Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek paid a visit to the Hill-Man Morning Show Wednesday on WEEI sister station WAAF and addressed the most recent controversy involving the team -- accusations that pitchers drank beer in the dugout during games. Varitek insisted he never saw this behavior. "Absolutely not," he stated.
Varitek said the leaks coming from Fenway Park are a big concern, and it's making the situation look far worse than it is.
"We've got to quit filling the coolers with vodka and beer," he joked. "You can go that far with this, and have a level of stupidity. And I believe this group still handled themselves that way, despite that going on. And I think the worst thing going on is that this team has always handled thing internally. We've had problems in the 15 years that I've been there, but nobody knows about them. Whether it be guys fighting, guys having a problem with a coach, guys having a problem with a trainer, having problems with each other, guys having fun, guys playing cards, people playing cribbage, to everything. You can't have 25 guys around each other for 6-8 months and not have trouble. … Those things have happened. The problem is, we've handled them internally for so long. We've won the majority of the time that I've been here. We've had that opportunity to go the playoffs. We took care of them internally.
"All of a sudden we don't, we don't perform well and these things are now brought about by an unnamed source? Shame on them. If it's a player, if it's a trainer, a coach, management, ownership. Shame on you, if you can't come out and be a part of it."
Varitek was asked if he thought a player was the one revealing clubhouse information.
"No," he said. "But we don't really know at this point. That's what shameful in this whole thing. Besides the way we played. We played absolute bad baseball, without saying it any other way."
Looking to next season, Varitek said, "I would love to be" back with the Sox, although he knows, "It might not be in their plans." Either way, he said the players will be able to put the controversies behind them, but it will take the support of the fans.
"The team can have it not be an issue," he said. "Can Red Sox Nation, and what builds and fuels this team? If they can't get over it, then it's going to be an issue."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On John Lackey: "I may be totally speaking out of where I normally am comfortable speaking, but the man pitched probably all year for us, took the ball every day, whether he was healthy or not. He had to deal with a lot physically. Everybody's making a big deal of what he had to do off the field. That's not a part of it. That's a part of his life, but it's not part of him as a human being. He took the ball when he didn't have to. … He wasn't 100 percent."
More on Lackey: "Lackey takes on -- I've said it all year -- he takes on a role with that pitching staff that you can't replace by what his numbers are on the mound. He does his work. He supports his teammates. [The pitchers] all support their teammates. They blow one thing up as if they're not supportive. I don't agree with it."
On Josh Beckett: "If it wasn't for Josh, the way he performed throughout the entire year -- he was the only stability in our rotation."
On Jon Lester allegedly following Beckett's lead: "Jon's his own man. He's been through everything he's been through."
On the pitchers consuming alcohol in the clubhouse during games: "Wrong? Yeah, it's wrong. Was it out of control? I don't believe it was out of control. … Is this something new? No. It goes all the way back to '04. Everybody giggles about [Kevin] Millar taking shots back then."
On accusations that the pitchers played video games in the clubhouse during Sox games: "I've never seen somebody play a video game [during a game]. Pregame, yeah."
On if the team respected manager Terry Francona: "Did this team respect Terry Francona? I would say yes. Everybody has their own respect for their own manager, yes. … I honestly can't speak for anyone. But, yes, he is your boss. What I believe in is you're going to have coaches you don't like, you're going to have management you don't like, you have players you don't like, but I'm still going to play with that utter respect. This is my elder. This is the way I was brought up, the way I was raised. No matter what, I'm going to respect them and treat them with that same respect.
"Whether guys are going to go in a foxhole with somebody, at this point it doesn't matter. Because you have to function. He's still our boss. It doesn't matter what happens. He makes the lineup, we go out and play. He makes the lineup, we go out and play. And with him, whether or not guys would go in a foxhole or have that much respect, you have to. You don't get to that many wins and those things going on."
On if the team quit: "I don't think anybody quit. I think there were a lot of contributing factors that relate to baseball."
On if he lumps himself with those who played poorly at the end of the season: "Absolutely. It would be ridiculous for me not to. … Does that mean I forgot and didn't all of a sudden care about calling a game, and I'm now stupid? No. But that's kind of what in my opinion is the perception of what's gone on. We didn't perform well. And we have to take that responsibility as players, outside of everything that's gone on."
Patriots DT Chris Jones wasn't even sure he was the one who blocked NIck Folk's FG attempt to seal the win against the Jets. He also talked about how well LB Dont'a Hightower has done in place of Jerod Mayo.
Julian Edelman joined the show to talk about the win over the Jets and the quick turn around involved with Thursday night games. He also praised Danny Amendola's job on the kick-returns and how Chicago will most likely respond positively to the reported fights in their locker room following Sunday's loss to the Dolphins.
Tom discussed Peyton's record breaking night.
Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.
Dr Nick Leung for the Newton Wellesley Orthopedics Association joins Ben to talk about Rajon Rondo's broken hand.
The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.
Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
The world's biggest Canadiens fan Tony Marinaro joins MFB after the Bruins and Tuukka Rask suffered another loss in Montreal.
We check in with NESN's Jack Edwards for a Bruins-Canadiens preview, live from French-Quebec.
Pierre McGuire joins MFB to analyze last night's Bruins-Red Wings game and preview tonight's game against the Canadiens. Pierre also offers his take on fighting in the NHL.
Tom Brady discussed Peyton's record breaking night.
Tim Hasselbeck on Peyton vs. Brady.
The guys opened the show discussing Peyton Manning's record setting night in Denver.
Christian talks about his Top 5 coaches in the NFL.
Christian learns a thing or two about lead poisoning. San Francisco hates Lorde until the World Series is over. Floyd Mayweather sued for false imprisonment.
We check in with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin of the NFL Network joined Dale and Michael to break down and analyze Pats-Jets.
We discuss the Bruins loss in Montreal, and more importantly their loss of composure, and whether or not Lucic and Marchand are pulling their weight.
Dale, Michael and Barstoolsports Jerry Thornton break down the Pats close win over the Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
This week Pete gives the listeners a brief, but enthusiastic history lesson the ineptitude of the New York Jets. They also help you set your final rosters for your Week 7 fantasy teams.
Predictions for the Revs moving into the playoffs, Jurgen Klinsmann vs Don Garber, and Ben needs a new European team to root for.
Tom Brady discussed Peyton's record breaking night.More from this show
Rodney Harrison on the Pats close win over the Jets.More from this show
The guys opened the show discussing Peyton Manning's record setting night in Denver.More from this show