Yesterday, newly appointed Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington announced that pitcher John Lackey would undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow thereby missing the 2012 season. I had planned to comment on this development but John Tomase of The Boston Herald sums things up quite nicely:
No one ever wants to see a player hurt or cut open, but this could be a win-win for all involved.
The Sox remove one of the beer drinkers from their ranks at a time when they’re trying to alter their clubhouse culture. And even though Lackey was by all accounts an excellent teammate — we’re now learning he pitched hurt all season — something needed to change among the starting five, and this is it.
From Lackey’s perspective, he gets a year away from the slings and arrows, a year to get his life in order — he’s reportedly in the midst of a divorce — and maybe even a year to assess the way he’s conducted himself since signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract.
If he comes back in 2013 as a calmer, less combative person, that’s all to the good. And if he regains the stuff that made him an All-Star and proven playoff performer, even better.
The only thing I can add is that Lackey gets to avoid the boo birds on Opening Day at Fenway. However, I’m afraid Carl Crawford won’t be so lucky.