Lester, Beckett: Fans should be mad

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitchers Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, meeting separately with reporters here Sunday, expressed varying degrees of responsibility for the team’s collapse last September but agreed that the fans’ anger was understandable.

“They should be [angry],’’ Lester said Sunday morning, reporting day for Red Sox pitchers and catchers. “We didn’t play very good. With all the other stuff added on top of that, it’s obviously going to make it worse. I don’t blame them for being mad. We didn’t play good. We stunk. I stunk. I take complete responsibility for it.

“With that being said, we’ve all learned from it. We’ve all moved on. I’m sure that’s going to be a big theme in spring training for a lot of guys. We’re moving on and we’re looking forward to 2012. I think that desire [is there] to compete and really win and show the fans that we do actually care. I think a lot of fans don’t think we care and that we’re a bunch of babies, but we do care. We want to win and we want to get back into the playoffs and hopefully bring a World Series back to this town again and show these fans that we are a good team.”

Beckett admitted to some “lapses in judgment” regarding his conduct in the Sox clubhouse last season and said he was “distracted.”

“We made mistakes in the clubhouse, and that’s about as far as I’ll go talking about the clubhouse," he said.

But he also insisted there was never a time he wasn’t ready to pitch. When asked if it was fair to be singled out for being out of shape at the end of the season, he said: “I put on a little bit of weight. I don’t have a reason for it, but it happened. I’m looking forward to going forward from here."

Beckett did acknowledge that the Red Sox must win back the trust of their fan base.

“Yeah, absolutely. I think we need to earn that trust back," he said. “They’re the best fans in baseball. There are some good, some bad, everything like that, but they’re the best fans in baseball. I definitely think we need to earn that trust back. The way we have to do that is go about our business the way we have in previous years and earn it back and win ballgames. That’s probably going to be the best way."

For more on the Beckett and Lester comments, CLICK HERE.

For transcripts including video, CLICK HERE FOR BECKETT and CLICK HERE FOR LESTER.