Per (our bold):

When Dave Page was told Tuesday that he was fired as the strength and conditioning for the Boston Red Sox, he said it felt like he was being scapegoated for the players' fitness woes.

"The bottom line is we weren't ready to play physically, fundamentally or mentally the way we should have been, like a championship team should have been," Page said during a nearly 20-minute interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Friday afternoon.

Page said that the perception there were players on this Red Sox team that weren't focused on maintaining their conditioning, particularly in September, was a correct one. The Red Sox went 7-20 in September to slide out of the playoff race.

Page said there were four players in particular -- one position player, one starting pitcher and two relievers -- whose fitness was deemed unsatisfactory at the end of the season.

"We got to the end of the year and we had four guys that we thought didn't make it to that part of the season where we hoped they would be," said Page, who declined to identify the players.

Which is surprising, since chicken and beer are the staples of any high-performance diet.

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