John Lackey: Alex Rodriguez should not be playing
The Boston Red Sox are beginning a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Friday night at Fenway Park. John Lackey is scheduled to pitch for Boston on Saturday, but he is not looking forward to facing Alex Rodriguez. It’s not that he fears the Yankees slugger — he just doesn’t think he deserves to be playing in the wake of a 211-game suspension.
“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Boston Globe on Thursday, via ESPNBoston.com. “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.”
Like any other player, A-Rod is entitled to an appeal. He chose not to accept his suspension like the other 12 players who were involved with Biogenesis, which was his right under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players like this Tampa Bay Rays slugger feel that the appeal process should be quicker, which is a legitimate gripe.
Lackey also admitted Rodriguez has been a topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse.
“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.”
I can see both sides of the argument. You like to stick with the “innocent until proven guilty” thing as much as possible, but Rodriguez is directly affecting the outcome of games as long as he plays. Should he be found guilty and once again outed as a performance-enhancing drug user, plenty of people will feel cheated. The quicker the matter is resolved, the better off everyone will be. Just don’t count on a resolution coming before the end of the season.