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Red Sox offseason soap opera a real eye-opener

Can it get any more embarrassing for the once-mighty Boston Red Sox this offseason?

Beer-drinking and fried-chicken-eating in the clubhouse during games? Video-game playing, too? Players publicly dogging the now-fired manager by saying he was too loose with the troops, a pushover for the high-priced slackers on the roster?

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Oh, my.

Even the sad-sack Orioles never sank that low. No matter how badly they played, at least they had more respect for the game.

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Red Sox starter Jon Lester defended the Red Sox's sordid frat-boy hi-jinks the other day by saying he and others were doing all that beer-guzzling and Popeye's-ordering even when the team was going good.

He told the Boston Globe and other media outlets that none of that behavior really contributed to the downfall of the 2011 Sox. Boston just played bad baseball in September, he said, adding "We stunk."

Plus, he said, those were actually "ninth-inning rally beers" that he and John Lackey and Josh Beckett were guzzling in the clubhouse as the rest of the Sox were out on the field trying to win games.

Oh, so it was sort of like: this Bud's for you, fellas? Go get 'em?

Say, that really is team spirit!

Actually, the more Lester talked in these interviews, the more spoiled and selfish -- and clueless -- he and the 2011 Red Sox looked.

"I should have been on the bench more than I was," Lester said to the Globe, admitting that the beer-drinking during games "was the wrong thing to do."

But that was the closest thing to contrition that Red Sox fans heard out of Lester's mouth. And this isn't the last we're going to hear about the goings-on in the Boston clubhouse, either.

Over the next few weeks, look for more juicy details to emerge as other Red Sox players come forward with their versions of the events that took place during the worst late-season collapse in baseball history.

For the Red Sox, now without both a field manager and general manager, it's a PR nightmare that doesn't figure to end anytime soon.

Only the Popeye's chain comes out a winner in this one.

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