Report: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drank beer in dugout during games

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Oh, man. Remember the report yesterday which claimed Jon Lester only told “part of the story” on the beer/fried chicken situation? Well, this might be the other part.

According to a report from Joe Amorosino of WHDH-7 NBC in Boston, citing two “Red Sox employees,” Josh Beckett, John Lackey and the aforementioned Lester drank beer in the dugout during games.

Previous reports indicated that they only drank in the clubhouse and Lester admitted as much yesterday in an interview with Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. However, if Amorosino’s sources can be believed, it was a much bigger issue.

On nights they weren’t pitching, the trio would reportedly exit the dugout as early as the sixth inning, walk back to the clubhouse and fill cups with Bud Light beer. They would then return to the dugout with the cups to watch the remainder of the game. Says one Red Sox employee, the trio appeared “bored on nights they weren’t pitching and this is how they entertained themselves.” It didn’t matter if the Red Sox were winning or losing and this happened more often in the latter part of the season.

“Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’. Becket was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him.

It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once.”

Bud Light? Seriously guys, that’s just unacceptable. In all seriousness, it’s impossible to say whether this sort of behavior resulted in the Red Sox losing games. Remember, they dealt with plenty of injuries down the stretch, too. But as an outsider, this strikes me as unprofessional and disrespectful to teammates and staff fully engaged in the game at hand.

UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has confirmed Amorosino’s report via a team source.

UPDATE II: Jon Lester told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that Amorosino’s report is “completely false.”

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.