After being dominated by the Yankees “C” lineup on Sunday afternoon and making AJ Burnett look like Walter Johnson, Boston and their $170 milllion payroll turn to John Lackey, the worst pitcher in franchise history, in Game 2 of the doubleheader as they desperately cling to their postseason hopes.

December 16, 2009, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein:

We’re thrilled today to be able to announce that we signed John Lackey to a five-year contract. John’s addition to an already solid pitching staff is a significant boost to this ballclub. He’s somebody that we look to be an anchor in our rotation for a long time coming.

John’s someone, with his track record and his consistency, who has put himself in a position to deserve a contract like this if you look at recent signings and last year’s free agent pitching signings for example, certainly John ranks right up there with those guys who got similar contracts if not exceeds them. It’s something we had to think long and hard about but in the end we believe in John, we believe in our pitching and our starting pitching going forward that this puts us in the best position. If you look on paper, we’ll put our starting five right up there with anybody’s.