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


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 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.


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?

UPDATE: Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young to a two-year, $13 million deal

Chris Young Getty

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that Young will receive a two-year, $13 million contract from the Red Sox.

Monday, 1:47 PM: Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.

Marlins hire Juan Nieves as pitching coach

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This is not a terribly big deal compared to the rumors of who the Marlins want to hire as their hitting coach, but it’s news all the same: Miami has hired Juan Nieves as their pitching coach.

Nieves replaces Chuck Hernandez who was let go immediately after the season ended. Under Hernandez Marlins pitchers allowed 4.19 runs a game and had an ERA of 4.02, striking out 1152 batters and walking 508 in 1,427 innings. As far as runs per game go, that was around middle of the pack in the National League, just a hair better than league average. The strikeout/walk ratio, however, was third to last in the NL.

Nieves, a former Brewers hurler who once tossed a no-hitter, was most recently the Red Sox’ pitching coach, serving from the beginning of the 2013 season until his dismissal in May of this year.

In baseball, if you lose the World Series you still get a ring

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 3:  Detail view of the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Ring at Busch Stadium on April 3, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Scott Rovak/Getty Images)

“Second place is first loser” — some jerk, probably.

The funny thing about “winning is everything” culture in sports is that it’s revered, primarily, by people with the least amount of skin in the game. Self-proclaimed “Super Fans” and talk radio hosts and guys like that. People who may claim to live and breathe sports but who, for the most part, have other things in their lives. Jobs and families and hobbies and stuff. Winning is everything for them on the weekend at, like, Buffalo Wild Wings or in their man cave.

Athletes — whose actual job is to play sports — like to win too. They’re certainly more focused and committed to winning than Joe Super Fan is, what with it being their actual lives and such. But you see far less “winning is everything” sentiment from them. In interviews they talk about how they hate to lose but, with a little bit of distance, they almost always talk about appreciating efforts in a well-played loss. They rarely talk about big losses — even championship losses — as failures or choke jobs or disgraces of one stripe or another.

All of which makes this story by Tim Rohan in the New York Times fun and interesting. It’s about championship rings for the non-championship winners. The 2014 Royals — winners of the A.L. pennant but losers of the World Series — are featured, and the story of rings for World Series losers is told. Mike Stanton, who played on a ton of pennant and World Series-winning teams with the Yankees and Braves, talks about his various rings and how, even though the Braves lost in the World Series that year, 1991 is his favorite.

Also mentioned: George Steinbrenner’s thoughts about rings for World Series losers. You will likely not be surprised about his sentiments on the matter.

Wait, what is the non-tender deadline again?

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For the next day and a half you’ll hear a lot about the non-tender deadline and/or players being tendered or not tendered a contract. Here, in case you’re unaware, is what that means.

By midnight on Wednesday teams have to decide whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. If they do, the team retains control over the player. Now, to be clear, the team is not simply “tendering” the player the actual contract specifying what he’ll be paid. Think of it as more of a token gesture — a placeholder contract — at that point the team and the player can negotiate salary for 2016 and, if they can’t come to an agreement over that (i.e. an agreement avoiding arbitration) they will proceed to submit proposed salaries to one another and have a salary arbitration early in the spring.

If the team non-tenders a player, however, that player immediately becomes a free agent, eligible to sign anywhere with no strings attached.

Basically, the calculus is whether or not the team thinks the player in question is worth the low end of what he might receive in arbitration. Or, put differently, if the guy isn’t worth what he made in 2015, he’s probably going to be non-tendered.

MLB Trade Rumors has a handy “Non-Tender Tracker” which lists the status of the couple hundred arbitration eligible players and whether or not they’ve been tendered a contract. We’ll, of course, make mention of notable non-tender guys as their status for 2016 becomes known over the next day or two.