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John Lackey doesn’t think Alex Rodriguez should be playing baseball

Aug 16, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

John Lackey AP

Red Sox starter John Lackey doesn’t think Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez should be allowed to play baseball while he appeals his 211-game suspension, which runs through the end of the 2014 season. Via the Boston Globe:

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey said on Thursday. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right . . . It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”

Lackey said the topic comes up frequently in the Red Sox clubhouse, especially among the pitchers.

“Sure, we talk about it,” he said. “But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings.

“He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie, and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him.”

The problem, of course, is that Rodriguez’s right to appeal was collectively bargained. Lackey may not like Rodriguez and Rodriguez may be 100 percent guilty, but the players have been afforded the right to appeal. If Lackey happened to be the accused, I’m sure he would want to exercise his collectively-bargained right. Assuming that is the case it is hypocritical of Lackey to criticize Rodriguez for appealing, and any Major Leaguer who enjoys the benefits provided to them by the union should not be siding with Lackey on this issue.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was more level-headed about the situation:

As was Yankees manager Joe Girardi:

  1. yournuts - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Who really cares what John Lackey thinks? He should just STFU and keep his stupid opinion to himself.

    • apkyletexas - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      Personally, I believe that every single one of the 207 homeruns Lackey has given up in his career was only because the batter was a stinking PED-using cheater. If not for them, he would probably have a career 0.00 ERA.

      Poor Lackey. Such a victim.

    • tk41 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Oddly enough, many sox fans think Lackey shouldn’t be playing baseball either.

  2. sbmcintosh36 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Hey Mr Lackey I’m sure the Sawx want something back from your as well like a few million dollars check that its more than a few..this is the last guy that should be talking about another player even if it’s a POS like Ahole

  3. banger60 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    in some unions lackey would be getting his ass kicked for talking crap about other members, ex., iron workers, teamsters etc.

    • weaselpuppy - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      because you always protect scumbag cheater liars if you have a “code”.

      • ezthinking - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        No, cause he’s shitty on the rights his teammates routinely use…kind of like Ortiz appealing the fine for crushing the phone in Baltimore. It’s his right even though we all saw him do it.

        Is Lackey calling him out?

      • chill1184 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        Never heard of the “Blue Line” have you?

    • davemvh - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      except,he isnt in the “iron workers,plumbers ” union sport, And anyone who protects a cheater,is a POS,just like the cheater.

    • badintent - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      you’re talking about some unions that really do work like iron workers, some other unions that need 10 guys to screw in a light blub and then there’s the baseball union where adults get paid to play a children’s game.MLB should have drawn a line at say 50 games automatic suspension , no appeal, then had some stop orders as the offense grew in the number of games. Bud missed the boat.That’s our Bud.He makes Bettman look like a genius.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:00 AM

        badintent -You didn’t go far enough. You said…adults get paid to play a children’s game. If the are adults and caught cheating, they should not be suspended, they are adults. They don’t have to be reminded every day that they have to act like adults and when they cheat, they should be banned for life. Judge Landis did that with the black sox. Time to do it again with every cheat in baseball. Then in 2-3 years when a couple of hundred players get banned for life, the game will be clean again.

      • badintent - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        amen brother.

  4. jjschiller - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Cough, cough, YOUR DH, cough, cough.

    • davemvh - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      cough cough dumbass,WHERE is your proof,cough cough .

      • biasedhomer - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        I think he’s talking about the phone booth incident and why Ortiz is appealing even though it seems clear that he is destroying the phone intentionally.

      • vcfire - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        No he’s talking about the red sox juicer DH

  5. Bob Loblaw - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    What Lackey is saying is that A-Rod is definitely guilty of something, if you believe the head of the MLBPA, who said if A-Rod was offered a lesser number of games suspension he would have advised him to take the suspension. Those aren’t the words of someone who thinks a-rod is innocent of all charges. Where was the outrage at Werner?

  6. mybrunoblog - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Lackey is almost doing the impossible. Making people defend Arod. Gee, at this rate he’ll almost be a sympathetic figure by the end of the weeknd

  7. tfbuckfutter - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    You know who I think SHOULD be playing baseball?

    The fucking Red Sox.

    Do you assholes even remember HOW to play?

  8. jdillydawg - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Most people think A-rod shouldn’t be playing. But the irony here is that when players talk about how they got used by those players, they just come off sounding like whiners. I find it hard to believe that most of these “innocent” players had no idea their peers were juicing during the steroid glory days.

