A short leash
John Lackey is on perhaps the shortest leash of all. Lackey, like all of the starters, will be expected to work on conditioning and/or scouting on their non-pitching days with the team. The ballpark is your place of work, treat it as such.
It’s one thing to have fun at work, it’s another to make work nothing but fun. For fans, baseball is a game. For the players and the manager, it’s their job. My first conversation with him would be for both of us to agree to forget the past – once he’s able to throw more than six innings in a start with the lead.
I’d move Lackey up to the No. 2 spot in the rotation to put more pressure on him and less on Buchholz. Standing in the rotation has as much to do with ego as anything else. This is the carrot, which will be stuck as soon as Lackey demonstrates any of his old habits or proves his continued uselessness.
Glad to see Lackey got himself into “baseball” shape in the offseason. He’s been an embarrassment to himself as well as the team. There’s no middle ground with Lackey. He’s either a No. 1 or No. 2 guy or ticketed to the bullpen. Making him a 4th or 5th starter gives him another excuse to hide. There’s no hiding any more.