I am surprised by the general sentiments that have befallen over fellow HH’ers regarding John Lackey. It seems that many seem rather indifferent over whether we sign Big John or not. Many of the off-season posts are acting as if Lackey is as good as gone. Perhaps, this stems from a lack of confidence in our FO putting up the $ to re-sign him. But I ask you this: How is John Lackey NOT the face of this organization? And why wouldn’t the FO put up the money?
Many of us lament the likely loss of Vlad. It’s an emotional departure and as many have pointed out, he’s been the face of the Angels for the last couple of years. While I deeply love Vlad, I question that sentiment and wonder why Lackey does not seem to share the same love and feverish desire for his return from the fans.
Lest I remind all of you of Lackey’s passion for winning. Or his classic quote of the season, "We win flags." His shit talking on Pedroia in 2008 after losing the ALDS in 2008 or his World Series Game 7 in 2002 as a rookie. Or perhaps, it should be reminded of all of you that he went through our organization and has continued to be the undeniable ACE of our staff for almost 7 years now. Or that despite two seasons in a row starting on the DL, he has returned to put up solid, if not exceptional numbers.
As a baseball player, Lackey has been raised as an Angel. Who else, right now on our team, is that much of a Los Angeles Angel? Even our beloved Scioscia started off in Dodger Blue. Players like Weaver, Saundo and Aybar may soon become the face of the Angels, but right now, Lackey is the complete representation of what our organization attempts to exude: A classy, passionate player, nurtured in the Angels organization, who has a strong desire for winning. Why wouldn’t we sign him?
Finally, because money rules the world at the end of the day, many of you may say that while you want Lackey back, you don’t know if he’s worth the $$$. I don’t know much about the money game but I do know that Lackey has a better ERA than A.J. Burnett, is younger and has more wins despite pitching his entire career so far in the AL. In comparison, it seems like the money should be coughed up for Lackey to keep him in Angel red and have him be, essentially, what Pettitte is to the Skankees.