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Lester: Beckett wasn't the problem

Red Sox pitcher describes relief, surprise, resolve after friend was sent packing

Updated: September 10, 2012, 9:56 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The night before Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington finalized a blockbuster, nine-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jon Lester was warming up in the bullpen preparing for a start against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

At the time, the left-hander had no idea that manager Bobby Valentine was tearing up his lineup card for that night's game and replacing it -- minus a few key players, including first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

It soon became clear ...

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