Lackey: A-Rod shouldn't be playing

Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey isn’t too happy he has to face Alex Rodriguez this weekend in light of the Yankees slugger receiving a 211-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

“I’ve got a problem with it. You bet I do,” Lackey told the Boston Globe on Thursday. “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 is scheduled to face the Yankees, and A-Rod, on Saturday at Fenway Park in the second of a three-game series. The Red Sox right-hander said A-Rod is a frequent topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse, particularly among pitchers.

“Sure, we talk about it,” he told the Globe. “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 was referring to a game in 2002, when Rodriguez was with the Texas Rangers. A-Rod has previously confessed to have taken PEDs during his time in Texas.

When the Biogenesis suspensions came down on Aug. 5, A-Rod was the only one among the 13 players banned that day to appeal. Upon hearing the news while in Houston, Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes said he had a problem with A-Rod being able to play until his appeal is heard, which will likely be after the season ends.

"I don't think so, to tell you the truth," Gomes said when asked if it was right that A-Rod was still out there, according to MassLive.com. "I can imagine being the pitcher, just knowing this guy is on or has done steroids. That's not an equal battle right there. I don't know how that would really work out. Good thing I don't pitch. It doesn't make much sense that he's still playing."