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.”
In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.
The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.
Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.
Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.
There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.