You know how I get when the Sox win the big games. And they don’t come much bigger than yesterday’s Daisuke debut. So I got that way again, heading to my local to celebrate the man’s first Boston “W.” And from there, afternoon became evening became cheap beer after cheap beer and lipstick and perfume and trying to impress the college girls sitting next to me by eating lit cigarettes.
And while all this carrying on was carrying on, Jon Lester was quietly going about his business in the shadows.
No contingent of photographers from his hometown jamming hotdogs down their throats and cameras in his face. No bleary-eyed die-hards watching half a world away. No pomp or circumstance or “I’ll send the ladies up to your room around midnight, Mister Lester, wink wink.” Just a guy and a baseball and an unbendable spirit. And four innings of two-hit ball against the Yankees’ Class A team, the Charleston RiverDogs. And striking out five of the fifteen batters he faced, while giving up only one walk.
According to the AP:
The big left-hander was on target against the RiverDogs, throwing 37 of his 54 pitches for strikes. Lester hit 96 mph at one point, according to Charleston’s scoreboard, and kept the young Yankees off stride.
The 23-year-old pitcher is due for the next of his three-month checkups later in April to see if he’s still cancer free. He had put all his concentration into his comeback during spring training. But the looming test has been on his mind recently.
“I don’t think it’ll affect anything,” Lester said after his outing. “But obviously, I’m human. It’s just a matter of going through the checkup and God-willing, everything will turn up clear again and move on to the next checkup.”
Yes, I am relishing Matsuzaka Mania. And I dream of a world where Manny, Papi and J.D. get into an MVP race that becomes so heated, it actually comes to fisticuffs. And if Clemens wants to get back here and join in all the fun, I welcome him with open arms.
But in Jon Lester, I’ve already got the feel-good story of the year.