John Lackey Gives A Little Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge In Regards To Eric Thames’ Hot Start
We’ve obviously been hot on the Eric Thames story since this guy decided to come back from Korea and start mashing baseballs at a rapid pace in the MLB, a major league leading seven homers to be exact. It sucks, because you want to look at this and take it for the great story that it should be — dude leaves the majors for Korea, becomes a superstar power hitter and returns to the US to maintain that same success — but we’re baseball fans.
We’re skeptical about everything that sounds too good to be true. And you know what? We should be. We’ve seen too much, we’ve heard too much, and we’ve been lied to a LOT, so it only makes sense that we would question things that seem a little too good to be true, which Thames’ story certainly fits that description. Trust me, I’d like for Thames to be legit and for this to be a fun story that baseball fans can follow throughout the season. I hope it’s legit. But you can’t blame the fans who think that it isn’t. You know who else you can’t blame? The clean players who probably think it isn’t, either.
Now, John Lackey has a long history of bitching about things, but I think it all comes from a good place. Game broadcasts have often caught him throwing his hands up in the air when his fielders either botch a play or fail to make a play that he felt like they should’ve made, but he’s just an intense competitor and means nothing by it. Take that fierce competitor that lies inside of Lackey, and you can understand that video clip above when asked about Thames. I’m not gonna put words in Lackey’s mouth here, but we can all read between the lines. It would seem as though Lackey believes that Thames is “on the shit”, as the kids say.
It’s also worth noting that Lackey has a long history of being outspoken about PED users in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Lackey had this to say about Alex Rodriguez.
“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Globe on Thursday. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right. … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”
A year later, Lackey made some comments about Nelson Cruz, who was suspended for his connection to the Biogenisis scandal in 2013.
“I’m not even going to comment on him. I’ve got nothing to say about him. There’s things I would like to say but I’m not going to,” Lackey said after the game. “You guys [in the media] forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
Back to Thames — here’s the home run that Lackey was originally talking about:
I don’t know that this home run alone would’ve raised any red flags for me. I mean, it barely got out the other way. Opposite field power is a thing, and you can’t really cry PEDs any time a guy takes you deep the other way. I think he’s mostly referring to the start of Thames’ season as a whole, and just using that one home run as an avenue to get his point across. Point well taken. I’m sure he’s not the only player who’s “scratching his head” about Thames’ power. I just hope, for the sake of the sport, that his suspicions, and other curious players like him, are incorrect.