story about the team culture -- which included starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fast-food chicken during games when they weren't pitching -- were true, but that it wasn't as bad as it sounded.

However, two sources I spoke to -- one inside the clubhouse and one in management -- said Lester's comments only told part of the story. Their feeling is that the behavior of Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and, on occasion, Clay Buchholz was irresponsible, occasionally reckless, and disrespectful to manager Terry Francona.

While trying to downplay the severity and scope of their actions, Lester admitted to the Globe that he should have spent more time in the dugout during games to show support. One of them agreed, though no one complained at the time, "Most guys didn't feel like they needed to say anything," he said. "They're veterans, big boys. No one should need to be babysat."

As to Lester's feelings that Francona no longer had authority over his team, neither source disputed that. They were, however, quick to note that the now-deposed skipper always treated his players as men and that, in the end, too many didn't return the favor.

While not naming names, this line from a player who asked to remain unnamed should tell the full story: "It was the guys who should know better, the guys who have been here and often benefited from Tito's softer hand. I mean, how many times did Tito defend you to the press or stick by you, and this is how you repay him? It's bull----."

But leadership was hard to come by in the Sox clubhouse, even from those paid -- to some degree -- to provide it.

That said, the general feeling remains that the foundation here is a talented one, capable of being a frontrunner for a playoff spot and a World Series title in 2012.

"No one tanked the season," said one. "We lost, okay? We didn't perform. We all need to take responsibility for that and make sure it doesn't happen again." With several moves this offseason, "I don't see why we can't do what we all believed we could do. Got it?"

David Ortiz has new interpretation of 'spring training'

David Ortiz has new interpretation of 'spring training'

Big Papi's "spring training" involves a beach chair -- not a baseball bat.

The former Boston Red Sox slugger made it clear on Instagram that he has no interest in returning to Jet Blue Park to begin training for the 2017 MLB season.

He announced in Nov. 2015 he would be retiring after the 2016 season, and he appears completely content with that decision despite speculation of his return to MLB. Ortiz posted a video on Sunday of himself in a beach chair reclined and relaxed.

"What's up [Instagram]. Oh, so good be retired. At the beach with the familia, the ladies. Big Papi in the bulding. This is my spring training. How 'bout dat? Enjoy. See you when I see you. Peace," he said, and then chuckled.

Ortiz's video came a few days after Hanley Ramirez said that if Ortiz made a return to baseball, he would be doing it, in part, for Ramirez, because they miss each other.

WBZ's Dan Roche then tweeted out Ramirez's comment on Thursday, and Big Papi waited no time to respond. Within 16 minutes, Ortiz had responded to reiterate he would not be returning to the Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. explains why he wouldn't skip White House visit

Jackie Bradley Jr. explains why he wouldn't skip White House visit

Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely have a spotless attendance record for White House trips.

The Boston Red Sox outfielder began discussing those championship trips to meet the president after Red Sox chairman Tom Werner referenced the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win at a team get-together on Friday morning.

“If my team is going, yes, I’m going,” Bradley Jr. told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, adding later, “I don’t like politics, not even a little bit.”

The Patriots so far have six players who have openly stated they will not attend New England's White House trip to meet President Donald Trump. Team leaders like Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty are among those unwilling to attend.

For Bradley, the White House trip is not about making a political statement.

“The reason why we’re going there is because we did something together as a team. The White House is cool,” he said. “I’m with my team."

The 26-year-old outfielder has twice attended the championship trip to the nation's capital. In college, he went with the South Carolina Gamecocks after they won the College World Series. He later attended with the Red Sox in 2013. Bradley Jr. said he enjoyed attending the White House to meet Barack Obama, but added he wasn't concerned with which president was hosting the event.

He said: “How many people can say they’ve been to the White House? That alone. There is a lot history there, and I’m a big fan of architecture. I think the whole thing is unique.”