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John Lackey rips media in clubhouse after the game over a text message involving “personal stuff”

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You might have figured that John Lackey, having actually pitched deep into a ballgame last night — a game the Sox ended up winning — would have been happy about it.  But happy he wasn’t, as was clear from the bizarre scene at his locker.

After being asked about his rocky first inning — which annoyed him enough — he went off on an unexpected tanget:

“Let me tell you the truth. Thirty minutes before the game I got a text message on my cell phone from one of you, somebody in the media, talking about personal stuff. I shouldn’t even have to be standing up here dealing with it. I’m sitting here, listening to music. I don’t know who got my phone number, but that’s over the line. Anything else you want to talk about?’’

Video of his comments can be seen over at CSNNE.com. Some insight about what that may have been about could be found early this morning on TMZ, where it is being reported that Lackey has filed divorce from his wife.

Though Lackey probably needs a way to figure out how to keep his cool better in tough situations, you can probably understand that Lackey wouldn’t be pleased getting a text about his apparently impending divorce before the game. You can probably also figure that the way this is coming out, at least as it is couched in that TMZ article — “Red Sox John Lackey Divorcing Wife Battling Cancer” — is going to distress him greatly.

As for that TMZ story: I suppose there is a more loaded way to report that kind of thing, but I’m struggling to see how. Assuming it is true, yes, John Lackey is divorcing his wife. A wife who, yes, has been and likely still is battling cancer.  But there’s an implication of a connection between those two things, it seems to me, designed to make Lackey look insensitive.

Fact is, we have no idea what’s going on with him and his wife and, though it’s probably too much to expect from an outfit like TMZ, one would hope that the media will tread carefully here.

UPDATE: Guess it’s too late, as some are apparently deciding to go all-in on Lackey.

source:

Look, I can’t sit here and say that I can envision a situation in which I’d leave my wife if she had cancer. But at the same time, there are a couple of possibilities here. (1) Lackey is a horrible monster of a person; or (2) any number of things that we don’t and can’t know are going on with his marriage and that great unknown in a private zone of his life makes it really inappropriate for us to come down with a moral judgment at the moment.

But screw that. Let’s jump at (1), OK?

Murray Chass rightfully nails Major League Baseball on minority hiring

Rob Manfred
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When Murray Chass lays off his vendettas against the people he feels have wronged him, he’s still capable of making some sharp points. Particularly when he’s working in his old bailiwick of the business of baseball.

On Sunday he wrote a blog post about minority hiring in baseball. As in, the nearly complete lack of it, at least in front offices:

Manfred has talked a better job on minority hiring than he has performed. He has created a pipeline program through which members of minorities are supposed to be able to advance into major league front office positions. However, no role models seem to exist as inspiration for younger employees.

In Manfred’s 20 months as commissioner, clubs have hired or promoted 19 high-ranking executives. Eighteen of the 19 are white males. The lone minority is Al Avila, the Tigers’ general manager.

Chass reports that Rob Manfred and, in the past, Bud Selig have leaned on clubs to hire friends or trusted lieutenants but claim they have no power to tell clubs who to hire when it comes to minorities. It’s pretty dang good point.

Moving beyond Chass’ points, it’s worth observing that one way baseball could better populate the executive ranks would be to hire more minorities in entry-level positions. What a better way to become a friend and crony than to have, you know, been there a long time? The game has had a horrible track record in doing this, however, for one simple reason: it pays crap wages for all but the highest of executive positions, pushing away candidates for whom money is, in fact, an object to pursuing a dream in baseball which, by demographic necessity, favors the rich and thus favors whites. Earlier this year MLB launched a pipeline program aimed at getting more minority candidates into entry level MLB jobs. That’s a good start to addressing the problem, but it’s going to take years for that to bear fruit, assuming it ever does.

Back in June Kate Morrison and Russell A. Carleton of Baseball Prospectus wrote a four-part series regarding this very issue, and it’s well worth your time. Among the points made is one that, given his vendettas, Chass surprisingly didn’t make himself: sabermetrics is partially to blame! Go read Kate and Russell’s work on that, but the short version: front offices want MBA/STEM types now, not people with athletic backgrounds. People with those degrees have expensive educations and, in turn, cannot afford to take pennies to work in baseball when they can make far more in other industries, thereby continuing to favor the rich and the white.

I don’t think Rob Manfred or Bud Selig before him or the people who run major league baseball teams are bigots. I don’t think that baseball, as a whole, wants to keep minorities out of top jobs. Chass doesn’t make such a claim either and he, like I, noted the pipeline program.

But baseball is a business rife with cronyism and nepotism which leads those in power to hire friends and relatives, thereby keeping the executive class overwhelmingly male and white. Baseball has shown that, when it wants to, it can lean on teams to make certain hiring choices. Will it do the same to push for greater minority representation in management ranks? Or will it continue to throw up its hands up and say “hey, that’s on the clubs?”

Tim Tebow hits a homer in his first instructional league at bat

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets hits a home run at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Because of course he did.

It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt.  The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.

Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.