Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looks Like Sox with be Lacking Lackey

There were a few immediate reactions from the news that John Lackey will miss the entire 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery. The first is the tongue-in-cheek one that on the first day on the job, Ben Cherington found an easy way to get rid of John Lackey. True genius. But, as always, there’s more to it than the clever headline.

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.


  1. See- the difference between Dice-K and John Lackey. Yes, I think they both played when injured. Dice-K- he felt bad about his performance. He apologized with those sad, sad eyes. When they said Tommy John, he said okay. John Lackey? Had an attitude about it. Denied (jackassishly) any and all rumors about needing Tommy John surgery (accused them of lying) and blamed everyone else in the dugout. Oh. And ate a lot of fried chicken. And then, after a Soxsplosion, he's like, oh, yeah, I will get Tommy John. Thanks, guys.

  2. What's the difference between denying all rumors of an injury, and that annoying "won't use an injury as an excuse mentality" people seem to have?

  3. Assuming he knew he was injured, hiding and denying the injury did the team no good. Instead of going out there with nothing, he could have stepped aside and given one of the minor leaguers a chance to try to put in quality innings. They couldn't have done much worse than Lackey. Then again, I am biased because I can't stand Lackey.

  4. I always think that's the way to go. But, when JD Drew does exactly that, people call him soft. When Curt Schilling "hides" his injury and loses Game 1, he's a hero.

    Plus, do we know that he was hiding it from the Sox? He could have just been hiding it from us.

  5. First, no I don't believe it's the Sox fault (at this point anyway) for either Dice-K or Lackluster's Tommy-John surgeries. Dice-K was a workhorse in Japan (as they all are) and didn't play well with the training staff when they attempted to change his routines to a more American style. Lackluster was the horse in Anahiem for years... remember their 2002 WS title? That was him. This year was a suckhole for him, all around. Wife with cancer who decided to divorce him and another p!$$ poor year on a huge contract with an elite team. If he was feeling hurt, he should have made it clear. If he was hurt and going against advice, that' between he and the Sox. Both pitchers should have something to prove come 2013. Is he owed an apology? No. Sulking, laying blame and taking part in 'Chicken-gate' even if you're hurt doesn't earn respect or an apology.


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