John Lackey has certainly pitched poorly enough with the Red Sox that fans and media members would be extremely tough on him anyway, but he also didn’t help matters in last night’s postgame dealings with reporters.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe describes the scene, which started with Lackey replying “I don’t know, you guys are going to write what you want to write, whatever” to a question about gripping his pitches:
And that was that after 15 seconds of uncomfortable silence. The entire press conference lasted about 90 seconds. … None of those questions were antagonistic. To be honest, they were pretty much softballs. Answering questions in that fashion will only serve to make a tough season even harder on him. …
Lackey has 3.5 years left on his contract and they’re going to be brutal ones if he can’t come to grips with the atmosphere here. Whether it’s a teammate, his pitching coach, his manager or even Theo Epstein, somebody needs to get through to Lackey. This is headed down a road nobody wants to be on, least of all him.
Abraham also notes that Lackey chose to sign with the Red Sox as a free agent, presumably knowing what the media scrutiny in Boston is like to some degree. He obviously didn’t expect to begin his Red Sox career with a 5.06 ERA through 44 starts and I’m sure most people would react similarly if questioned about their poor job performance on a daily basis, but then again answering questions from reporters is part of what he signed up for to get $82.5 million for five years and he certainly hasn’t earned that money on the field so far.