Jon Lester and Josh Beckett spoke candidly about the Boston Red Sox incredible September collapse on Sunday as they reported for spring training. Both pitchers took on plenty of blame for their poor play down the stretch, though they shied away from saying that they did anything off the field to take away from their focus. Instead, Lester said simply that he "stunk."
"I think the biggest thing is I'm ready to move on from it," Lester said. "I've learned from it. It's something I'm not proud of. The biggest thing is you learn from your mistakes. And I'm looking forward to starting new this year and being [a] leader. Just being a better teammate, being on the bench. The starting pitchers do have a lot of stuff to do during the games because the position players take priority."
Beckett did admit that he was distracted--his wife had his first child not long after the season ended--but would not point fingers at anything that happened in the clubhouse.
"Nobody was more disappointed than the players were. I didn't pitch well. That was the bottom line. My last two starts against Baltimore, they weren't good," said Beckett. "I'm not saying we didn't make mistakes because we did make mistakes in the clubhouse. But the biggest mistake we made was -- the biggest mistake I made was not pitching well against Baltimore. I was prepared to pitch every time I went out there. I just didn't execute pitches when I needed to."
In any case, both pitchers feel that their experiences should only help them going into the 2012 season. It is worth reading the full comments from both players, as it is clear that the finish to the 2011 season is definitely still on their minds.