After a dreadful 0-3 start to the 2012 baseball season, Boston Red Sox players are going public with the reasoning behind their lethargic first series.

What began as a scapegoat for last year’s collapse has become an excuse this season too, as the clubhouse ban of fried chicken is upsetting the ballplayers, and affecting their play on the diamond. In fact, some players wanted no part of this new clubhouse. Relief pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Bobby Jenks chose to depart from beantown, rather than go a season of being deprived their precious fried food.

“You can’t blame them for leaving,” said a Boston Red Sox player who asked not to be named. “You grow up eating fried chicken before, during, and after ballgames. And now, it’s all gone.”

While many baseball writers, commentators, and coaches point to pitching woes or lack of hitting as causes for the slow start, the men in uniform are having none of it.

“If we don’t get this taken care of, I can’t see how we can rebound,” said Dustin Pedroia.

Pitcher Josh Beckett agrees.

“They can’t deny me greasy drumsticks and then expect me to win 20 games,” he said. “That’s what lubricates my elbow.”