Big League Stew

John Lackey criticized by Red Sox writer for ‘double fisting’ beers after Boston loss

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

View photo

.

(BLS illustration)

That a Boston Red Sox player dared to enjoy an oat soda or two in this post fried chicken-and-beer saga world is not a surprise.

That injured pitcher John Lackey was the one whose beer drinking was spotlighted does not come as a shock, either.

What is a surprise is that it took all the way until mid-August for a Red Sox media member to attempt a controversial spin on consumption in the postgame clubhouse.

Here's Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sports Net New England, following Boston's 5-3 loss in Cleveland on Thursday night:

Lackey was so busted up after the latest defeat that he was strutting around the clubhouse with a can of Bud Light in each hand, or what is known as "double-fisting" on every college campus in the history of mankind ...  For a guy that was at the epicenter of last year's "chicken-and-beer" shenanigans — and somebody who isn't expected to help out this year's team in any way, shape or form — it was another clear case of some Sox players that just don't care anymore.

You can imagine where it goes from there with Haggerty painting Lackey — who is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery with the team — as Boston's Barney Gumble, even though such drinking is permissible on the road under Bobby Valentine's rules.

Luckily, there have been plenty of reasonable people pointing out how ridiculous Haggerty's criticism and perception is. My favorite came from my colleague Dave Brown who said, tongue in cheek, "Hey, one of those beers could have been to cheer a teammate up!"

Here's the bottom line, though: If baseball's beat writers were to start writing articles about each player that had a few beers in a losing clubhouse, there wouldn't be very much time for anything else. Postgame drinking is neither good nor bad; it's just a fact of life in a universe where going out for an after-work drink is a lot more difficult than it is for the average Joe.

I'd expect that a writer following the team would be pretty familiar with that. After all, the all-consuming big-league baseball schedule means that you often see players doing a variety of everyday activities at their locker stalls, from playing handheld video games to Internet shopping to paying bills. While I'm not the biggest fan of players continuing those activities when their teammates are out playing on the field during the game, it's more or less an accepted part of the code.

And, really, it's accepted by the majority of us who apply logic and not the disappointment of following a losing team to the situation. The only time it seems to become an issue is whenever the Red Sox put together a disappointing season. Why is that?

Want more baseball fun all season long?
Follow @bigleaguestew@KevinKaduk and the BLS Facebook page!

View Comments