The “thing” he means is his time and legacy in Boston. His comments come in the course of this long, in-depth interview with Lackey by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
No one was and maybe still is held in lower esteem by Boston fans than Lackey, but Abraham and his interview subjects paint a picture of a misunderstood man who knows he has a lot to prove and seems to be doing the things he needs to do to prove it. Now the most important part comes: actually delivering on the field.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Lackey this year. A lot of unpopular people consider themselves “misunderstood.” A lot of seemingly bad behavior by athletes is explained by their competitive nature or their focus on the game as opposed to p.r. And of course, sometimes jerks just are jerks and the spring is when they try to get fresh start with these “new man, new attitude” kind of stories.
I have no idea what to expect from the guy or if this is baloney or something real. But Lackey is now on record and he has to live up to what he’s promising in this interview.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.