Even when John Lackey is out for the season with Tommy John Surgery, Red Sox fans still cannot escape him.
After the very public airing of the Red Sox' clubhouse issues following last year's collapse, the three principal components of "beergate"/"chickengate" have each responded to the situation in their own personal ways. While none of them were terribly impressed by the importance of their actions in the collapse, Lester likely handled it the best showing some measured contrition while Josh Beckett went on a snitch hunt.
Now it's John Lackey's turn, and if he hasn't taken the lowest of all possible roads in the Boston Globe...
"Guys having a beer after their start has been going on for the last 100 years,'' Lackey said. "This is retarded. It's not like we were sitting up there doing it every night. It's not even close to what people think.''
What about reports of players drinking in the dugout? "They [media] just see how far they can go,'' he said. "That's just a flat-out lie.''
Is he willing to acknowledge that mistakes were made? "I guess. Sure. They're being made in every clubhouse in the big leagues, then. If we'd have made the playoffs, we'd have been a bunch of fun guys.''
Frankly, Lackey likely has a point: the chicken eaters and beer drinkers were made scapegoats for a bad situation that likely would have come about if they'd been binging on V8 and celery sticks. But this was hardly the way to go about saying that.
Fortunately, Lackey at least seems to realize that he's gone too far here, releasing the following statement:
"I apologize for my thoughtless choice of words that appeared in print earlier today. I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended."
Take that as you will, but it's hard to imagine that anyone's going to be buying anything from John Lackey after the two strife-filled years he's enjoyed in Boston both on and off the mound.