John Lackey entered the 2013 season with low approval ratings across Red Sox Nation, having gone just 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA in 2010 and 2011 before missing the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery. A poor attitude toward teammates and the media in addition to being one of the ring leaders of the infamous chicken and beer scandal in September 2011 turned fans off.
But in 2013 Lackey looks like a brand new pitcher, entering the season in better shape and putting up a 2.79 ERA and 1.142 WHIP through 51 2/3 innings. Disregarding the first three years of the five-year, $80-million deal Lackey signed in December 2009 and wiping the slate clean in 2013, it’s hard to hate what Lackey has done.
“If you’re one of those people that was able to [give Lackey a clean slate],” said Lou Merloni on The Baseball Show, “you’re seeing a different guy out there and a guy you’re excited about taking the mound every fifth day.”
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