Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said Saturday afternoon that ownership was unaware pitchers Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz appeared in country singer Kevin Fowler's "Hell, Yeah, I Like Beer" video, and that permission would have been denied by the owners had they been asked.
But Lucchino admits "someone in the organization had to allow it to happen." He said the owners first became aware of the video -- which was released in mid-July and featured on several Boston media sites at the time -- on Friday.
"It was not the type of thing" that would be brought to the level of ownership for permission, said Lucchino, who added: "But when theyre wearing the uniform and taking shots at Fenway Park, that is something that should be approved by the organization by going through proper channels. That did not happen. If you look at the video, which I did for the first time Friday, youll see that their role in it is minute. But nonetheless, it does have a shot of them in Red Sox uniforms."
In the video, there are shots of Beckett, Buchholz, Lackey, Lester and Wakefield, in uniform, standing in front of Fenway's left-field wall, lip-synching to Fowler's song.
Lucchino also said he and the Red Sox organization are trying to focus on their on-field product instead of off-field problems.
"As much of a violation as clubhouse drinking would be during the course of games, I do think theres a danger that were leaping to conclusions about how extensive, how pervasive this was,"said Lucchino. "I worry that it could be a distraction preventing us from getting to the underlying root causes of the historic September collapse."
OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.
The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.
Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.
Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.
Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.
With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.
Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.
Fox Sports first reported the agreement.
Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.
The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.
"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."
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