Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jon Lester has become my new hero, and oddly enough it happened on 'Left-Handers Day'

While scanning the interwebs I've just stumbled across two things that are must-blog topics for me, and coincidentally they fit perfectly together.  First, apparently today is International Left-Handers Day.  In honor of that, here's a post that I am particularly proud of from 2011:

The top 5 things that suck about being lefty

Now here's why Jon Lester is my new hero:

A long long time ago in the very beginning of my athletic career I was once a left-handed pitcher myself.  In various sports at different ages I had a number of coaches who referred to me as "Lefty."  So being that Lester was a homegrown left-handed star pitcher in the Red Sox organization, he held a special place in my heart from the very beginning.

Then he went out and beat cancer in 2007 on his way to helping the Sox win the World Series.  After that Lester just so happened to pitch a no hitter in 2008, and on a night that I was in attendance at Fenway Park no less.  And let's not forget his instrumental role in a second World Series championship last year.

Lester already had a fairly solid case for being one of my all-time favorite athletes.  But his quotes yesterday from a Boston Herald article by John Tomase gave me a whole new level of admiration and respect for him.  And I'm not talking about how Lester said he'd happily return to Boston, although those are wonderful words to hear.  What blew me away was the following:

"In the greater scheme of things, we're talking about just a stupid amount of money. For me, I want to be comfortable. The way I look at it is, if someone gives you $170 million and someone gives you $150 million, is that $20 million really going to change your lifestyle? Same thing if the highest bidder is $100 million and the team you're going to feel most comfortable with offers $80 million. Is that $20 million really going to make the difference in your lifestyle?"

This is basically word-for-word an argument that I have made time and time again while discussing pro athletes.  I'm always shocked when the small difference in an already exorbitant amount of money is their deciding factor when choosing where to play (over any number of other variables like team, location, opportunity to win, competitive nature, chance to make history, etc.).  Jon Lester says that will not be the case for him.  Whether or not this brings him back to Boston, I'll be extremely proud if the soon-to-be free agent's actions stay true to his words.

Previous posts including examples of some of the aforementioned "variables" that should come into play for pro athletes:

Advice for LeBron James in free agency: Go win titles everywhere you can
Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees reaction: World Series ride comes to an abrupt halt
Clear Headed Ray Allen [to the Heat] Reaction


  1. Great quote from Lester -- hadn't seen it.
    I believe the athletes who opt for that $20 million tend to be motivated more by ego than greed -- though let the record show that ego/pride and greed/avarice are two of the Seven Deadly Sins.
    A very close friend (a woman of my generation) is also left-handed. She recalls elementary school teachers in those days forcing lefties to write with their right hand. She absolutely oozes with nostalgic love when she recounts the story of her late Dad marching into the school and putting a stop to THAT shit.

  2. I completely agree that it's often more about ego that the actual money. I guess my lefty childhood was not quite as traumatizing as many before me, haha.

  3. I thought the same thing after I read it. It's what I've always thought but no athletes ever come out and say. Isn't you're day-to-day life happiness mattering more than a small % more money? ... Regarding the lefties, I'm a lefty and one of my high-school math teachers always used to say, "We're all born right-handed, only the great ones can overcome it"

    1. Haha, great line. What do you think are the odds Lester really returns?

  4. I've said from before the trade went down that he's resigning here in the winter. Ben basically said, "hey Jon, we suck this year. how bout we give you a nice 2-3 month vacation in cali, you can compete for another ring, then let's talk in the offseason and we'll give you a great offer. we'll even have a better team with Cespedes involved." why would he say no to that?

    I think there is a 90% chance he's coming back to Boston

    1. I hope you're right. I'll say 35%. I think if he actually was planning on it and/or they'd already discussed it I think he wouldn't be talking about it.


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