Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts on Jon Lester’s recent beergate comments

To those of us who count themselves as fans of not only Jon Lester the pitcher, but also Jon Lester the man, it is no surprise that he is the first Red Sox player to openly comment into the topic of Boston Red Sox players drinking beer and eating take away chicken in the clubhouse during games.

Accountability could very well be Lester’s middle name. It is completely in line with his character and make up as a human being that he is the first player to hold their hands up and say ‘my bad’. Naturally, this isn’t enough for some. There are already plenty of journalists who don’t think Lester’s admission goes far enough towards placating the culprit hungry Red Sox masses in the wake of the lost season that was 2011.

Back to that in a short moment. Within Lester’s comments themselves sits a very interesting point. The Red Sox lefty said;

“It was a ninth-inning rally beer. Was it a bad habit? Yes. I should have been on the bench more than I was. But we just played bad baseball as a team in September. We stunk. To be honest, we were doing the same things all season when we had the best record in baseball.’’

Interesting that none of the shock-jocks who are desperately trying to paint this story in as negative a light as possible have noted Lester’s point. Nobody said a thing about this ‘behavior’ in mid-season, when Boston were literally tearing the American League apart. When you think about it, a couple of bloop hits here and there, two to three one run losses transformed into one run wins, and most Red Sox fans would have never known that Boston players were drinking beer in the clubhouse during games.

Instead this ridiculous inquest. Instead the angry Knights Of the Keyboard (As Ted Williams used to call Boston writers) will have their head on a platter no matter what. Even if it means ignoring contexts and truths. For example, one of those Calvinistic, angst ridden scribes immediately latches on to comments Lester made in the same interview about Francona, basically calling him out for callous commentary against a man who has treated him like a son. The only problem with that is, if you read the full transcript of the interview with Lester, as the writer no doubt did, the lefty makes a point of saying;

“On a personal level I was more than grateful for what he did for me and my family.''

Incredible to see a veteran journalist cherry pick quotes to suit his own needs. Incredible, and sad too. We put these baseball players on a pedestal, we worship them, and plug them into categories that they don’t necessarily generically fit into, and we speak in terms of legend when the system works and someone sips whiskey before a big game the Sox win (ala ‘The Idiots’ in ’04). However, once they don’t fit into those categories we want them to slot into, once they don’t win, we turn on them like deranged dogs, biting at their hands, barking at them angrily.

Doesn’t really even matter what they say. We’re going to twist it whatever way we want and use it against them.

This inquest is less valuable than a bucket of chicken. It is a complete waste of time, it is being presented erroneously and out of context, and is not only an insult to players, who don’t have to report to the media or us fans, last I checked, but also an insult to all fair minded and logical fans themselves.

Can’t we move on and start discussing things that actually matter?


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports


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