    Lackey may be right, but he just sounds like a complainer.

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      But Lackey WAS used. Every time A-Rod came up to bat, and performed well against Lackey specifically, he was being cheated.

      Of course, Troy Glaus hit 30 HRs in Lackey’s rookie season, so….maybe it balances out and rewriting the past from that angle isn’t going to be worth the effort.

      • jdillydawg - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        So was everyone else. Was every pitcher hammered by A-Rod during that time? I bet if you look, there were a few pitchers who A-Rod did poorly against. This is why Lackey looks like a whiner.

      • tfbuckfutter - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        Hmm….I hadn’t really thought of that.

        But that’s probably because I don’t think we’re having the same conversation.

  9. 13arod - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Lackey needs to learn to keep his mouth shut

  10. Kevin S. - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Hey Lackey, why don’t you go divorce your cancer-stricken wife some more?

  11. seserdr1975 - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    As a Cub fan, I have always had respect for Joe Girardi, until now. Rodriguez, may have a right to try to clear his name, fight the suspension, do whatever he wants to do. Girardi has no obligation to put that locker room and baseball field cancer on the field. He should just send him home. Let him get his undeserved millions, but keep him off the field until all this settled. Set the right example.

    • ezthinking - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      The front office put him the roster. He’s better than any other 3B on the team. They have been winning more since he got back. The Cubs suck ass and are happy to do it since their dumbass fans come to the games even though they have sucked since 2008.

      • ditto65 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM


      • ezthinking - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        2008 is the last season the Cubs made the playoffs.

        Gave them the benefit of the doubt.

    • yournuts - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:56 AM

      It seems to me that the Yanks are playing much better with Arod in the lineup than without him. At least that is what the record says.

  12. davemvh - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    ANYONE who thinks AROD is innocent,is an idiot.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      I don’t think A-Rod is innocent but you can’t stop him from being innocent until he is proven guilty. That’s the whole point.

  13. righthandofjustice - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    “I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey said on Thursday. “How is he still playing? He obviously did SOMETHING and he’s playing. I’M NOT SURE that’s right . . . It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”

    You can’t stop anybody from playing baseball for doing SOMETHING you can’t even spell out. And nobody can take you seriously even you said you are NOT SURE if that’s right.

  14. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I wonder how Lackey feels about playing with Ortiz? After all he did fail a drug test and years ago when that did happen he promised everyone he was going to find out why and get back to us……still waiting….

  15. chip56 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    If this is how the players feel that’s fine. Let them put their money where their mouths are and re-open CBA negotiations this winter and give up their right to appeal suspensions and agree to harsher penalties up to and including the voiding of contracts or 2 or 3 year suspensions for a first steroid violation.

  16. pisano - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Let’s call a spade a spade here, how popular do you think Lackey is with not only his teammates, but the rest of the players on other teams for leaving his wife as she is battling cancer. That my friends is what you call a Prince of Princes. This reformed drunk should keep his mouth shut, and not get involved with his drug crap, as he has enough problems of his own. By the way, hopefully the Yankees will kick the hell out of him tomorrow.

  17. kappy32 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I think A-Roid is being railroaded here & having an example made out of him to a point that I actually feel bad for the guy, only a little though. I believe that what Ryan Braun has done the past couple years has been far & above worse than what Alex has done. Alex hasn’t taken down anyone but himself; he’s a scumbag & a cheat, but the only damage he has done has been to his personal image & legacy. Braun, on the other hand, took down an innocent man & forced him to lose his livelihood all because Braun refused to tell the truth. Braun stood at a podium, news outlets across the country in attendance, and lied to each & every person watching that day. He thought he was smarter & better than anyone & everyone alive. A-Roid admitted he took PEDs, whether he was truthful then is up for debate, but he admitted use when his anonymity was broken the first time. A-Roid hasn’t lied to us this time around – he hasn’t admitted or denied the allegations against him thus far. He took steroids then tried to buy the Biogenesis documents from Boesch. Didn’t MLB purchase the documents from Boesch? I guess they’re mad because Alex thought of it first. Braun can keep his rumored apology; it is hollow & meaningless. I don’t believe he is sorry for anything other than getting caught & if he had the chance to take someone else down with him again to get out of this one, I don’t doubt for a second that he would walk all over & trample the reputation of his own mother to save his ass.

