The Boston Red Sox’s three highest-paid pitchers—Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and John Lackey—were in the habit of drinking beer, playing video games, and eating fast-food fried chicken in the clubhouse during games instead of supporting their teammates in the dugout, according to a scathing Boston Globe piece examining the Sox collapse. The three were also among several players to cut back on their exercise regimens. Indeed, the piece alleges that “for every player committed to the team’s conditioning program, there was a slacker.”
“It’s hard for a guy making $80,000 to tell a $15 million pitcher he needs to get off his butt and do some work,” one source said. The article alleges that the team had other chemistry problems, too. Jacoby Ellsbury, for example, worked hard, but got along with few of his teammates—he especially disliked Kevin Youkilis, who criticized Ellsbury publicly last year. Some sources also speculated that departing manager Terry Francona was distracted by marital problems and painkiller use, which Francona hotly denied.