May 12, 2011

Lackey: "Everything In My Life Sucks Right Now"

Everything went wrong that could go wrong. It's pretty much the story of the whole damn year. ... Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.
These first sentence of that quote, from John Lackey's post-game press conference, refers to his dismal performance on the mound. (Among major league pitchers with at least four starts, only Nelson Figueroa of the Astros has a higher ERA (8.69) than Lackey's 8.01.) The consensus is that the other two refer to his personal life. In one spring training interview, he revealed that his wife has been receiving treatment for breast cancer. He has not spoken about that situation since then, and he did not do so last night.

Terry Francona let Lackey start the seventh inning with plenty of rope because the bullpen had been overworked. Alfredo Aceves had pitched in consecutive games, Matt Albers and Daniel Bard had both worked in three of the last four games, and Hideki Okajima threw a career-high 43 pitches on Monday. Tito wanted to conserve those guys, along with Jonathan Papelbon, for the Yankees series.

And so the Red Sox, once again on the verge of hitting .500 for the first time all season, lost two games. It's been a common refrain:
10-11 - lost next 2 games

14-15 - lost next 3 games

17-18 - lost next 2 games
Dustin Pedroia:
We're not going to end the season being (expletive) like we are. Guys are going to figure it out, I know that. I ain't going to hit .2-(expletive)-40. Youk's not going to hit .240. Carl's not going to hit .210. ... We'll figure it out. ... That's it.
Peter Gammons:
There's something funny about the passion of this team. I still don't see the offense. They haven't scored 10 runs in a game all year. I don't believe they’ve been ahead by four runs at the end of the fourth inning all year. So, games have really been struggles for them. They probably will click on all cylinders. But for the time being ... I really sense that, that there's a personality chip missing that's different than what they maintained last year when they overachieved.
In April 2010, Bartolo Colon underwent a procedure in which fat and bone marrow stem cells were injected into Colon's right elbow and shoulder to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff. Joseph R. Purita, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation, has used human growth hormone in such treatments in the past, but says he did not do so with Colon. "I just won't give it to these guys [athletes]. I don't need the stigma and that kind of reputation." MLB, which bans the use of HGH, is investigating.

Over at The Hardball Times, Paul Francis Sullivan suggests starting the season with the All-Star Game.

Also at THT, Chris Jaffe has a post on a player about whom Bill James wrote:
[He] was despised everywhere in the American League ... He splattered water coolers, including glass ones. He made obscene gestures at fans, carried on decades-long vendettas against selected reporters, sometimes didn't treat his family well, sometimes didn't hustle or even make any show of hustling in the field or on the bases, was obsessed with his own success, was contemptuous of coaches and some managers ...
Royals blogger Lee Judge: "I wrote that Wilson Betemit should have hung in there and gotten hit by an 81 mph slider with the bases loaded in a tie game." One thing led to another and Judge soon found himself in a batting cage about to get drilled by an 81 mph slider.


FenFan said...

Gammons: ...They haven't scored 10 runs in a game all year.

Really? I had to read that twice and then check Sure enough, they've scored nine runs twice but no single-game, double-digit run totals.

On the flip side, they have allowed 10 runs or more three times. Lackey started two of those games and Matsuzaka started the other.

FenFan said...

It's interesting how revered Williams has become in Boston -- deservedly so, in my mind -- and you wonder whether the next generation of sports writers will cast Manny Ramirez in the same light. For all the criticism that the latter received in Boston during his tenure, he was a gentleman compared to Williams.

Amy said...

Damn, now I have to feel badly for Lackey.

I wish there was some overall explanation for what is wrong with the team this season. Given the potential and all the predictions, why are they performing so poorly? Day to day there are always explanations: bad pitching one night, bad offense another, bad umping another, bad luck another. But with almost six weeks into the season, it just feels like more than that. I have no theories, but I wish someone did. If they knew what was wrong, maybe they could fix it.

Jere said...

And Lackey's wife also had a miscarriage a year ago, or so I read.

laura k said...

Things are tough all over. His wife lost a pregnancy a year ago? If that is affecting his pitching - still - how did he get to the majors in the first place? Life is full of ups and downs, a professional athlete (like the rest of us) has to be able to focus, regardless.

laura k said...

you wonder whether the next generation of sports writers will cast Manny Ramirez in the same light. For all the criticism that the latter received in Boston during his tenure, he was a gentleman compared to Williams.

So true. I have a hard time imagining Boston sportswriters giving this goofy Latino with dreads the same breaks they did for a white guy who's a war veteran... but I'd love to be wrong.

Kathryn said...

From Tomase:

From a heartlessly bottom-line perspective, however, he’s simply not getting the job done. Among pitchers with at least four starts this year, only Houston’s Nelson Figueroa has a higher ERA (8.69).

I know my life and work production would be affected if I were dealing with something like that. But, the "heartlessly bottom-line perspective" has to be taken. And, it is not as if this is new this year. I hated him last year too!