    As for Lackey’s comments, I believe you are interpreting them incorrectly. Based upon what Lackey said, I don’t believe that he was getting on Alex for appealing the suspension, rather I believe that he is angry that Alex is still eligible to play while the appeal process. Those are two completely different things there & frankly, I agree with Lackey, I don’t feel that a player appealing a drug suspension should be eligible while his appeal is pending. I understand the rationale behind the eligibility provision in the CBA & JDA – if a suspension is overturned then the player is irreparably harmed with the time he missed – however, anyone can rationalize anything, that doesn’t make it right though. Since the JDA went into affect, there have been probably 100 suspensions of players on a team’s 40-man roster & there has only been one instance where a suspension has been reduced or overturned – Braun’s original 50-game ban was overturned on a technicality. 1 successful appeal out of 100 is simple math, that is 1%. Therefore, the likelihood that a player would be irreparably harmed by being forced to sit out while their appeal is pending is very slim. When a murderer appeals his conviction to a higher court is he set free while the appeal is pending? No, and statistically there is a greater chance of a wrongful conviction than there is a wrongful JDA suspension. The whole due process argument doesn’t hold water either. The players are sacrificing their due process rights when it comes to a JDA suspension by collectively bargaining for the current process. If due process were a real concern for the MLBPA then they should require MLB to have a hearing before a Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) & set forth the evidence they have showing the player breached the JDA. If the ALJ feels that MLB has satisfied their burden of proof, the ALJ should then implement a sentence of suspension against the player, the length of which is proscribed in the CBA & JDA. Due Process Rights solved. Finally, Girardi’s rebuttal that Lackey should “negotiate” is stupid as well. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of members represented by the MLBPA. The voice of a singular player with a minority point of view would hold no weight & would probably not even be mentioned in negotiations. However, I have a strong feeling that Lackey is not alone here & his sentiment of a JDA suspension taking affect immediately & not stayed during the appeals process may very well be a majority position amongst the players. I would not be surprised to see there be a change the next time the CBA negotiations come up.

    • djpostl - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      “As for Lackey’s comments, I believe you are interpreting them incorrectly. Based upon what Lackey said, I don’t believe that he was getting on Alex for appealing the suspension, rather I believe that he is angry that Alex is still eligible to play while the appeal process. Those are two completely different things there & frankly, I agree with Lackey, I don’t feel that a player appealing a drug suspension should be eligible while his appeal is pending.”

      Then fucking negotiate a new CBA. I guarantee if Lackey was supened for throwing at a batter he’d feel differently as he played pending the appeal process.

  18. djpostl - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    In related news the majority of Red Sox fans think Lackey shouldn’t have cashed a single pay check last season…yet he did.

  19. louhudson23 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    There appears to be no indication that A-Rod is innocent…the appeal is based on the length of the suspension….a 50 game suspension is guaranteed ,so there is no reason to not begin it immediately and the appeals process can,in the meantime,proceed to determine the full length….I think this is the basis for the negative comments from players concerning his current eligibility…the appeal and judgement should be prioritized and all efforts(despite the declarations of impossibility) made to complete the process in the fifty game time frame….and if in the meantime,the mean person who held a gun to these players head and made them do these things should be searched for with all determination….till then…..

  20. mlbbal52 - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    I guess all the other guys that have been hammering him are on stuff too and he wants stuff back from them…

  21. officialgame - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Latest news reported by 60 Minutes is A-Turd’s camp leaked the last round of cheaters to MLB including Ryan Braun. If there is a bigger scum bag in sports this side Lance Armstrong I haven’t found one. The people who keep defending these actions by a generation of cheaters and who compare the use of steroids to greenies live life without a sense of morals or fairness!

    • dcarroll73 - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      “officialgame”, your logic didn’t make it the required number of innings. There is plenty of evidence that greenies enhance performance more than steroids, not to mention people ignoring the legitimate healthcare use of steroids to promote healing. But don’t let facts get in the way of your morality play. I will just go back to living “life without a sense of morals or fairness” (you don’t paint with too broad a brush, do you?)

  22. bronxsanman - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Maybe lackey should look a few lockers down to mr.ortiz before criticizing anyone. Oh right,big papi is innocent. Lol

  23. phillysteak24 - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    John Lackey has no room to talk, maybe he should STFU and remind himself that he left his wife as she was going through cancer. So who’s the real villain here?

  24. dakotaandotter - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    lackey should do his talking on the field. either shut up or drill arod the next time you face him.

  25. banger60 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    players union and owners voted on this process, SPORT, so everyone should stfu, meaning Lackey and let the process play out.

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