FORT MYERS (CBS) – Josh Beckett and Jon Lester spoke to the media at length for the first time since last September’s historic collapse by the Red Sox, with Beckett admitting to some “lapses in judgment.”
“We made mistakes in the clubhouse and that’s about as far as I’ll go talking about the clubhouse,” Beckett said Sunday. “I’m upset with myself for the lapses in judgement.”
The team finished 7-20 in September and missed the playoffs despite holding a nine-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 1.
Watch Gordon Edes Discuss Beckett And Lester:
Reports after the season indicated the team’s best pitchers, including Beckett and Lester, sometimes drank beer and ate fried chicken during games in the clubhouse.
“I’m not saying that we didn’t make mistakes because we did make mistakes in the clubhouse,” said Beckett.
“We both know we need to do a better job of being on the field and being around these guys more and instilling in these young guys that we do work hard and we do take this seriously, and we care,” Lester said. “I think that’s the biggest thing, is that we do care and we want to win.”
The reported clubhouse antics led to questions about the team’s conditioning.
“I put on a little bit of weight. I don’t have a reason for it, but it happened. I’m looking forward… to going forward from here,” said Beckett.
Beckett actually had one of his best years in a Red Sox uniform in 2011 (13-7, 2.89 ERA, 175 Ks), but his September performance left a lot to be desired, and played a big role in the team’s terrible finish.
In four September starts, Beckett went 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA and could not defeat the last-place Baltimore Orioles in each of his final two outings.
“I didn’t pitch well. That was the bottom line. The last two starts against Baltimore, they weren’t good,” Beckett said Sunday.
Beckett also admitted he was a bit distracted during season’s final month, and that may have played a role in his performance.
“I had things going and I got distracted and I think that was the biggest thing for me, going forward, that I would change, just not to be distracted,” Beckett said.
Beckett did not elaborate on that distraction, but he and his wife did have a baby just four months ago.
Lester, meanwhile, didn’t pitch much better than his teammate in the final month, going 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA.
“I had one good start and one decent start (in September),” said Lester. “That’s not good out of five in a month. It weighed on me pretty good this offseason. I think it’s going to help me this year.”