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Joe Maddon might be trying to suck John Lackey in to a war of words over hitting Matt Joyce, but Lackey wants none of it, according to MLB.com.

"I totally believe it was intentional," Maddon told MLB.com. "I saw the replay, and it was absolutely validated, my thoughts."

Lackey responded by saying that he "doesn't want to drag it on," according to MLB. I can't say I blame him. The last thing anyone wants is to get dragged into a media circus over one hit batsman. It doesn't really serve any purpose, except maybe the Rays purpose, who might be using the incident as motivation. Matt Joyce certainly did, as he homered on his next AB. It's probably for the best, though, that Lackey is trying to keep out of this. Last year, the manager who shall remain nameless went on-air and called Kevin Youkilis out for not giving 100% and it cause all sorts of distractions in the clubhouse, and it didn't win that manager any loyalty points from the players. Dustin Pedroia publicly defended Youkilis, and rightfully so, in my view. The point is, last year, the team got sucked into media distractions and it had bad results on the field. So far, that hasn't been an issue so far this year. And this isn't the first time an individual on the Red Sox have been publicly questioned in the media. Remember Clay Bucholz being questioned by Toronto commentator Jack Morris? Remember Dan Shaughnessy accusing David Ortiz of being on performance enhancers?

If Joe Maddon is trying to throw Lackey or the Red Sox off their games by throwing around public accusations, look at their track record this year. It HAS NOT worked. They're still in first place. John Farrell has been terrific at keeping his team focused all season long. But I personally don't think that was Maddon's intention, though. I have a lot of respect for the guy. He's managed to turn a bottom cellar team into a legitimate threat in the AL East every year. But I also have my doubts about his accusation that this incident was intentional on John Lackey's part. I understand, he's pissed that one of his guys got hit. I would be, too. I hated getting hit when I played. But I don't think there was any intent on Lackey's part. I think he lost control on that one pitch.

Twitter - @ConorJF1016
Conor Frederick
Contributing Writer

Conor Frederick 6/12/2013 04:23:00 PM Edit
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