Is John Lackey owed an enormous apology? Perhaps he isn’t a huge waste of human flesh. Maybe he wasn’t a fairly warm body clogging a spot in the rotation only because his salary was so high. Maybe he wasn’t the worst starting pitcher in history. Maybe he was injured. Maybe he was gutsy. Maybe he went out there in did the best he could when the Sox had no other options. Maybe he should be revered. “Remember when Lackey went out there every fifth day even though he had nothing trying to will the team to victory?” The Sox had no other pitchers so he manned up and took the ball and did everything his arm would allow to give the Sox innings? He gave them a great stretch in July and August. But, by the end of the season the best he could muster just wasn’t enough. Maybe it was an amazing season considering he needed major reconstructive surgery when it was over. Was it actually one of the best starting pitching seasons?
This makes three Red Sox pitchers having Tommy John surgery this year. The second starter, joining Dice-K. Is that alarming? Is it something the Red Sox are doing…or not doing that is making all these pitchers blow out their arms? When a bunch of Cubs pitchers did that, they found blame somewhere. They were being overworked as youngsters. What about in this case? What about when you add in Ellsbury and Buchholz. Is the Red Sox medical staff on the ball? Is information being lost? Or, is it more front office spin conflicting with medical reports. Maybe the Sox knew about Buchholz internally all along, but just lied to the public. After all, Peter Gammons said Lackey would need Tommy John long ago. Was that a slip from the front office? What’s going on?
And, what goes on from here? Looks like the Sox will need two starters next season, assuming a normal Buchholz returns. Does that make it more likely for Wake to come back on the cheap? Does it make a run at Sabathia an actual possibility? (The Sox have to at least make a huge offer to drive the price up for the Yankees, right?) Is it time for all the young arms I’ve been hearing about for years to finally make the jump?
I can’t wait to find out.