In the beginning of his Boston Red Sox career, was there any player who received a worse wrath for his poor performance than John Lackey? Man, it seemed like if Red Sox Nation could, they would have paid out of their own pockets to run him out of town at the first opportunity. It was somewhat unfair, because Lackey wasn’t actually fully healthy until last year.
How times have changed. When Lackey walked off the mound during the clinching game of the World Series, fans were chanting his name. It almost seemed as though he was shocked by the overwhelming reaction, but he deserved it. I can’t think of a player who has done a complete overhaul like Lackey has. Not only that, he had a great year last season. Yes, he had 10 wins and 13 losses, but that record was quite deceiving, because he had almost no run support.
Now, he is Boston’s No. 2 pitcher, and he is the perfect choice. He is as competitive as they come, and always keeps his team in every game that he pitches. Not only that, he now reminds you of how good he was with the Los Angeles Angels.
You kind of knew at the beginning of last season that, when Lackey showed up at Spring Training and looked like a different person, he wanted to turn around his career in a Red Sox uniform. It has come to the point where out of all the starting pitchers, Lackey can be the most dominant. The fact that the Red Sox had him as their No. 5 starter last year was smart, because it eased him back in the rotation where a lot of the pressure would be off of him. Now he can be at the top where he belongs.
Doesn’t it seem like what was considered a bad attitude before is now more like good old fashioned New England gumption?