The Red Sox have banned beer in the clubhouse

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After the Red Sox collapsed in epic fashion down the stretch last season, reports surfaced that Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester drank beer, ate fried chicken and played video games in the clubhouse on the days they weren’t pitching.

The Red Sox still won 90 games last season and whether drinking beer in the clubhouse had any real impact on the team missing the playoffs is questionable, but new manager Bobby Valentine is doing his part to nip the issue in the bud. No pun intended, I swear.

Per Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox have also banned beer on the last leg of plane trips. I guess we can assume fried chicken is fair game, though.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.