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 Big Vince on a Patriots Monday as the Pats prepare to travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in week one.
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We check with with the HC of the NEP on a Patriots Monday on a Tuesday as the Pats prep for the Dolphins this coming Sunday. Bill touches on Gronk's desire to play, the departure of Logan Mankins and more.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Tom Brady discussed his feelings on the Logan Mankins trade and the return of Gronk.
Tim joined the show to discuss the start of the NFL season and the future of Tom Brady.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Rodney Harrison joins the show, as he will do every week during the NFL season. This week he talked about what to expect from the Patriots this year. He thinks Brady can play can for another 10 or 15 years due to the rules changes. He also said that due to his size, NFL defensive players will continue to target Rob Gronkowski's knees.
The iCloud was hacked over Labor Day weekend and over 300 scandalous photos were hacked from the phones and iPads of celebrities. And the guy who replaced Michael Sam, Ethan Westbrooks, got a tattoo on his face to motivate himself from ever having a "normal" job.
On this Patriots Monday (on a Tuesday) Chandler Jones talks about getting ready for the Miami Dolphins and his upcoming battle with Brandon Albert. The guys also asked about J.J. Watt's 100 million dollar contract.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
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