John Lackey takes issue with Alex Rodriguez being allowed to play
Seems like everyone has an opinion of whether or not New York Yankees 3B/DH Alex Rodriguez should be allowed to play during his performance-enhancing drug (PED) appeal, count rival Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey in that group. According to the Boston Globe’s Red Sox beat writer Peter Abraham, Lackey is taking serious issue that he has to face A-Rod in this weekend’s series (scheduled Saturday starter):
“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…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.”
Lackey’s comments speak to players being more vocal and critical of their brethren who have positive test results, whereas a few years ago, MLB players union protocol seemed to dictate that you didn’t call out others who were in the appeal process, since it was an “us against them” mentality of fair testing and suspensions. Rodriguez is facing a 200+ game suspension (through 2014) because of his involvement in the Miami Biogenesis clinic scandal, but has appealed. The appeal is not expected to be resolved until winter.
The backdrop to this weekend’s American League East showdown is that the Red Sox are clinging to a 2-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Yankees are showing some signs of life (thanks to heroics of a rejuvenated Alfonso Soriano), but trailing the division leaders by 8.5 games and sitting in 4th place and running out of runway. This will be the Yankees first trip to Boston with Rodriguez in the lineup in 2013, and you can bet the Beantown crowd will be on their game. As expected when these two arch-rivals meet, all games will be on TV: MLB Network on Friday, Fox on Saturday, and Sunday Night baseball on ESPN. Pop some popcorn and sit back, it will be entertainment for sure.