It’s Time to Move On from Beer Gate


Every day new rumors emerge about the Red Sox drinking and eating habits during the 2011 season. First, it appeared to be contained in the clubhouse as a ‘rally beer’ with the occasional Popeyes chicken trip (if you believe Jon Lester), then on Tuesday, it was raised a notch with a report that some players were not only drinking in the clubhouse while not supporting their team, they brought alcohol into the dugout to drink. I don’t know what’s worse about this story, the fact that it indicates the team was in shambles down the stretch or that their beer of choice was Bud Light. Really, who cares?

After the second report yesterday, but initial gut reaction was “Who gives a shit?” Dugout and clubhouse could just be the beginning, what’s next? Josh Beckett had a flask in his sock on the field? The team was channeling Manny Ramirez and drinking in the Green Monster? Jonathan Papelbon was doing lines of cocaine in the bullpen? The team was clearly not playing well in September, was grossly out of shape, and there was no self-discipline to be found with a 50 mile radius of Fenway Park, but regardless of those reasons, the result was the same, they played horrendous baseball down the stretch.

Nearly every single member of the team struggled in September, whether they were drinking or not. The team played like a little league version of the bad news bears for most of the month and although some of the reason for the struggles could be conditioning and drinking for some players, even those who weren’t drinking struggled. The Beer Gate saga is becoming an excuse for the team’s inexcusable poor play day in and day out. Jason Varitek, the apparent non-existent, non-verbal leader of the 2011 team, said it best on Tuesday, “In my opinion, nobody wants to see the truth. The truth is we have to take responsibility as players for how we performed, and that can go in many different directions. That’s why we didn’t win. It wasn’t lack of effort. It wasn’t lack of direction. It wasn’t a lack of being prepared. We didn’t play well.’’

The team sucked and missed the playoffs, embarrassing every single person associated with the organization and fans across the globe. Hell, I have been in a virtual hibernation for the past month, trying to figure out how this collapse could have occurred with such a star-studded lineup.

Now is the time to push forward, recover and rebuild after losing their GM and Manager. It is not time to dwell on the crap that has occurred in the past, but learn and improve from it. Moving forward is the responsibility of those in charge, but the big question right now is who is running this team? What direction is the team going to go in for 2012? Whoever is in charge clearly needs to make changes to the roster and will surely have a busy off-season trying to move some big contracts and repair the nearly irreparable PR damage, but who is that person? Is Ben Cherington the man riding in on a white horse to save the day? Your guess is as good as mine.

I don’t know about all of you, but I have reached my wits end with Beer Gate. Some players drank beer, at various times and in various places, end of story. This is not the first time that has happened and it sure as hell won’t be the last. It was a major issue in 2011, but now it is time for the team to put it all together and move on, not dwell on every detail of what, where, when, etc. If the team doesn’t put this behind them soon, we will be sitting in Fort Myers in February looking at the same team we saw fall apart this September wondering when this team will be a World Series contender. Changes must be made and a culture shift must occur. What’s the correct way to handle this situation and move on? For now, I’ll leave that to someone in a higher pay-grade.

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