I'm rooting heavily for John Lackey. First and foremost, he'll help the Red Sox.
But it goes beyond that too. Hypocritical fans pushed me in that direction. J.D. Drew was ripped for not playing if he had a slight hang nail. Yet Lackey went out in 2011 with a fried elbow, and he was ripped because he struggled. And to go back to 2010, he was a lot better than he's given credit for. He started slow but had an ERA in the 3.s the last couple of months.
Now many will add to his personality -- the way he talked in interviews. Yes, at times he said some dumb things, but also it's superficial. The guy doesn't come across well in an interview, so we kill him. So what -- if he snowed us with great personality, etc. we'd like him?
Others will bring up his attitude on the field. Yes at times it appeared he was showing up teammates. However, some of it also could be simply he was just upset because he gave up another bomb. He wasn't mad that the ball wasn't caught. He was mad that it couldn't be caught because he made another bad pitch.
Again, here's where J.D. comes in along with A-Gon. Fans ripped them because they played with no emotion and it looked like they didn't care. Lackey wore his emotion on his sleeve, and he's ripped because he does care.
Also, I look at Lackey in 2011 as a human being. He was going out every day and taking his turn despite a bad elbow and was struggling. His personal life was falling apart. So his life was falling apart professionally and personally. That's a lot for anyone to deal with.
He was ripped last year for traveling with the team despite being on the DL, but I think that was a good thing for him. His teammates were a support system -- a family -- that helped him get through the divorce and the not playing.
By all accounts, Lackey is the type of teammate we should admire. He takes young players under his wing, picking up checks, buying them suits, helping them adjust to the majors, etc.
And to top it off, it appears he has worked out hard to come back strong, which should show the one thing that fans say they care about.
THAT HE CARES.
So now, I don't care what is contract is. I think he really cares about doing well, so I'm rooting big-time for him.