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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?

Study: West teams at a disadvantage due to jet lag

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 14:  A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 14, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Delta Air Lines Inc. reported that their second quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 4.1%, and also announced that they decided to reduce its United States to Britian capacity on its winter schedule because of foreign currency issues and the economic uncertainty from Brexit.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Every year, when the schedules are released, we often hear about the teams that have it worst. Almost always, those teams are West teams. According to MLB.com, teams in the West division of their respective leagues had the top eight most travel-heavy schedules in 2016. The full list:

Team League Division Miles
Mariners AL West 47,704
Angels AL West 44,945
Athletics AL West 42,119
Rangers AL West 41,128
Dodgers NL West 40,294
Giants NL West 39,341
Astros AL West 38,553
Padres NL West 37,363
Rays AL East 36,916
Red Sox AL East 36,896
D-Backs NL West 35,312
Yankees AL East 35,252
Marlins NL East 35,226
Rockies NL West 33,287
Blue Jays AL East 32,895
Orioles AL East 32,322
Braves NL East 29,236
Royals AL Central 29,077
Twins AL Central 28,948
Phillies NL East 28,351
Mets NL East 26,832
White Sox AL Central 26,538
Cardinals NL Central 26,451
Pirates NL Central 26,134
Brewers NL Central 25,620
Tigers AL Central 25,450
Indians AL Central 25,176
Reds NL Central 25,108
Nationals NL East 24,664
Cubs NL Central 24,271

The averages by division:

  • AL East: 34,856 miles
  • AL Central: 25,176
  • AL West: 42,890
  • NL East: 28,862
  • NL Central: 25,517
  • NL West: 37,119

The maps aren’t up for 2017 yet, but rest assured that West teams will once again have it worst. It’s easy to see why, taking a look at the map on MLB.com. If you draw a line to split Texas in half and go straight up through North Dakota, there are only eight teams to the left of that line, leaving the other 23 condensed on the right side. When West teams aren’t playing intra-division games, they are traveling. That’s often not the case for East and Central teams. The Phillies and Pirates, for example, don’t even have to leave the state to play each other.

As Gizmodo points out, a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a link between jet lag and performance. Sleep scientist Ravi Allada of Northwestern University analyzed 4,919 games, finding that teams that traveled East performed worse than those that traveled West. Allada and his colleagues adjusted for home field advantage and park effects.

Specifically, teams that traveled from the West to the East lost more often than East teams traveling West. They gave up more runs and scored less runs. They hit for a lower batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. They gave up more home runs, accounting for most of the decline in run prevention.

There was a peculiar finding. Allada found that jet lagged home teams performed worse than jet lagged visiting teams. He hypothesizes that “teams may be more cognizant of their schedules when traveling away, thus mitigating jet lag effects,” he told Gizmodo.

The Braves ask Cobb County for $14 million more

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The Braves’ new ballpark in Cobb County Georgia is the gift that keeps on taking.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have asked Cobb County for $14 million for roads, walkways and other pedestrian improvements around the stadium the team has already paid for but which it says the county is responsible. The county says it’s not responsible for them and that it has already paid nearly $70 million for transportation improvements around the ballpark, including on privately-owned property in the mixed-use development.

The reason this isn’t settled: at the time the deal between the county and the team was struck, there was a provision for the county to pay for $14 million for certain improvements. The Braves, this past September, told the county that it wants to be reimbursed for these projects under that provision and that the $70 million the county has already spent shouldn’t count. For reasons, I guess. It’s a bit complicated, but the AJC story lays it out pretty well. The upshot seems to be “why didn’t the Braves say they wanted the county to pay for these things long ago?”

The answer to that question, I suspect, is “because the Braves have been treated as entitled corporate welfare recipients since this deal was announced and they have learned that they can get away with almost anything.”