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Red Sox pitchers deny report they drank in dugout

October 18, 2011 | 10:01 pm

The Boston Red Sox may have not made the playoffs, but the controversy surrounding their late-season collapse continues to make an October run.

Red Sox pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey strongly denied a television report that they drank beer in the dugout during games. WDHD-TV in Boston cited two unidentified Red Sox employees who claimed players would drink beer in the dugout after filling their cups in the Fenway Park clubhouse.

One of the unnamed Red Sox employees told the station that the three players were "bored on nights they weren't pitching and this is how they entertained themselves."

Team President Larry Lucchino denied the allegations in a news release:

"Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona. Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual."

Lester admitted Monday to having an occasional beer in the clubhouse, but said drinking had no effect on the team's performance down the stretch. However, he flatly denied ever drinking in the dugout.

“The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false,” Lester said in a news release. “Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media.”

Francona also denied the latest allegations.

"In 32 years of professional baseball, I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout," he said.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Boston starter Josh Beckett. Credit: Jim Cowsert / U.S. Presswire