Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey Reportedly Drank Beer, Played Video Games During Red Sox Games

Shortly after the Red Sox completed their historic collapse on the final day of the season, the reports of clubhouse problems emerged. Some Red Sox pitchers were accused of drinking beer during games. Adrian Gonzalez complained about the team’s arduous schedule. David Ortiz said some players probably didn’t care about the team losing. Apparently those were just a taste of the overall problems going on in Boston.

The Boston Globe published a lengthy report early Wednesday morning that detailed many of the team’s issues.

The Globe says pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey drank beer, played video games, and ate fried chicken during games. While the rest of their teammates were working hard to win games, these guys reportedly were bro’ing out like a bunch of frat boys on spring break. It must be noted that the practice reportedly began in 2010. The team experienced some success despite the pitchers’ careless ways, but it appeared to have burned them late in the year. Beckett managed to have a good season this year, but Lackey was awful again, and Lester struggled in September. They trio also reportedly cut down on their exercise routines this year.

These players clearly weren’t working as hard as they could be, and it makes us wonder how good they could be if they trained the way professional athletes should. It also explains owner John Henry’s “nutritional issues” euphemism regarding the team.

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John Lackey Reportedly Divorcing Wife Battling Cancer, Upset Over Pre-Game Text

John Lackey is having the worst season of any starting pitcher in baseball, and by far the worst season of his career. In May, the former Angels ace said “everything in my life sucks right now.” Not only was he struggling on the mound, but more importantly, his wife was battling breast cancer.

Several months later, Lackey’s pitching has hardly improved, and his personal problems appear to have worsened. TMZ reports that Lackey filed for divorce from his wife on August 30th.

The two were married in November, 2008, and his wife, Krista, reportedly underwent a double masectomy and has had chemotherapy treatments this year.

Lackey gave up four runs to the Yankees Sunday night over six innings, taking a no decision. It was his second-best start of the month and only the second time the Red Sox have won one of his starts in September.

Given the nature of what’s been reported, Lackey is going to end up looking like an awful human being for leaving his wife while she’s undergoing cancer treatment. We don’t know all the details of their relationship so it would be unfair to make that claim.

The report also seems to explain an issue about which Lackey complained Sunday night. The Red Sox pitcher was upset that he received a text message 30 minutes prior to his start regarding a personal issue.

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John Lackey: Everything in My Life Sucks Right Now

To say that John Lackey has been horrible for the sub-.500 Boston Red Sox this season would be a horrific understatement.  As of Thursday, Lackey was toting a 2-5 record to go along with an 8.01 ERA.  The right-hander has managed only 19 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched and opponents are hitting .317 against him.  He may not be Greg Maddux, but he’s no Anthony Young either.  Something is obviously wrong.

After his latest shellacking — a nine-hit, nine-run, five-walk meltdown against the Blue Jays Wednesday night — Lackey sat at the podium and fielded questions from the normally ruthless Boston media.  The only problem for the writers is that it was too easy, making the interview almost uncomfortable.

“I’ll keeping working hard,” Lackey told the media Wednesday night via WEEI.com. “It’s got to turn sometime. Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.”

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Angels Fans Wrong to Boo Lackey, Call Him Benedict Arnold Traitor

John Lackey had a huge role in delivering the greatest moment in Angels history — their only World Series in 2002. Then a 23-year-old rookie, the Big Texan went five innings of one-run ball in Game 7 of the World Series against Barry Bonds and the Giants. His efforts coupled with Garret Anderson’s bases-clearing double in the third helped provide the best fan experience I’ve ever had, one that probably won’t ever be surpassed (at best you can only hope to match the experience of watching your favorite team win a decisive Game 7 in the World Series). As a result of that game, Lackey achieved “Boy for Life” status in my book, meaning no matter what he did the rest of his career, he would always be good by me.

Thing is, after two so-so seasons following the World Series win, Lackey developed into one of the most consistent pitchers in the AL and the true ace of the Angels’ staff. He went five straight years making at least 32 starts per season, peaking in 2007 with a 19-9 record that helped him finish third in Cy Young voting. Lackey was bothered by injuries his last two years with the Angels, but he was still quite effective when healthy. After eight strong years with the team, he filed for free agency and signed with the Boston Red Sox who offered him a nice contract — five years for $82.5 million.

