Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

John Lackey Revisited

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission

It wasn’t made public knowledge until well after the 2010 season was over, but for folks who follow the Red Sox closely it was easy to put things together and figure out that last season John Lackey was going through some personal issues. After such a public show of pointing out that Lackey’s wife, Jon Lester’s wife and Clay Buchholz’ wife were all pregnant, the only news we got about babies being born came from the Buchholz and Lester camps. So last year, I gave Lackey a long rope because I felt he was probably going through some lousy things and professional baseball player or not, when you’re dealing with emotions sometimes it is tough to do your job.

When the media did report on his wife’s miscarriage it was in a piece that also mentioned that Krista Lackey is now dealing with another sad hardship, breast cancer.

Last night, in the midst of all the tweets, status updates and blog posts about how awful John Lackey is and how he showed up Carl Crawford, the Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson tweeted this:

John Lackey: “Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.” Not hard to read between the lines there — Krista

Lackey isn’t the warmest, fuzziest of major league baseball players.  In the past, he has said or done things that indicate he was obviously not happy with teammates (when he was with the Angels.  Since he’s been with the Red Sox  he’s actually gone out of his way to NOT blame his teammates before his outward demonstration of frustration at Crawford last night) so I’m not saying that his personal issues are the only reason he’s pitched poorly and acted out on the field last night.  What I’m saying, and I said it last night after some reflection on what Brian MacPherson tweeted, is that mentioning his family issues isn’t so much an excuse for him as it is a reason for me to find it easy to not be so hard on him.  And I won’t be.  The guy, regardless of the size of his contract, and his wife have gone through an awful lot since he’s been in Boston and I can’t even imagine the emotional turmoil it causes.  So for now, Lackey gets a pass from me.

Last night was ugly but it isn’t something the Red Sox can’t overcome.  The top two teams in the AL East are tied for first while the remaining three teams are tied for last at 4.5 games behind.  If nothing else, this season is going to be an exciting one.

Congratulations to Kat who was one of four who got 100% on the Baseball Miscellany quiz and after a random drawing of the four names came out the winner of the book!  Well done, everyone!

A number of things made it difficult to get the Live Chat going last night…my plan is to Live Chat the Red Sox/Yankees game on Sunday night (8pm on ESPN).  I can’t remember the last time we did a Sunday night game live; it should be fun!  Hope folks can join us Sunday night.

Today is a day off for the Red Sox and tomorrow they meet the Yankees in the Bronx on Friday the 13th.  Somehow that seems fitting.


May 12, 2011 - Posted by | 2011 | , , , ,


  1. It’s certainly an unenviable situation for the Lackeys. If he himself were fighting cancer–or perhaps I should say, if the cancer he and his wife are fighting was in his body–he’d be on the DL, as Lester was, and we’d never see what they were going through. And obviously we don’t know what’s going on. But he does seem to be a stubborn person, and he does seem to tend to externalize responsibility for things that happen. I’d imagine he’s determined to keep playing, since it’s something he can control. But we know how slim the difference is between a AAA player and a major league player, and it seems like his ability to concentrate, to deal with setbacks on the mound, and even to see that some of the pitches he wanted last night were NOT strikes, have been affected enough by what’s going on at home to take his talent level out of the majors for right now.

    Comment by Kelly OConnor | May 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Lackey’s wife was diagnosed around Thanksgiving last year. It was detected early and her prognosis was excellent. I’m not downplaying his personal difficulties.

    But his outward reactions occurred three times in last night’s game. One was obvious, which was in response to Crawford misjudging the ball in left. There were two others. Lackey’s also expressed discontent with Blue; something he’s been pretty consistent with ever since coming to Boston, and the third was the line shot past Youkilis.

    There have been a lot of emotional players associated with the Red Sox over the years, and some of them were doozies. But Lackey always seems to me, wanting to divert attention towards other reasons than his own performance. Last night, when Tom Caron mentioned Lackey’s wife, and as the Tweet you posted reflects in unattractive ways excuse making.

    If the guy is wrapped up in his family problems, or God forbid, his wife’s efforts to beat cancer are taking a turn in the wrong direction, then the Sox management needs to consider this first, as should Lackey. Go ome, take care of your family, as this is where the real priority resides. However, if the ideas of his poor pitching and outbursts that appear directed at everybody other than himself, well, he is quickly wearing thin on this fan, and I’d hazard some of his teammates as well.

    Comment by Tru | May 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] that…..I recently saw this article about John Lackey.  It got me to thinking about how I would be at work if my wife had miscarried […]

    Pingback by Baseball players aren’t people « The ChampionRoss Fantasy Baseball Blog | May 16, 2011 | Reply

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