Thumbs up, thumbs down report for December 7th

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Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Steeno’s Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up: John Lackey

On Friday, pitcher John Lackey agreed to sign with the Chicago Cubs. After seeing how big the numbers were for David Price, who many thought would be a Cub, the team decided to take a smaller risk.

Lackey signed for two years, for between $32-$34 million total. Lackey had a 2.77 ERA and helped the St. Louis Cardinals own the best record in baseball this past season.

He will now be on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. He already knows what it feels like to be in a huge rivalry, having pitched for the Boston Red Sox earlier in his career.

Lackey will now be reunited with Jon Lester and David Ross, trying to end another curse.

Says Paul, “He is a 37-year-old pitcher coming off the best season of his career in terms of ERA and now he just signed a 2-year, $32 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. Not only does he get to finish off his career with a team that is one of the favorites to win the World Series, but he also gets reunited with old Boston buddy Jon Lester. Life is good for Lackey; old guys in baseball aren’t supposed to have it this good!”

Thumbs down: Pau Gasol

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol said something this past week that went largely unnoticed, even though when Rose said it, many criticized him.

Gasol has not had a bad season so far, averaging 14.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, but he has had trouble adjusting to new head coach Fred Hoiberg’s system and has complained about it.

After having a 26-point, 19-rebound, four-block and three-assist game against the Denver Nuggets, he told that he will likely opt out of his contract at the end of this season. “As long as I keep playing like this,” he said. “I know I’ll have some options.”

When Rose talked about his contract situation, it seemed that all of Chicago was up in arms. I know that Rose has been injured, and fans don’t want to hear him talk about contract, but that’s what athletes do, they look ahead. If Rose got criticism for it, then why be so quiet when Gasol does it? He has his own injury concerns. He was on the bench with an injured thigh when the Bulls were getting eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.

Says Paul, “Don’t talk about a future contract in December when you are having the worst season scoring-wise of your career, Pau Gasol. I hate it when players are more focused on where their next paycheck is coming from than what they are doing on the court. That is why Pau Gasol gets the thumbs down award this week. Shame on you dude!”

Next: Tim Stebbins' Thumb Up, Thumbs Down