Owners cite nutrition, conditioning concern

An offseason priority for the Red Sox is determining why the club continues to break down physically, according to Red Sox majority owner John W. Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino.

"We began to wonder why is this team breaking down. ... This is the third time in six years a great team couldn't make it through a 162-game season physically,'' Henry said, speaking on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show, which was simulcast on NESN.

Henry, asked about the lack of conditioning by Sox pitchers, said they were "adamant" that they had maintained their workout programs.

"Pitchers did their work, did their cardiovascular, shoulder exercises and did their leg work. They don't shirk those responsibilities,'' Henry said.

The owner cited nutrition as a concern, however, and referenced some of the research done in that area by his Liverpool soccer team.

"Nutritional issues? Yes, I believe there were,'' he said.

The owners were asked about the reports that Sox starting pitchers were drinking beer in the clubhouse during games in which they were not starting.

The drinking issue is "not something we think should be tolerated," Lucchino said, adding that the team was still "digging to find out how pervasive it was."

When radio host Callahan cited Josh Beckett as an example of an out-of-shape pitcher, Lucchino demurred, saying I "take exception to singling out one individual.''