Clubhouse Beers ruin Beantown Role Models

By John Lund

Remember growing up as a kid and having to answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? Some kids wanted to be astronauts, firefighters, lawyers, vets, etc. I, however, wanted to be a baseball player, a dream I’m sure most boys had while growing up. We idolize our favorite players and teams and one day-dream of hitting the game winning home run in Game Seven of the World Series.This past week however, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the children currently growing up as Boston Red Sox fans, because when they get older, they’ll think it’s okay to take a break from the game and have a couple of beers with their friends in the clubhouse.

At first I thought I had misinterpreted what I was hearing.That three starting pitchers for the Sox, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey frequented the clubhouse for some ‘rally beers’ and fried chicken during regular season games.The trio at first denied the reports and Tito (former manager Terry Francona) said he wasn’t aware of it, but the pitchers finally admitted to the allegations a few days after. They, however, fervently denied that they had also played video games in the clubhouse or that they had ever brought a beer to the dugout. Right!

Now I understand that pitchers are really just, as a friend of mine would say, ‘glorified golfers,’ only having to suit up and perform once every five days. Hitting the bars in-between starts is far from a problem in my eyes, as long as it’s before or after the game. These guys are living the dream of millions of children before them; playing professional baseball for their favorite team, or any team for that matter. They’re getting paid millions of dollars to throw a white sphere 60 feet, six inches. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that it’s a long season, and the dog days after the All-Star break can lag and a trip to the clubhouse every once in a while for a sandwich or a game of Madden isn’t going to kill anyone. But according to sources, this was all too common behavior for the J Bros. The least they could do is support their team from the dugout while they’re not in the game.

My question is, can we start doing this in the real world? If I’m not interested in something I’m being taught in class, can I drink on the days I won’t have a test? If someone is in an important meeting, can they throw a couple back before they have to get up and speak? If a man and a woman are having their first child, can the husband have some brewskies during the entire nine months until the day the baby actually arrives? Sounds a little foolish when it’s brought to that extent, doesn’t it?

I’m not trying to say that this was the reason that Boston had its historically God-awful September collapse, since at one point they had the best record in baseball. But its things like these throughout the season that contribute to the wheels coming off the cart for a baseball team. What kind of example does behavior like this set for not only the players involved, but for the organization in which they play for? Now when a player isn’t in the dugout it makes it that much easier to assume that they’re up to no good. I hope that when I bring my son to his first baseball game, his favorite player will be on the fence cheering on his team, and not in the clubhouse having one with the boys.

Follow John on Twitter @lundinbridge

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