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02/27/2012 - 1:47am
Beckett: No apology 'for being distracted'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, in a lengthy interview with WEEI.com, said that he was distracted in the final month of last season while contemplating the imminent birth of his first child, but he won't apologize for that fact.

"I'm not going apologize for being distracted," Beckett said. "It's not going to happen."

Indeed, Beckett -- coming off a year in which he went 13-7 with a career-best 2.89 ERA -- said that as much as he cares about his profession as a pitcher, his family does come before baseball at this point in his life.

"I almost think people want me to think the other way around and I think that's absolutely absurd. To ask a man to care more about a Major League Baseball game -- and I know it's a Major League Baseball game -- than he does about what's going on with his wife, who's due any minute," said Beckett. "If somebody reads this or somebody thinks I'm wrong, they...

02/26/2012 - 4:57pm
Ellsbury: 'Wish I would've won' MVP

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking publicly to the Boston media for the first time since Detroit's Justin Verlander narrowly edged him out for the 2011 American League MVP, Jacoby Ellsbury said Sunday that he admits he was a little disappointed that the best year of his career so far didn't result in winning the award. 

"Well, we're playing against the best competition in the world," Ellsbury said. "Obviously, I did everything I could, left it all on the field last year. When I found out about the results, I was happy for Justin Verlander but at the same time, being as competitive as I am, I wish I would've won. I bet if you ask all those other guys, they would say the same thing, too. That's how I look at it, we're playing against the best players in the world, definitely held my head high and finished second."

Ellsbury hinted that that award might be one of the goals he's setting for himself this season as he looks to follow up...

02/26/2012 - 3:31pm
Maddon OK's beer: 'We're not' the Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Red Sox were in Day 2 of full-squad workouts on Sunday, just 40 minutes to the north in Port Charlotte, Rays manager Joe Maddon fired the first real salvo of training camp, announcing why he plans to still allow beer in the clubhouse.

"We're not the Boston Red Sox," Maddon said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

That reaction is not entirely surprising. Maddon, a renown wine connoisseur, is known for his player-friendly style, allowing players to show character and personality. In the wake of the Red Sox' September collapse and the reports of beer drinking in the Sox' clubhouse, Maddon blasted the idea that the proper response would be for Boston to regulate alcohol consumption in the clubhouse.

"To say a grown-up can't have a beer after a game? Give me a break," Maddon told WEEI.com...

02/26/2012 - 3:11pm
Ellsbury: Long-term deal 'always possibility'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox did not engage in conversation about a long-term deal this offseason, coming off a year in which he was the runner-up in the AL MVP race while hitting .321 with a .376 OBP, .552 slugging mark, .928 OPS, 32 homers, 39 steals and 105 RBI. Instead, he and the Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $8.05 million deal for 2012.

That said, Ellsbury suggested that while he was deferring to agent Scott Boras to deal with contract talks with the Sox going forward, he would be open to the idea of signing to stay with the Sox beyond the 2013 season, after which he will be eligible for free agency.

"There's always that possibility. I kind of leave that up to my agent. I was just happy we could get everything worked out this year. As far as future contracts and stuff like that, I let them take care of that and inform me if there's a decision to be made," said Ellsbury. "I love...

02/26/2012 - 2:51pm
Beckett: Beer ban 'doesn't matter to me'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told his team that there would be no alcohol in the clubhouse or on plane trips returning to Boston from road games, starting pitcher Josh Beckett told WEEI.com that the decision was of little consequence to him.

"I don't get paid to make those decisions," said Beckett in the JetBlue Park home clubhouse Sunday afternoon. "It doesn't matter to me."

Announcing the new rule Saturday, Valentine cited his decision not to have alcohol in the Mets' clubhouse during his time as manager for New York from 1996-2002. Red Sox DH David Ortiz said Saturday regarding the mandate, "It doesn’t matter. We’re not here to drink; we’re here to play baseball. This ain’t no bar."

The Red Sox are the 19th team in Major League Baseball to ban alcohol in the clubhouse.

When asked in October by WEEI.com about the talk of potentially banning...

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