It wasn't too long ago that John Lackey was despised by just about every Bostonian and New Englander around.
It was called one of the worst contracts in recent memory - and for good reason, too. Lackey was a pretty miserable human being, and is production on the mound went south.
Then he had Tommy John surgery, disappeared from the public eye, and returned at the start of last season a completely different (and thinner) person. He pitched effectively and won games.
This John Lackey is a guy we can get behind - and have.
What a turnaround.
"We talked off the air on if it's the biggest turnaround in Boston sports history," Buckley said. "The fact that we have a hard time coming up with a definitive contender tells us this may be the case. People hated this guy a couple years ago, and a lot of it was on him. I know he had the frayed arm and Tommy John coming up and all that, but he made a ton of excuses and the numbers bear that out. But more than having bad numbers, he was one of those 'dog ate my homework' guys . . . he's been phenomenal last year, phenomenal this year, and by the way he won the clinching game of the World Series last year and he was the first guy to win a game at Fenway this year."
It didn't just come overnight for Lackey. He put in the work - and it showed.
"John Farrell said it last night and he's absolutely right, it's a credit to John Lackey's work ethic," Felger said. "He lost the weight, he got in shape, he got hurt obviously but then he did all the work to rehab his elbow, get his arm in shape, and that's why he's at where he's at."
Felger also makes sure to point out that Lackey's former teammate, Josh Beckett, hasn't put in the work that Lackey has since the two were together in 2012.