Tuesday, October 25, 2011

John Lackey and Tommy John Surgery: A Few Questions

In Ben Cherington's first move as general manager of the Red Sox, he announced that John Lackey would be having Tommy John surgery, and wouldn't be re-joining the pitching staff until "hopefully, 2013."

Now, I don't know the extent of Lackey's injuries, because Cherington didn't go into them.  But I do have a few questions:
  • Isn't it quite a lucky coincidence that the Red Sox have a Tommy John clause in Lackey's contract?
  • Isn't it convenient that Lackey will be taking a year off, right at the time when he is quite possibly the least popular Red Sox player of all time?
  • Isn't it funny that Lackey's pitching velocity was on the rise throughout 2011, even though most pitchers who need the surgery, such as Adam Wainwright and Tim Hudson and Daisuke Matsuzaka, experience a significant decrease in pitching velocity as a symptom?
  • Isn't it odd that Francona never mentioned that Lackey was having elbow problems, even though he discussed Matsuzaka's elbow problems time and time again?
  • Isn't it interesting that even though virtually every pitcher gets a second opinion before committing to Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox didn't believe a second opinion to be necessary in Lackey's case?
  • Isn't it bizarre that, even after the season ended and reporters were asking questions, nobody on the Red Sox mentioned Lackey's injury until the door was tightly shut behind Epstein and Francona?
  • Isn't it easy to be cynical when the Red Sox PR machine has a long history of manipulating the media?
  • And my last question:  Will Lackey return in 2013, with all his 2011 sins forgiven because, after all, he was injured in 2011 -- or will he just ride off into the sunset, letting the front office write off his contract due to medical issues that, after all, they could not possibly have been responsible for predicting when they signed him?

Related posts:
Things Bill Simmons Doesn't Want to Talk About
Lackey in August
Watching Lackey

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