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Scioscia Probably Cost the Angels John Lackey in Free Agency

John Lackey removed by Mike SciosciaOne of the most controversial moments from Game 5 in Anaheim on Thursday night came when manager Mike Scioscia removed starter John Lackey from the game in the 7th. Considering Darren Oliver came on in relief and gave up a 3-run double to Mark Teixeira on his first pitch and a game-tying RBI single to Hideki Matsui, the move by Scioscia looked awful. Making matters even worse was Kevin Jepsen who gave up a two-run triple to Robinson Cano to make it 6-4 Yankees within four batters of Lackey leaving the game. As if Lackey wasn’t already pissed off enough about being taken out of a game where he had a shutout going, seeing the bullpen blow the lead had to rip his heart out.

Non-Angel fans may have simply seen the move as what it was: John Lackey being pissed he was taken out of a shutout by his manager and the bullpen blew it. Angel fans will tell you that that move had much deeper repercussions; John Lackey is going to be a free agent after the year and being removed from his shutout could very well be his lasting moment with the team. Do you think he’ll be eager about going back to the Angels and a manager that didn’t trust him enough to get the final out of the 7th in the ALCS? I know a lot of people will say that Lackey was losing it and that going to Oliver was the right move, but once I saw that fire in Lackey’s eyes I would have given him another batter. The guy is a bonafide competitor and when you see that look coming from him you have to let him settle his score. Or maybe that’s just me speaking from the perspective of a former pitcher who’s said to his manager “This is mine, this is mine.”

I really hope that’s not John Lackey’s last moment as an Angel — it would be an utter shame. I rather see him pitch in Game 1 and Game 5 of the World Series and re-sign with the team. They’d have a tough time repeating without an ice like him.

Umpire Ejects John Lackey Two Pitches into First Start of the Season

I’ll be the first one to say that there’s bad blood between the Angels and the Rangers. Heck, I’ll go so far as to say that there isn’t a team in the league I dislike more than Texas for that exact reason. With that being said, I still can’t believe umpire Bob Davidson ejected John Lackey two pitches into his first start of the season on Saturday. Lackey, out the entire year because of a forearm injury, threw the first pitch behind leadoff batter Ian Kinsler. With the second pitch, Lackey nailed Kinsler in the ribs. No warning was issued, pissing off manager Mike Scioscia, and Lackey got tossed immediately. Lackey adamantly defends himself:

“I haven’t pitched in six weeks, man. I was obviously trying to come in on him. I had no intention at all to hit him or to throw behind him or anything. I was definitely probably a little extra amped up the first time back out there. … I just launched a couple there.

I would tell you if I was going to do something. I would tell you if I did it. I would stand up and own it. I did not try to throw at him.”

Lackey further defended himself, saying that he wouldn’t be dumb enough to throw at the first batter of the game knowing how taxed the team’s bullpen has been lately. That’s reason enough for me to believe Lackey. Now the umpire defends himself with good reasoning, pointing out the recent history of brawls between the teams, not to mention the fact that Kinsler hit two home runs the previous game. Still, you have to be more aware of the situation — how is it beneficial for the Angels to get their starting pitcher ejected in the first inning? Who would intentionally do that? Davidson should apologize for his quick trigger and should have issued a warning first.

Great Day to Be an Angels Fan

The double-coup the Angels pulled on Tuesday was easily one of the peaks of the baseball season. First, things got exciting when reports in the morning said the Angels were warming to the idea of acquiring Mark Teixeira from the Braves. Later in the day, the dream became reality and the Angels all of a sudden had the three-hitter they so desperately have needed the last three years. As soon as I heard that it had happened, I began to worry about who the Angels had lost. It was obvious that Casey Kotchman was gone, but I also figured maybe prospects like Adenhart or Wood, or one of the spare outfielders like Willits or Rivera would be gone, too. I wasn’t too happy to think about life without Kotchman since he’s a solid all-around player, delivering clutch hits and playing a Gold Glove first base. But come on, it’s Mark Teixeira — a guy who can produce the way Vlad did during his MVP years with the Angels. It didn’t take long for me to get pumped up and celebrate like the Halos just signed Jack Parkman.

As if the Teixeira acquisition wasn’t enough, John Lackey went out and slayed his Fenway Park dragon by almost throwing a no-hitter. Even though he allowed a hit and home run back-to-back in the 9th, the statement was bold — the Angels are no longer chumps in Fenway Park — they can beat the Red Sox anywhere. The Angels have now gone 7-1 against the Red Sox this year and are going for their second sweep of Boston this year on Wednesday night. Now the irony would be if the Angels turned the corner on the Red Sox — a team that’s owned them and eliminated them from the playoffs recently — and all of a sudden couldn’t beat the Yankees. The Yanks are the exact opposite from the Red Sox for Anaheim — a team they’ve owned in the regular season and knocked out of the playoffs on a regular basis. Now if they could just combine the two, they’d be set.

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