Valentine backs Lackey; clarifies alcohol ban

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Valentine backs Lackey; clarifies alcohol ban

CLEVELAND Bobby Valentine made it clear during his Friday pregame meeting that Red Sox starter John Lackey didnt break any rules while stalking around the clubhouse with a can of Bud Light in each of his hands following Thursday nights loss to the Indians.

Or double-fisting as its known in the parlance of college frat party circles.

The Sox skipper instead pointed to a mini-fridge behind him complete with Bud Light and Blue Moon beer, and said that an inspection of his office hours after the game would have revealed the same thing.

"That's beer right there," said Valentine to a group of reporters with a smile on his face. "If you came in here last night, you would have seen a pretty heaping pile of empty bottles by the time I left. And I dare say there were a whole bunch of games this year at home that I would have liked to have the ability to make a big pile.

The Sox have banned alcohol from the home clubhouse since the beginning of the year after Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester were at the center of a chicken and beer controversy that helped color the worst September collapse in Major League Baseball history. While Lackey wasnt breaking any team rules with his behavior it also shows a pretty clear lack of good judgment on his part given his leading role in the accounts of last years wild and unruly clubhouse.

A player like Lackey recovering from Tommy John surgery is allowed to travel with the team per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but its ultimately the call of Red Sox management whether an injured player is allowed to go on every road trip in a season hes not expected to pitch.

It should be noted that many of Lackeys teammates were vocal and undeniable in support for their teammate while maintaining that the pitcher is the one most responsible for keeping things light on the road.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.