Frame from Kevin Fowler's "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer" video via You Tube
The Bud Light is back in the Red Sox clubhouse.
Happy hour continues for Josh Beckett and John Lackey. It's sheer misery as the citizens of Red Sox Nation watch this
season franchise slowly fade into oblivion. The joke is on all us who pay for this fiasco by purchasing tickets, paying the cable/satellite fees for NESN, dropping $9 for beers at Fenway Park or buying bricks for Grandma. Not to mention invest in this team emotionally due to DNA, geography or choice.
Wondering if the Bud Light ever went out? Nothing Beckett - and Jon Lester for that matter - has done this season leaves us to believe otherwise. The Official Beer of Red Sox Collapses and Overweight Hurlers was spotted for the first time this season in the clubhouse Thursday night, thanks to Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sports New England. Haggerty covers the Bruins full-time in season, so he's usually around athletes who actually care about winning before they get hammered. Of course, this doesn't mean that the Bud Light hasn't been there all along, despite Bobby Valentine's ban. (Note at 8:30 p.m. Friday - Turns out this assertion was correct. Valentine said Friday night he's had beer in his office all season and Lackey didn't break any rules. It only gets worse with this team.) The players haven't listened to Valentine - and upper management has done little to back their manager except the kiss-of-death "vote of confidence." There was beer flowing all last season and no one covering the team on a regular basis noticed - or bothered to write about it or its potential effects on aging, fat pitchers. The tale of "Chicken and Beer" surfaced after the Great September Collapse and it was chronicled by a guy (Bob Hohler of the Globe) who hadn't been on the Red Sox beat since 2004. The story of in-game beer drinking clubhouse first came to light in 2011 thanks to the efforts of the Herald's John Tomase.
Lackey - who allegedly travels with the team to work out with trainer Mike Reinold - continues to wreak havoc on the Red Sox this season even though his ERA remains 0.00. Maybe we should give him a break. Lackey is "recovering" from Tommy John surgery he had 10 months ago. Well, you know who had Tommy John surgery 11 months ago? Trey Hardee. He finished second in the Olympic decathlon behind fellow American Ashton Eaton. Hardee threw the javelin 218 feet, 8 inches Thursday. The decathlon is 10 events. Even when healthy, Lackey barely has three pitches and has trouble locating his fastball from 60 feet, 6 inches. Lackey will be a sure-fire medalist once they make "Beer Pong" an Olympic sport. World's Greatest Athlete - meet Boston's Greatest Fat-lete.
Meanwhile, the folks at Boston Dirt Dogs tell us Beckett was putting in some extra prep work for Wednesday's three-tater, eight-run in five-plus-innings outing against the Rangers by closing the Beantown Pub at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Hey, that was a whole 35 hours and 25 minutes before his first pitch. We weren't supposed to boo Beckett when he left last-week's debacle with a back-fat spasm. Thankfully fans were given permission Wednesday.
Double-slap in the face. You want hatred. This is hatred. Red Sox fans anguished over Bill Buckner (although it was really Bob Stanley's fault). The "hatred" toward Buckner faded over time because he committed a simple error. His effort was never questioned. He could barely move but was out on the field. (Why is another question for another day.) Beckett - and Lackey - are different. The contempt toward those two in Red Sox Nation has reached historic levels. It's about to equal the status of: "Now pitching for the Yankees - Roger Clemens." The rage is blinding. It's impossible to remember that Beckett helped this team win a World Series five years ago. It's obvious: they just don't care and want you to know it.
Time for a bit of advice courtesy of Dean Wormer:
Unless you play for the Red Sox. Then it's encouraged. Until Lackey and Beckett are removed from the Red Sox, the team will continue to flounder. Call it the "Curse of the Beer-Cano." Beckett should be either released, or better yet, sent down to Pawtucket to pitch out of the bullpen. Make him ride the bus to Rochester. The Red Sox are going to eat most if not all of Beckett's $15,750,000 salary through 2014 regardless of what they do with his empties. The Beckett Contagion - and his drinking buddy - needs to be eradicated. Someone get the "The Cleaner" on Line 2.
Of course, this won't happen because no one in charge cares. Keep the sellouts coming. The Red Sox are 11 games out first in the AL East. They're also 5.5 games out of the second-wildcard and sit behind four other teams chasing the "Grand Illusion." Keep the Faith, right? We can always hope. As Bane put it so eloquently to Bruce Wayne in the Pit: "As I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls."
John Henry and Larry Lucchino triggered a few laughs - and a few tears - during their most-recent efforts to obscure the truth and quell the rebellious masses. Henry emailed a letter to the media earlier this week vowing that he doesn't watch soccer 24 hours a day. Larry's gibberish Thursday on "Dennis Without Callahan" wasn't any more reassuring. He told John Dennis and Dale Arnold (Gerry was on vacation) that "no one feels bright and cheerful," Valentine "is doing a good job" and that this epic failure of a season has been caused by "a combination of factors. Ben [Cherington] has been saying that for a while. Certainly, the stability and effectiveness of the starting pitching has been a place to start."
You think? Larry is a genuis.
Cherington never had a chance. "Sock puppet" or "Sox Puppet" - no difference.
Meanwhile, Valentine is being set up by manangement as the biggest patsy this side of Lee Harvey Oswald. Hey, Bobby, if Larry walks into the clubhouse wearing a Jack Ruby mask, you'd better run like hell. Valentine was sold as the answer to all the team's problems, a line that was propagated by the Politburo all offseason and into the spring. Now that everything is going down the drain, don't be surprised when his head is metaphorically removed and placed next to Teddy Ballgame's.
Lucchino's WEEI appearance came a mere 15 hours or so before Lackey decided beer-up after Thursday's loss to the Indians. For some reason, that 5-3 pukefest is being labeled as some sort of seminal moment when the somber, reflective Red Sox and their apologists finally realized this season is lost.
Where have these people been? This season was lost last season. The slide began on Sept. 1 when "Fan Cave" Gonzalez took that called third strike from Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded to cap off a 4-2 loss to the Yankees. It continues as you read this.
And there's no end in sight.
Better crack another cold one.
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