Jonny Gomes, John Lackey Unhappy With Alex Rodriguez Playing, Affecting Playoff Race

Alex RodriguezFor the first time since the Biogenesis scandal broke, Alex Rodriguez is in Boston and will suit up for the Yankees on Friday night at Fenway Park as they open up a three-game set with the Red Sox. That doesn’t sit well with a couple of Red Sox players.

Rodriguez has been cleared to play for the remainder of the season while he appeals the 211-game suspension that was handed down to him as part of Major League Baseball’s takedown of players involved in the Biogenesis scandal. As a result, Rodriguez can very much affect the standings of the AL East as the playoff race is heating up. Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes is one person in the Boston clubhouse who isn’t too thrilled with that.

“I don’t think so, to tell you the truth,” Gomes said Thursday when asked if he thinks it’s fair that A-Rod gets to play, according to the Boston Herald. “I can imagine being the pitcher, just knowing this guy is on or has done steroids. That’s not an equal battle right there. Good thing I don’t pitch. It doesn’t make much sense that he’s still playing.”

One person who does pitch, however, is Sox starter John Lackey. The righty has faced A-Rod multiple times in his career, including his major league debut in 2002, when Rodriguez, then with the Rangers, took him yard for one of his 57 home runs that season.

Years later, A-Rod admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs that season. To this day, Lackey has an ax to grind with the Yankees third baseman, who Lackey thinks shouldn’t be playing right now.

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey said Thursday, according to The Boston Globe. “How is he still playing? He obviously did something and he’s playing. I’m not sure that’s right. … It’s pretty evident he’s been doing stuff for a lot of years I’ve been facing him.”

Lackey said it’s a topic of discussion often in the Red Sox clubhouse.

“Sure, we talk about it,” he said. “But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings. He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him.”

Lackey will face Rodriguez when he takes the hill Saturday.

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