Red Sox starter John Lackey has strong opinions about players who have used performance-enhancing drugs.
The righthander said last season he didn’t feel serial drug user Alex Rodriguez belonged on the field while he appealed his suspension in the Biogenesis matter. Lackey also has been in favor of stiffer penalties for drug users.
So when Baltimore slugger Nelson Cruz, who was suspended 50 games last season, was 3 for 3 with a home run and double against Lackey in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the pitcher was miffed.
“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. “You guys [in the media] forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Cruz “looked strong” at the plate.
On Sunday, Cruz said he had not heard about the comments.
“What I care is about my teammates, what they think about me,” he said. “When you go to ballparks and beat other teams they are not going to be happy regardless of what you do. … Everybody is free to talk.”
But Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, as he often does, threw a jab at the Sox.
“Sometimes we need to check our own backyard before talking about someone else’s,” he said, making a not-so-veiled reference to David Ortiz being tied to drug use in 2003.
Cruz said he saw Ortiz during the offseason and was encouraged by him to sign with the Red Sox. The team, however, never made an offer to Cruz.
All-Stars on tap
The All-Star teams will be revealed today at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The players have already been informed.
Fan and player voting picked the majority of the spots. Farrell, the American League manager, had some say. He said the process was taxing but still enjoyable.
“There are so many deserving players. That’s where it really begins to get difficult,” he said. “There are going to be players who might be deserving that might be omitted because of making sure that every team is represented.
“I consider the whole process to be not only fun but challenging in its own right. The fact that we’re representing the American League is the greatest significance of all.”
Farrell said he spoke a lot to his coaching staff about his selections. Because the game determines home field advantage for the World Series, Farrell said his bench choices were carefully considered.
Farrell would prefer the overall interleague record be used to determine home field.
“That would be more representative of who deserves home field advantage,” he said. “There are so many different factors [in selecting the All-Star team]. That’s a one-game showcase. It’s not necessarily — I don’t want to say it’s not a competitive game because it is — but I just think a full-bodied season of interleague play is more representative of who’s deserving of home field advantage.”
TBA on Wednesday
The Red Sox have not named a starter for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox. Farrell said only that it would be anybody out of the bullpen.
That crosses former starter Felix Doubront off the list. Rubby De La Rosa is scheduled to pitch for Pawtucket on Sunday. If De La Rosa makes that start, the Triple A candidates would seem to be Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, and Steven Wright.
Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks are expected to play for Pawtucket at Columbus on Sunday night. … Shane Victorino was on the field about an hour before the game doing some running and agility drills under the direction of physical therapist Dan Dyrek. The right fielder, who hasn’t played since May 23 because of hamstring and back injuries, also did some throwing.