I asked Rev a few questions regarding Lackey. His answer -- which you're certainly going to want to read -- are after the jump.
1) When you heard the Red Sox were interested in Lackey and/or signed him, what was your immediate reaction?
Really stunned, as I thought the rivalry would inhibit this sort of treacherous activity - and before you go telling me that it is a business, all that Mister Spock non-emotional analysis, consider Lackey's own quote that he had to plead with Theo that he was serious - the Sox obviously assumed there was more than this "just being a business."
I thought there was a good chance Lackey was returning and never ever expected this stab in the back. Chone Figgins will be cheered with a standing ovation upon his return to Angel Stadium. Benedict Lackey is gonna get some boos. For me personally I got food poisoning on Monday night, but I think the news breaking that afternoon spoiled the pork in my belly, so the whole affair caused quite a bit of vomiting that no Godzilla signing could cure. Fortunately our cleaning lady did a great job on the baffroom as will the Angels front office on the clubhouse.
2) Fill in the blanks: "John Lackey used to be ____________________, but now he is ______________________."
"John Lackey used to be the pitching equivalent of a Jimmy Page Guitar solo on the mound, but now he is an Andy Gibb falsetto poetry recital 24/7." Or does Peter Gammons have some sort of copyright on music analogies for baseball players?
3) What has the general reaction been from "Angel Nation" after the signing?
There are ball-less twits saying, "well it is all just a business." There are fans who have blood coursing through their veins who understand that Lackey is a traitor. Lots of sentimental folks are blaming the Angels front office. The best take I saw on the signing, though, was from Stephen Smith on his Future Angels blog, he proposed critics envision the Red Sox signing Matsui and the Angels signing Lackey for the same deals and then making this a trade - totally looks great if you are the Angels fro the money it frees up and risky in terms of years if you are the Red Sox.
4) How's Lackey going to perform as a Sox?
You will come to love him. He is a big game pitcher. He is frustrating when he nibbles with two strikes, but his "warrior"-ness is off the charts and completely infectious. You will get excited the morning of one of his starts. Statistically he may be closer to Kevin Millwood than to Roy Halladay, but for entertainment value, he is a marquee hero you want slaying the dragon for you, not some boring Soap Star of consistency.
Forget all that "he has been injured" bullshit. His forearm issues have been the Angels taking it easy and patient in Spring Training and are not chronic - Lackey the gamer would have pitched with the pain and a Tylenol ... the precaution was all on the part of Angels staff who were confident enough about the team's chances without a #1 for a month to take a "go-slow" approach with John.
And there is no truth to rumors about negative chemistry in the clubhouse. This guy is the ultimate teammate jocksniffer. When the Angels held their on-field tribute to Nick Adenhart, Torii Hunter and John Lackey held Nick's jersey on the mound - that says it all, he was the veteran who stood up for the team, and who speaks up in the clubhouse. Look he is THE man, THE Teammate, he wants the ball, and if his arm is going to fall off after Game 7, he will push his manager out of the way, take the mound and hit 93 on the gun.
5) Insert whatever rant you haven't been able to go on yet below:
I was bound and determined not to write a tribute to this eggsucking Texan traitor and you managed to squeeeeze it out of me Randy, damn you and your city. If there is a negative to Lackey, he might shoot his mouth off, especially with the way the press is in the Northeast, but it is part of a bigger persona package that you will all come to love, damn your souls, but Merry Christmas otherwise!
As always, thanks to the Rev for the insight.