It’s official. With the crack of the tab of his can of Bud Light, John Lackey put to rest any notion of the Boston Red Sox, only 5.5 games back of a playoff spot with more than seven weeks of baseball remaining on the schedule, competing for the rest of the season. Or, at least this is what Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet New England would have us believe, after writing the following:

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.

Wait a minute. Isn’t Lackey injured? Didn’t he have Tommy John surgery last November?

There were others that just don’t seem to care about wins or losses anymore.

Like John Lackey, who apparently needs to travel with the team and work with trainer Mike Reinold while recovering from Tommy John surgery – a fairly standard rehab that literally thousands of pitchers have come back from stronger-than-ever over the last 30 years.

But for whatever reason, the underachieving righty needs to travel with the team even though he won’t be throwing even one measly pitch for them.

Yeah, nothing says “lack of caring” quite like TRAVELLING WITH THE GODDAMN TEAM WHILE RECOVERING FROM AN INJURY TO PUT IN EXTRA REHABILITATION WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I understand that playing in Boston is different than playing elsewhere. I also understand that Lackey has a reputation for being something of a world class asshole. However, no one deserves to have his work ethic or his attitude questioned because he drank a beer after a game in which he didn’t take part, in which he couldn’t take part.

This is the nonsense of children who fall in love with baseball and its players. This is the stuff that I might get upset about when I was six. Actually, no. Even then I’d have enough sense to understand the context of what’s being presented here. In fact, when I was six years old, my favorite player burned his uniform in the locker room. He burned it until it was nothing but ash in the clubhouse. And even then, I didn’t think, “Oh, what a jerk. He’s given up on winning.” I thought, “He must not be happy with his situation on the team.”

Lackey had two drinks in the clubhouse. He’s not even playing for the team right now, and he had two beers.

I’ve written before about the Boston media playing up outrage simply for the sake of outrage, and this is the perfect example of an instance that no one would/should/could feel actual outrage over. However, because the opportunity exists to present it as outrageous, and therefore give the clamouring masses of lowest common denominator thinking an outlet for other real emotions that they’ve repressed.

There’s nothing genuine about any outrage felt over Lackey double-fisting after a loss. And there’s nothing genuine about Joe Haggerty writing about it. This whole kerfuffle is about as genuine as the taste of a Bud Light.