Lackey made a veiled reference to [Carl Crawford] when he said, “I definitely pitch to contact moreso than some of the guys and I think our improved outfield defense will definitely help for sure.’’'But wait,' I thought, hornets of irritation beginning to rise in my brain, 'this team was supposed to be a paragon of defense! And while I don't remember how well the defense played when Lackey pitched, I don't want to believe him because I dislike him for not pitching as well as I thought he should have!'
There’s code there. Lackey is telling you that one of the reasons for his inflated 2010 numbers was the Sox’ subpar defense.
Fortunately, the Internets exist. A quick trip over to Fan Graphs brought up the by-team defensive statistics summary for 2010 and a secondary trip over to the Fan Graphs glossary told me I should be paying attention to UZR and DRS as the best measures of how the team built around defense did defensively. Some quick reordering and we should have this question sorted out...
...wow, the Sox really were putrid in the field. UZR puts them at 10th to last in the majors, while DRS says they were even worse: only the Pirates and Royals did more poorly. I guess less-chunky Lackey knows what he's talking about. Now, if he can turn that talk into pitching at an above-average level, we'll be cool.