McAdam: What to do with Lackey

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McAdam: What to do with Lackey

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

The Red Sox need to do something -- anything -- about John Lackey.

Baseball-Reference.com noted that Lackey is the first pitcher since 1949 to three times allow eight or more runs in his team's first 37 games. More times than not -- four times in seven starts -- Lackey isn't giving his team a chance to win games.

Worse is his emotional well-being. Lackey seemed to be in meltdown mode Wednesday in Toronto when he imploded in the seventh inning. Showing up teammates, denigrating the ability of opposing players, hinting that others were to blame for his poor start -- it was all public, and it was ugly.

Undoubtedly, there are concrete, mechanical issues that have led to his unsightly 8.01 ERA. His velocity has dipped and his secondary pitches are wildly inconsistent in terms of both command and execution.

But there's the overriding sense that most of Lackey's problems are of a more personal nature in dealing with a family matter.

It's unclear what can be done to help him, but the notion of keeping Lackey, in his present state of mind, in the rotation every five days is far from a pleasant prospect.

There are options. The Sox could do worse than moving Alfredo Aceves into the rotation, although given the absence of both Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler, the bullpen is already depleted enough.

Felix Doubront is in Pawtucket and available. So too is Brandon Duckworth, who might not be a long-term fix, but is pitcing well enough at Triple A to warrant a look a few times through the rotation.

Frankly, given the kind of starts he's been proving, there are few options that aren't better than Lackey for the time being.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.