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How Often Do MLB Players Drink During Games?

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

Players from both the Red Sox and White Sox have enjoyed some ice cold refreshment during games.

How Often Do MLB Players Drink During Games?

The Boston Globe released a story that detailed the lackluster behavior of certain Red Sox players and coaches during their disappointing 2011 season. There are many juicy anecdotes, but here's an excerpt:

Instead, Boston’s three elite starters went soft, their pitching as anemic as their work ethic. The indifference of Beckett, Lester, and Lackey in a time of crisis can be seen in what team sources say became their habit of drinking beer, eating fast-food fried chicken, and playing video games in the clubhouse during games while their teammates tried to salvage a once-promising season.

Via Deadspin, White Sox catcher and playoff broadcaster A.J. Pierzynski discussed drinking during games:

"Yes, absolutely I have before," Pierzynski told The Dan Patrick Show. "Sometimes you're just really struggling and you just say, ‘Hey, you know what, I need something to calm me down and let's have a beer.' A couple of us will do it together, and sometimes it works out.

"It's just, sometimes you just need a rally beer. If you're in extra innings and you're in about the 15th inning and you really need to get going again, that sometimes works for you."

There's obviously a difference between starting pitchers drinking during their off day and a catcher (who is involved in every pitch) knocking a few back in between extra innings. But really, the situation with Lester, Lackey, and Beckett is probably "worse". Not because of the drinking, but because of their physical and mental separation from the rest of the team. Wasn't Nomar Garciaparra's aloof behavior during games what got him run out of Boston? And he was in the dugout! At least Pierzynski's crew has a cool name that implies they care about winning the game. And is a beer or two really going to throw the guys off their games? After all, the Red Sox did shots of Jack Daniels before playing the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS- and that worked out just fine.

Either way it appears that alcohol consumption is the norm in Major League clubhouses- no matter what time it is.

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