John Lackey Says Comments About Alex Rodriguez Were ‘Overblown,’ Downplays Any Extra Motivation

John LackeyBOSTON — There were no beanballs, heated exchanges or extended glances. When Alex Rodriguez and John Lackey squared off at Fenway Park on Saturday, it was business as usual for both competitors.

Lackey made headlines earlier this week when he spoke out about the whole A-Rod situation. According to the right-hander, it was a classic case of something being made out of nothing.

“I had somebody come up to me and ask me, ‘Don’t you think that it’s unfair that he’s playing?’ and I agreed with it,” Lackey said Saturday. “So that was a little bit overblown, for sure.”

Lackey told The Boston Globe earlier this week that he has a problem with Rodriguez playing — and potentially impacting a playoff race — while appealing the 211-game suspension that hangs over his head. But after the Red Sox’ 6-1 win over the Yankees on Saturday, Lackey made it clear that he didn’t feel any extra motivation while facing Rodriguez.

“We’re just trying to win a game today, man,” Lackey said. “He wasn’t any more important than any of the other guys in the lineup. I’m just trying to get him out just like the rest of them.”

Lackey was asked Saturday whether he thought Rodriguez should still be playing, and the pitcher pointed out that the system — the collective bargaining agreement that allows Rodriguez the right to appeal — was agreed upon as a union.

Sometimes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In this case, there wasn’t any fire because there really wasn’t all that much smoke to begin with.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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