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Did the Boston Red Sox Collapse Because of Drinking and a Failed Marriage?

Red Sox
Greg Fiume, Getty Images

After their historic late-season collapse, the Boston Red Sox quickly let go of manager Terry Francona, while GM Theo Epstein is reportedly headed to the Windy City to take the same position with the Chicago Cubs.

Who’s to blame for the way the season unraveled for the Red Sox? A Boston Globe report sheds some light on the raucous atmosphere of the clubhouse that details drinking and video games on the part of the players, and personal distractions for Francona.

Francona was dealing with a separation from his wife and reliance on pain medication after multiple knee surgeries, the article said. Some expressed concern that the manager was not completely focused.

Meanwhile, the dedication and intensity of players was called into question. They rebelled by taking it easy during exercise regimens, for one. “It’ s hard for a guy making $80,000 to tell a $15 million pitcher he needs to get off his butt and do some work,’’ one source said.

There are also allegations pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey got into the “habit of drinking beer, eating fast-food fried chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse during games.”

And without leaders in the clubhouse to solve the crisis, everything seemed to implode.

“We have to hold ourselves more accountable,’’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “That has nothing to do with the manager or coaches. On the great major league teams, players police each other, so we’ll get back to doing that.’’

[Boston Globe]

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