Varitek: No drinking in the dugout

October, 19, 2011
Appearing this morning on Boston radio station WAAF, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek echoed Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey, denying that he ever saw any players drinking in the dugout. “Absolutely not,” Varitek said when asked if he knew of players drinking in the dugout.

He criticized the media's use of "unnamed sources" and added that he doesn't believe it's a player who has been leaking information to reporters.

He also stressed that in the past clubhouse problems have been handled internally. "You can't have 25 guys around each other for six to eight months and not have trouble. ... Things have happened, we took care of them internally. All of a sudden we don't perform well and these things are brought about by an unnamed source. ... Shame on them. If it's a player, a trainer a coach, a manager, ownership, shame on you."

Here are some other highlights of the interview:

On clubhouse drinking, and whether he believes it was wrong:
"Wrong? Yeah it was wrong. Was it out of control? I don't believe it was out of control. ... Is this something new? No.

"It's something that's not good to be promoted for baseball period, but was it a problem [for the Red Sox]? No."

He said players often disappear from the dugout during games, and every year on occasion he's had to tell players to get back in the dugout to support the team. "Is this year any different than any other year? No."

He added that he's never seen anyone play a video game during a game.

On whether players quit?
"I don't think anyone quit. There are a lot of contributing factors that relate to baseball" that caused the September collapse.

On the reasons for the collapse:
"I think if you look at some real things... It's not an excuse, but we played a lot of games, a lot of extra games, a lot of extra innings, a lot of rain delays.

The amount of rain delays, the doubleheaders... it affected our pitching, and the guys that play every single day... yes, they have a factor. Is that an excuse? No. It's a part of it.

There's health... like, we lost David [Ortiz] for a few days in September with his heel. Like Gonzo, you're coming off a repaired shoulder. We lost our third baseman ... the rotation at shortstop. Was it lack of effort? No. Our execution, can it be better? It can always be better."

On whether Josh Beckett was a bad influence on Jon Lester:
"Josh had a 2 ERA all year, that's a bad influence? ... Jon's his own man. ...If it wasn't for Josh... he was the only stability in our rotation."

On Beckett's alleged distance with position players:
"That's completely false. ... Outside the day he pitches, Josh is as social and as much a part of the clubhouse as anybody."

On Lackey's behavior on the mound:
"Because of the human being and who he is to that team... if he wasn't a good teammate, people would probably get offended. But Lackey's so respected amongst his teammates, whether he's performed well or not, they would not question what that [behavior] is. That's emotion."

On what kind of manager the Sox need:
"Fundamentally sound. ... You need somebody in here now that is a strong personality."

On whether he'll be back next season:
"I would love to be. I've bled this uniform my entire career, proudly. ... It's hard to think of going anywhere else. But like I have the last two winters, especially last winter, I know that it might not be in their plans and if I'm going to play I have to be prepared to go somewhere else."



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