The Boston Red Sox are virtually limping into this weekend’s series with the New York Yankees having lost five of their last seven games overall. In turn, the Tampa Bay Rays have moved back within two games within the AL East, while the Yankees themselves are facing a virtual do-or-die series with Boston here in mid-August.
One story line within this heated rivalry that is grabbing headlines heading into the weekend, circles around Alex Rodriguez and after everything that’s occurred over the past month or so in his connection and involvement with steroids, it’s really not all that surprising. As Boston prepares for the Yankees to come to town beginning on Friday, Red Sox starter John Lackey has been the one that has been open about publicly answering questions about A-Rod playing in this series.
“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey toldThe Boston Globe. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right. … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”
In that quote, Lackey could not be any more accurate.
Here’s a guy who has been banned for over 200 games for steroid use and despite it all, Lackey, who is scheduled to pitch for Boston on Saturday, is one of just numerous pitchers who have to face him with the expectations speaking for themselves. This is crunch time in baseball and a suspended player is getting plate appearances in the middle of August is ridiculous.
Lackey may have been the first person to openly state this, but he’s certainly not the only one who feels this way.