Sep 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey (41) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Lackey Has Chance For True Redemption

Since coming to this site to write about all things Red Sox, criticism directed toward John Lackey has become one of my favorite topics.

Lackey rebounded from Tommy John surgery to regain his previous form as a top of the rotation starter this season, yet it is still not enough for some fans.  They are still waiting for Lackey to redeem himself after taking a big free agent contract and getting injured.  I still don’t get it.

It seems like no matter what the guy does it’s not enough for those Red Sox fans forever intent on holding his five year, $85 million contract against him.

They look at his 10-13 record, despite a 3.52 ERA, and want to see more.  They still talk about the chicken and beer fiasco and how he’s a bad clubhouse influence despite reports to the contrary.

But Lackey will have a  chance today in Game 2 of the ALDS to finally shut the critics up for good.  Beat the Rays and ace lefty David Price today and the Red Sox will take a commanding 2-0 series lead.  If that doesn’t redeem him in the eyes of his critics, what will?

If Lackey helps put the Sox up 2-0 today and sends the Rays to the brink of elimination, then the many holdouts on the anti-Lackey train should finally admit that when healthy, this guy is a very good pitcher.

And even if he doesn’t win, they should still realize that the Sox wouldn’t be where they are today without the contributions Lackey has made this season.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox John Lackey

  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    Lackey’s comments to the local media in his first 2 yrs didn’t exactly endear him to the hometown faithful…he didn’t help himself further with his performance (which we now know was at least in part due to injury and nasty personal problems) I have always thought he was a slightly above average pitcher…a solid #3. His contract was a little over the top IMO, but has never been the reason for my criticism, but his performance…That said, it’s been a pleasure to watch a renewed and seemingly re-focused version of Lackey…he’s the healthiest and most fit that he’s ever been, and the product reflects it..I saw a graphic the other day that says it all for Lackey’s 2013 campaign…If he had Max Scherzer’s run support, he’d have been 16-4….so in the end, I agree that he’s an asset and has turned his career around, but he has to bear some of the criticism, not because of his paycheck, but his behavior.

    • Rick M

      Lackey showed up in great physical shape this season. Where was that the other years? Seems he took a few seasons off. At least he is contributing and, hopefully, will stay in reasonable shape.

    • Paul Prims

      I give him a slight pass about his comments to the media the first two years. He was going through a divorce and it was a new media relationship that he did not fully understand. To me performance is what matters. Now that he’s healthy he is a solid #3

      • Michael Macaulay-Birks

        yeah, the divorce is what I was referring to when I said “nasty personal problems”….what his wife did to him was despicable

        • Paul Prims

          Actually Lackey wanted the divorce and that is one reason why he was castigated by the press because his wife was battling cancer at the time. But that’s not a reason for a fan base to hate him. He didn’t produce and that was fair. But we now know he was hurt then so he deserves a clean slate.