John Lackey had another miserable outing, giving up five runs in just three and one-third innings yesterday, and the Red Sox offense could not get things going as they dropped their second straight game to the San Diego Padres, 5-1 at Fenway Park. Get all the links this morning at

Lackey was not chatty following the game, and that became the major story of the day, as some of the local reporters remain somewhat sympathetic about his plight, while outsiders such as the clueless and callous Peter King (Is there a less self-aware man on the planet?) chided Lackey for not explaining his struggles further simply because he has a huge contract.

Lackey has been awful this season. Just terrible, and his signing looks worse and worse every day. But if I was doing lousy at my job and my wife was undergoing cancer treatment, I’m not sure I would be too chatty with reporters, either. Criticize him for his performance on the field. Maybe he shouldn’t be pitching. But to do what King did and demand that Lackey explain himself to the media? Ridiculous.

Here are the local articles on Lackey, most of which are fair and objective:

John Lackey left at a loss to explain poor start – Rich Thompson, Boston Herald.

Lackey has tenuous grip – Nick Cafardo, Globe. 

Lackey isn’t winning the PR game either – Brian MacPherson, Projo.

Is there hope for John Lackey? – Alex Speier,

John Lackey gets sloppy in Fenway slop – Joe McDonald, ESPNBoston.

Wet and wild: Lackey can’t handle Padres –

The Red Sox are off tonight and head to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates.

Thomas wins Vezina – Kevin Paul Dupont has Tim Thomas winning his second Vezina trophy as well as completing a triple crown that only one other man has ever done, winning the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe, and the Vezina in the same season. More on Thomas from Stephen Harris | Joe Haggerty

Mark Messier’s leadership award goes to Zdeno Chara – Harris’ notebook has the Bruins captain also taking home some hardware last night.

Now’s the time to make a draft night trade – Tim Weisberg thinks that Danny Ainge needs to make a bold move tonight.

Celtics hope to ‘get lucky’ in Thursday’s draft – A. Sherrod Blakely says that the Celtics will need to take a chance on someone tonight. In his Mock Draft he thinks Jeremy Tyler is one to gamble on.

Celtics aren’t getting their hopes up – Peter May says that the Celtics do not have high expectations for tonight.

Celtics know their limits – Julian Benbow also says that the Celtics aren’t hoping for much help tonight.

Celtics just looking for a piece of the puzzle – Michael Muldoon has them just looking for a role player. He also touts Tyler.

Ainge filters Doc Rivers’ wants, needs – Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge needing to have selective hearing when it comes to his coach’s input. Bulpett also has his mock draft where he thinks the Celtics have their eye on BC guard Reggie Jackson.

Seven possible targets for Celtics with 25th pick in draft – Kevin McNamara looks at some possible Celtics picks.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has had eventful offseason – Jim Fenton looks at what the Celtics coach has been up to since the season ended.

The drafting of Len Bias: An oral history – Rather than once again going over the death of Bias, Kirk Minihane looks at how the Celtics got in position to draft him in the first place.

New proposal not hostile to players – Tom E Curran has a very good breakdown of where things stand in the NFL labor negotiations.

Watney Name Has Different Meaning In New England – Jeff Jacobs talks to cousins Nick and Heidi Watney about growing up together and both being in the sports business.

Touching them all – Lenny Megliola reports on a baseball league for disabled children co-founded by 98.5FM morning co-host Rich Shertenlieb.

25 thoughts on “Sox, Lackey All Wet At Fenway

  1. I was reading those Peter King tweets in semi-real time last night. King seems to get off on being an acerbic D-bag to anyone who is not an athlete or celebrity on Twitter. It pains me that he's adopted Boston as his home now as he's the penultimate self-involved media figure here. He believes his own hype, name drops, and carries himself like he's better than anyone. His comments on Lackey were completely insensitve, tactless, and juvenile. I'd love to kick his dog…


    1. "he's the penultimate self-involved media figure here."

      He's the second-to-last media figure here? That makes no sense.


  2. Bruce:
    It is very rare that I so completely disagree with you but on Lackey we could not be farther apart. I am sympathetic to his and his wife's plight. Last weekend I walked the ACS's Relay for Life and helped our team raise significant money for the American Cancer Society because cancer has effected and affected my family both directly and indirectly. Having said that Lackey makes his money because he is famous. He understands that his marketable skill is the ability to throw a baseball better than all but a select few human beings on the planet and because of the popularity of the sport he, in turn, can market that skill for a great deal of money. In doing so he made a social contract with the team that hires him. He understands that in exchange for $80 mill that his performances are news events, covered by the different media in the city where he performs. He is not pitching for fun in a sandlot. He is part of an organization that sells tickets and broadcast rights to his performances. That people "purchase" the right to watch him do his job on a daily basis. His rights to privacy are different than an average citizen because he gave them up when he accepted the huge dollars he is paid to be a public figure.

    As such, I think you are wrong for defending his privacy when he is criticized for not speaking about his performance. I think it is both his duty and obligation as part of the social contract he agreed to because he is a professional baseball player. He could have chosen an anonymous job and played baseball as a hobby. He didn't. Other people spend their money to purchase the product he is selling. It is no different than going to a restaurant and buying a steak. If it is not cooked to your satisfaction you have a right to say so to the staff and get an explanation for the failed service. His pitching is not to the satisfaction of the paying public. As such we have every right to an explanation. In his case that explanation might be more emotional, my wife's cancer treatment is weighing heavily on me, or it might not be because he has a tired elbow. But we have a right to it. If he is not forth coming then the media has a right to report that. If he gets acrimonious towards the media and public that also is a fair story. "Celebrities" want it both ways. They want to make money in the fame industry and be presented positively, however when they do something negative they do not want it to effect their livelihood or their reputation. In which case I suggest they should choose a more anonymous occupation.

    Lastly, Lackey knew about the Boston media's microscope and he still signed here. He knew what his obligations would be and he still signed here. I have great sympathy and empathy for what he and his wife are going through personally. But as it effects his professional obligation we have every right to an explanation. Peter King's clumsiness/ pompousness not withstanding, Lackey's silence is unacceptable.


      1. If you get served undercooked meat in a restaurant it is not on the menu that you have the right to complain…yet I am sure we all would. We are the consumer of the "fame" product. The seller of that product has an obligation to explain why we are not getting our money's worth. If you want to accept silence shame on you. I do have an option…I can stop going to games or watching them…I understand that…but I think the ownership of the Sox would prefer I express my complaint and address it rather than loose me as a customer.


    1. "Social contract?" "His rights to privacy are different?" Yes, there is a media microscope here, but I don't think he's under any obligation to explain his sucking. We already know why that's happening anyway. How would you benefit as a fan to hear him say "I'm sucking because me wife is sick?" His only obligation is to perform to the best of his abilities.


      1. This is where we disagree. I think he is obligated to say "I am sucking because of personal reasons. I am not focused 100% on my job. I am not performing commensurate with what I am being paid. My employer is well aware of the issues I am facing. So now let me politely answer all of your questions about my performance today to the best of my ability…"


        1. Acting like you, the "paying" customer are owed something is what makes your opinions the worst of the worst. John Lackey doesn't owe you a damn thing. Get over yourself.


          1. You have got to be kidding me. The paying customer is OWED something. It is what we pay for. If you don't think the people who make money in the fame business don't owe you anything….great you are the sucker PT Barnum described to the tee. Lackey is paid millions because we pay to support his lifestyle and vocation. We have every right to ask why he is not performing as advertised. Because we do not have access…our surrogate the media…asks those questions for us.


          2. If you pay for a ticket (which given the tone of your comments, I suspect you rarely do) you're owed a game's worth of entertainment. You don't get to demand answers from the manager as to why he didn't hit and run or from the pitcher to explain why he threw that pitch on an 0-2 count.

            You're confusing rights with your self importance.


          3. You would be wrong, lets try not to make assumptions about people who post here or make arguments personal. I held Patriots season tickets for 13 years and Sox tickets for 20 years. I have given them both up recently because my wife and kids no longer want to go to games.

            The only one self important in this conversation is the athlete who makes his money being famous yet refuses to treat the media/fans with respect by answering the simple question "Why did you suck tonight" politely and honestly. He has no problem basking in glory and accepting greater paychecks when things go great…he is happy to say I want to thank god for my talent and the fans for all their love…he will be glad to answer what pitch he threw in the 7th inning of his perfect game to get batting champ on the opposing team out…but when things go bad then in your world he has a right clam up and say nothing…to treat those who pay to go see him pitch like they are contemptible because they have the audacity to demand answers and hold him accountable. It borders false advertising and as such we have every right as those purchasing the entertainment to get a legitimate explanation as to why he is sucking. We are ot getting what we were sold.


          4. Speaking of assumptions, you're certainly making a lot of them about athletes there. How do you know they have no problem basking in glory? Maybe they just want to be left alone win or lose? That's not OK?

            He's a baseball player because that's what he's good at. He's not a baseball player because he gets to be famous. It doesn't work that way – you can't just choose to be a professional athlete, you have to, you know, be talented. Some people have talent for fixing cars or making music or writing software, he has the ability to pitch.

            And because of that and that fact that goobers all around glorify and deify athletes, you're holding him to some mythical standard of conduct?


          5. Yes. Somewhere along the line pitching a baseball went from a hobby, to an occupation, to lottery winner. He chooses to pitch a baseball as his vocation…I accept that he has the talent to do it. He accepted $80 mill for his service. Implicit in that contract is that he needs to help promote the sport, and not suck. He is doing neither. I think the fans who pay for the deification have every right to question why and demand answers.


          6. And I think I have the right to expect my fellow "fans" to possess at least a modicum of ability for introspection and perspective.

            But such is the world we live in, where everyone is the most important person in the world.


          7. What you pay for is the seat you're sitting in. The rest of your expectations say more about you than they say about John Lackey.


    2. Yes, you have a "right" to anything you want because you subscribe to NESN and bought a Red Sox nation card.

      Your post and King's existence are the worst of what the sports world is all about in a nutshell.


      1. Nah…Basketball is the worst about what the sports world is all about. My post supporting King says I want better customer service. MLB mandates the starting pitcher talk about his performance to the Press after the game. his employer should demand more than what we, the paying public, are getting. King was right. Lackey should grow up and give better explanations…either that or take time off until he is ready to do it.


    3. I respect your opinion, and I sympathise with your family's issues with cancer.

      That said, I have long thought that what's required for a player to do his job is that he do whatever sports-related thing he needs to. (OK, Lackey did it badly, but that's another issue.)

      I really do think the media stuff /should not/ be part of the job. (Obviously, in a lot of instances like the Super Bowl and other areas, it has become required, but I'm talking in my own perfect world.) If a player chooses to talk about stuff, great, but it's perfectly possible to write an article about the game (or about Lackey's performance) without talking to and/or getting extensive quotes from Lackey about it. And in my world, players talking to the media should be an extra. Or, really, in my world, it should be somewhat expected for players to talk, but exceptions would be accepted. Because I think requiring them to be "on" 24/7 leads to the culture of fame we already have (which in my mind is a destructive influence to both players and fans), and I don't think institutionalizing that culture is a good idea.

      As for King, he's not very good at writing briefly. And it comes off as entitled because he can't expand well.


  3. A few items:

    1) A terrific article on Rich Shertenlieb's Miracle League by Lenny Megliola. A wonderful organization that gives kids a chance to play ball that normally would not be able to. Megliola is still one of the more underrated writers in Boston. What was a little strange is Megliola did not mention that Shertenlieb works for 98.5. My guess is because Megliola still works for WEEI.

    2) If Kirk Minihane could ever behave on the radio as well as he writes, I would listen to his show. His timeline type of article on the drafting of Len Bias was thorough and fascinating. You can actually feel the drama of the time leading up to the draft.

    3) Alex Speier continues his yeoman's work at WEEI. His article on John Lackey is great. It says that all is not completely lost with Lackey and that he can turn it around. He used Kevin Millwood circa 2007 and 2008 as an example. The similarities are pretty wild. He also mentioned since Lackey's cortisone shot, his strikeouts have increased. He thinks Lackey's main issue lies between the ears and if he can clear that up we could see significant improvement.

    4) One major issue I had with both the WEEI articles from Speier and Minihane is the poor editing done on both stories. I do not mean to be the grammar police. I know I make my share of mistakes, but it is a hindrance when in the middle of a sentence I have to reread what the writer is trying to convey.

    5) Bruce, when you say Peter King is "less self-aware" are you saying that he does not know about what is going on in Lackey's personal life? If that's the case, then shame on King who now lives in the Boston area. You would think he has some clue as to what is going. I normally enjoy King and his MMQB articles for SI, but what makes him infuriating at times is his belief that athletes and coaches need to answer question after question on why they fail or succeed. King was the most outspoken when Bill Belichick would not stand up at a podium and answer every question on spygate. My question is what would it have accomplished? Would the media have been satisfied? Probably not. Would they feel that more questions needed answering? Probably. What Belichick did was nip it in the bud and moved on. As far as Lackey goes, you have a guy with a bum elbow that's throwing poorly. What more could be added?


    1. You stole my thunder about King vis a vis Spygate.

      He got all self-righteous about it once BB treated that situation the same way he treated every media situation–with pursed lips. Besides, the media, practically to a man, called BB a "liar" every time, after the 2007 season, that he went public and tried to explain his side of the story (not that he did it all that often, but the Armen Ketayen interview on the CBS Evening News was one example–they all called him a liar anyway, King included, because the media, basically, hate BB and will never give him the benefit of the doubt on anything).

      The fact that he had Brett Favre on speed dial and a text message basis for the last several years tells you all you need to know about King IMO.


      1. You are right on about Favre and King. I bet some of those texts had pictures too.


      2. Now thanks to Bruce's Sports Business Nation article we can see just how heartless King really is. The last tweet Bruce shows is simply appalling. King compares a coming back from a vacation to having to deal with a spouse with cancer. I do not have the words that describes how stupid that sounds.


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