Hopefully by now you’ve seen the comments from Jon Lester that were reported here first earlier today.
We reached out to Jon last week via his agent and set up the interview last night. I personally thought it was good of him to stand up and be accountable and give his opinion. While people may disagree with some of the things he said, give him credit for saying them.
Here’s some more of what Lester had to say to the Globe:
On pitchers not being on the bench during games: “Here’s the thing, if we win it doesn’t matter. When I was here in ’06 and ’07, [Curt] Schilling and Wake [Tim Wakefield] and Josh [Beckett] weren’t on the bench all the time. In ’07 it didn’t matter and now it does because we lost.
“It’s a bad habit and we should be on the bench more. We probably should. But in September there are like 64 guys in that little dugout and it’s tough to see what’s going on. For me personally I’d rather go upstairs and watch the game on TV and see where the ball is located. I know some other guys feel that way, too. That doesn’t mean we’re not pulling for our team. I’m sure some position players don’t like it.”
On being in the clubhouse during games: “It’s not like we were just hanging around. There’s a fine line and I didn’t see guys screwing off. All of our guys are professional and take pride in what they do.”
On Terry Francona: “Him not having rules was refreshing at first. He let us play and that worked in 2004 and 2007, right? But I think this year it didn’t work. He needed something new and maybe we do, too. I don’t know if he was fired or he quit, but it was probably the right time.”
On Josh Beckett: “Josh is Josh and you know what you get from Josh. It can be good or bad but for the starting [pitchers] unit, it was nothing but good. I can call his bluff. Lack can call his bluff. We can bring him down when he says some of the stuff he says. A position player may take it the wrong way and think he’s an [expletive] but that’s not the case.
“If the wrong person hears what he says, you can say he’s not being a leader. But he’s a leader. He’s not a bad person.”
On the team’s collapse: “We didn’t play good baseball and we need to find a reason we didn’t play good baseball. All these other issues aren’t it. It comes down to the starting pitchers not performing. I don’t blame people for wanting answers. But sometimes in baseball things just don’t go your way. As baseball players, we just stunk. We didn’t play good baseball. I know people want there to be reasons but sometimes you just stink. People need to understand that’s what it was.”
On the 2012 team: “I don’t think we need a lot of changes. The biggest thing we have to do is worry about ourselves right now. I think as a group we just assumed that we’d find a way into the playoffs and it didn’t work out that way. But guys never gave up. It may have looked like it but that wasn’t the case. We have few key positions that need to be filled.”
On perception: “The 2004 team was drinking shots before games and people thought they had great chemistry. It’s all a matter of how you look at things. I think for sure some things happened that probably didn’t have to. But we’re not a bunch of [expletives], we’re really not. I hope people understand how much we wanted to win.”
Thanks for all the comments on the original story and make sure you check out the Globe tomorrow for more. Also, I’ll be on NESN Daily with Randy Scott at 10 p.m. tonight to discuss the story and the implications.