Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The road to redemption starts with a healthy elbow. Lackey had reconstructive elbow surgery 15 months ago and enters spring training without restrictions.
“I had to stop throwing in the bullpen [between starts] because of the pain,” Lackey said. “I’ve had something wrong with my elbow for three years now.”
Lackey pitched in increasing discomfort for much of the 2011 season.
He said that the Red Sox medical staff — which has all since been replaced — misled him.
“When you get an MRI after the season and your doctor asks what the hell you were doing pitching, you get the idea that somebody wasn’t being honest with you,” he said. “But I took the ball. That is what you do.”
Globe: After bruising years, Lackey ready to take mound
Kudos to Peter Abraham for landing this interview, one that Lackey should have done a little sooner to give his side of the story on a whole bunch of topics, but hey better late than never. The article is definitely worth a read and so is the extra bases post on the things that didn't make the initial piece (link is below.)
One of the juiciest pieces of the whole article wasLackey claiming that the Red Sox medical staff misled him about his elbow back in 2011. The medical staff has been put through the wringer by a few players over the years and now takes another shot. While Lackey did complain about a whole list of things in 2011, his elbow wasn't really on his list of gripes.
What makes this more interesting is that the Sox medical staff was so initaly concerned with his elbow, they had to put the now well known 2015 option for veteran minimum if his missed any time with an elbow injury. Of course Lackey wanted to pitch but if the elbow was as bad as it was back in 2011, why did they continue to let him go out there? It surely wasn't helping the team as he was pitching as ugly as the scowl on his face after an error. Surely they wouldn't just continue to run him ragged JUST so the 2015 option would kick in... right?
This is bringing back too many bad memories, as we've all finally moved on from 2011 and the rebuilding process is in full swing. John Lackey is healthy for the first time as a member of the Red Sox and I have a feeling that he'll have a good year. Surely it will be his best one in Boston as he's the bar is set rather low, and the first step will be fans actually cheering for him when he gets taken out of a game. It's taking baby steps but not everyone is going to be as optimistic about Lackey as they still despise him as a person and a player.
We've rooted for some pretty awful human beings before, it just depends on if the person delivers on the field or not. If the Sox want to be emerge as a dark horse, they'll be needing him to do exactly that.
Rest of the Links: Globe: More from Lackey | It's a bridge year | Herald: Lucchino & co owning up to Sox plight | CSNNE: No quick fixes | ESPNBoston: Money well spent?