The Boston Red Sox offseason continued its silly tone with the team providing a full denial about drinking in the dugout.

Meanwhile, the team finally has its general manager situation ready to be clarified once the World Series is over. Theo Epstein goes to the Cubs, and Ben Cherington appears set to replace him in Boston.

But back to the real important news: We can rest assured that no one was sipping a Bud Lite in the dugout with his rally cap on.

The story on the dugout drinking originated from an anonymous source. Readers should always beware.

Among the most interesting parts of the denials were comments from Josh Beckett and John Lackey, admitting their behavior this season was not completely blame-free.

Beckett: “I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but (this latest accusation) has gone too far.”

Lackey: “There are things that went on this season that shouldn’t have happened, but this latest rumor is not true “

LACKEY MIGHT NOT be in Boston long. San Diego Tribune writer Bill Center reported that the Padres have had discussions about obtaining Lackey if Boston pays most of his remaining contract.

PITCHING COACH CURT Young likely saw the way things were going to turn out in Boston and is headed back to the Oakland A’s organization.

Pitching played a huge role in the September collapse of the Red Sox, so naturally Young was taking some of the blame. There was a good chance he wasn’t going to be retained.

THE SEARCH FOR A new pitching coach should include Mike Cather, the Sea Dogs’ pitching coach from 2007-09. Two of the pitchers he was credited with helping are Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard.

Cather, 40, has served as one of Boston’s advance scouts the past two years.

CARDINALS CLOSER Jason Motte saved the first game and lost the second in the World Series. When he wore the Sanford Mainers’ uniform in 2002, Motte was a catcher.

Motte, who was drafted in 2003 (19th round) by the Cardinals, didn’t become a pitcher until 2006.

According to Geoff Titherington, a Mainers board member, and the team’s superb historian, Motte’s hitting was “not his strong point. His arm was and he often threw to second from his knees.”

SEA DOGS MANAGER Kevin Boles didn’t spend much time in his Northport, Wash., home. Boles is nowhere near it, having flown to Australia last Sunday. Boles is managing the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League during his “offseason.”

Boles will have to introduce himself to all the players except one — Sydney outfielder Mitch Dening, who played in Portland this past season.

SEVERAL FORMER and present Sea Dogs are playing in other offseason leagues.

In the Arizona Fall League, catcher Dan Butler is batting .400 (8 for 20) with a home run. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has three home runs, batting .256 (10 for 39). Outfielder Alex Hassan is batting .226 (7 for 31).

Brock Huntzinger has a 6.75 ERA in Arizona but looked sharp in his last outing (three innings, one hit, three strikeouts). Caleb Clay has a 2.70 ERA in four outings.

In the Venezuela Winter League, Ryan Lavarnway is batting .333 (4 for 12) and outfielder Ronald Bermudez is batting .235 (4 for 17).

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases