Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/19/11

The Boston Red Sox released a statement Tuesday night that strongly denied a report that players were drinking beer in the dugout during games.

The statement was in response to a report from WHDH TV in Boston that said pitchers Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey would retreat to the clubhouse in the late innings, fill cups with beer and come to the dugout.

Lester admitted Monday that his drinking was confined to the clubhouse. All three pitchers made statements through the team strongly denying that they were drinking beer in the dugout.

"Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona," Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said in the statement. "Each has 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."

Denials from Lackey and Beckett did not address whether they drank in the clubhouse during games.

The Red Sox blew a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in September and missed the playoffs on the final day of the season. The Boston Globe reported that the trio of starting pitchers drank beer, ordered fried chicken and played video games in the clubhouse while the team was slumping down the stretch.

After the season, Francona stepped down as manager. General manager Theo Epstein is headed to the Chicago Cubs as soon as the teams can agree on compensation.

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