A fan's case for Jon Lester
July, 24, 2014
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com
TORONTO -- He didn’t want his name to be used, because he likes to send ideas to the Red Sox and didn’t want to risk being cut off. But a man who describes himself as a passionate fan of the club shared a recent e-mail he sent to the Sox front office, making a case for re-signing Jon Lester. He shared it with ESPN Boston; because it’s so well-stated, we’re sharing it with you.
Some input on Lester (and I know that none of it will be particularly novel, but you've often encouraged me to keep the inputs coming):
I know it's not my money and that Lester has to be viewed in the larger context -- creating an overall salary structure, the kids on the way up, the risk that he declines over time, etc.
But... even with all that, here's one vote in favor of going well above and beyond the comfort zone, if necessary.
1. He's a legit ace and there are so few of them in baseball.
2. He's a postseason warrior and we know that guys like that -- who raise their games in October -- are rare. He's done it enough for us to safely conclude that it's real in his case, like it was with Schilling.
3. He likely has the admiration and respect of all, or nearly all, of his teammates.
4. As a fan, I understood losing Ellsbury. The Yankees' offer was stupid money and Jacoby is a nice player, a very good player, who put up ONE sensational season. And nothing more, at least thus far. From what I have heard, he was not a popular guy on the team and was one of the few outsiders on last year's tight club. As a fan, letting Salty go made sense. As a fan, I could see both sides of the Drew situation.
Losing Jon Lester would be different. It would truly hurt. It would be a painful reminder of why it's not good to invest overly in anything but the laundry. That might be the harsh reality, but sports are romantic and we fall in love with some of the players. Lester is one of them.
5. As a fan, losing Jon to the Yankees would be intolerable. Enough of that. Especially as a fan living down here, it just cannot be tolerated. The Boston Red Sox should not be a feeder club to the Yankees. Leave that for the Royals and A's and other small-market teams.
6. Other money will be coming off the books; I think, and please excuse my boldness, that suffering one possible large overpay will not break the bank or make it impossible to put forth a roster than can compete for the title.