The Boston Globe said Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey denied the WHDH-TV, Boston, report Tuesday that the pitchers drank Bud Light in the dugout as early as the sixth inning in some games and the drinking became more frequent as the season progressed.
WHDH cited two unidentified team employees, and the Globe said it later confirmed the report.
But the Red Sox issued a news release Tuesday night in which the team and all three pitchers denied the allegation.
"The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false,'' Lester said in the release. "Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media.''
WHDH said Beckett had instigated the drinking, the Globe reported.
"I cannot let this allegation go without response; enough is enough,'' Beckett said in the release. "I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but this has gone too far. To say that we drank in the dugout during the game is not true.''
"There are things that went on this season that shouldn't have happened, but this latest rumor is not true, and I felt that it was important to try to stop this from going any further," Lackey said.
Team President Larry Lucchino said the pitchers "assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual."
The Globe said Lester has admitted drinking beer with Josh Beckett and John Lackey in the clubhouse during games but not the dugout.
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