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."
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run in the win over the Mets.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Schilling emailed Awful Announcing.
Florio gave us the latest on Brady vs Goodell.
The top stories of the day.
Jay Feely explains why he was in court with Tom Brady on Monday, and what was said in the robing room with Judge Berman.
Tyler Seguin was partying all summer in Toronto. Former Toronto Maple Leafs CEO Richard Peddie tattled on him. Also, Marshawn Lynch continues to be awkward, as he sells Skittles on cable TV.
Shannon Sharpe was on First Take yesterday comparing Brady's alleged deflating of footballs, to Alex Rodriguez' admitted use of steroids.
We discuss the latest from Judge Berman in the deflategate case, and what it might mean.
We close out the Dale and Holley program with some of the best sound of the day that you may have missed.
We discuss the NFL's insistence and inconsistency when they continue to rely on the term 'integrity' throughout this deflategate process.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss their favorite transfer moves of the window, Alex shares his dislike for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and just how far can the Revs go this season?
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.More from this show
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, reports on Twitter that the "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources." He went on SportsCenter to talk about his report. Mut and his callers reacted to the breaking newsMore from this show
Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford discuss the New England Patriots third preseason game from Friday night, in particular Tom Brady's performance. Also, the guys discuss the most interesting contact in Butch's phone and ESPN's different handling of Curt Schilling and Chris Mortensen.More from this show
Jim Hackett and Rotobahn.com's Pete Davidson get things going this week discussing all of the latest injuries that can effect your fantasy team or draft in the midst of Week 3 of the preseason. They talk some of the impressive performances coming out of the games Thursday-Saturday. The boys chat about the various rankings and how they are constantly updating these list on Rotobahn.com and the Rotobahn 500. They go in depth on the tight end position, which is very top heavy -- 5 or 6 very good TE's and then a bunch of mediocre guys and unknowns. Jim and Pete also get into 10-team and 12-team league approaches, value picks late in your draft and how the waiver wire is your friend.More from this show