Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey got into hot water today after saying the beer and chicken controversy surrounding the team was overblown and retarded.

Guys having a beer after their start has been going on for the last 100 years,'' Lackey said in an interview printed Tuesday in the Boston Globe. This is retarded. It's not like we were sitting up there doing it every night. It's not even close to what people think.''

Lackey and fellow starting pitchers John Lester and John Beckett were chewed out over playing video games, drinking beer and eating fried chicken during games where they weren't on the mound.

The trio's behavior was damaging against the backdrop of Boston's epic collapse last season when the Red Sox lost 18 of their last 24 games and missed out on the playoffs. Longtime manager Terry Francona was fired after the season.

Red Sox and baseball fans in general took to Twitter on Tuesday to speak out against Lackey's choice of words to describe the beer and chicken controversy.

As a Sox fan I'm disappointed, tweeted @The JonathanG.

Add John Lackey to the growing list of Red Sox personnel I can't root for, said @JPHuber.

Twitter user John Keller said Lackey continues to be a moron for the way he described the controversy.

Didn't think I can hate John Lackey any more, but there we go!, said @nyybrandonc

Way to elevate the rhetoric, opined @iracane.

User @ckbryl thought Lackey's use of retarded is a great opportunity for MLB to set an example of what is acceptable and what is not.

Lackey is expected to miss the upcoming baseball season after having Tommy John Surgery.

He signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox in 2011 after pitching eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.