Five days before the trading deadline, Lackey has reason to wonder how many other friends (paging Jon Lester) will be absent from the Sox clubhouse by the end of the week.
“It’s a weird day when you lose a buddy, for sure,’’ Lackey said after losing, 3-0, to the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday night. “I talked to him at the hotel when he was about to leave. He’s going to a great situation, with a guy he’s played for before [Giants manager Bruce Bochy], a division he knows really well.
“I wish him all the luck. Mostly going to miss a buddy more than anything.’’
Peavy pitched just shy of a year for the Red Sox (acquired July 30, 2013, traded July 26, 2014), but he will be remembered with great fondness in the Sox clubhouse. He was embraced by teammates from the moment he walked in, asked Ryan Dempster how it was going, and Dempster replied with, “Welcome to the 2013 World Series champions.’’
“His personality, the type of person he is, he came in here and fit in, not just on the field but off,’’ first baseman Mike Napoli said. “We hung out. He has a great family, a genuine person who cares about everybody. A good friend.’’
Despite a 1-9 record this season, Peavy was praised for how he solidified a Sox rotation that was missing Clay Buchholz at the time he was acquired last season.
“I trusted him with the ball in his hand that he would keep the game under control,’’ manager John Farrell said. “He pitched better than his won-lost record.
“The fire he has was infectious in some ways, and he pitched some big games for us down the stretch. There’s a lot of pitching left for Jake Peavy.’’
Farrell said he spoke briefly with Peavy when he came to the clubhouse Saturday morning to gather his belongings.
“He’ll miss Boston for sure,’’ Farrell said. “His time here he felt was an extremely positive one, a memory certainly to last forever in winning the World Series last year. He wished it had worked out differently and didn’t lead to a trade to San Francisco.’’
Buchholz said that he had a chance to spend some time with Peavy after Friday night's game; by then, Peavy had heard a deal was imminent.
“Just a competitor,’’ Buchholz said when asked what endeared Peavy to his teammates so quickly. “He sort of molded himself to be a different pitcher than he was eight years ago, but he found a way to do it to help the team. Not a whole lot of people throw it 98 with sink, and a wipeout slider, then figure it out.
“The flip side, he was just a good guy, fun to have around, easy to talk to, could turn some negatives into positives just with his outlook on life in general.’’
And, Buchholz said, he was the best guitar player in a clubhouse full of them.
Buchholz was asked whether he was braced for other departures before the deadline.
“I don't read too much into it,’’ he said, “but obviously you hear about everything going on. There's nothing you can do about it but sit back and wait for the minute hand to pass.’’