Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John Lester Speaks Up From Florida

Michael Silverman, who writes for the Boston Herald, had a chat with Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester. Jon has already arrived in Ft. Myers and had a great workout yesterday. Some people think he's the Sox' number one guy but I like to think that Boston's six man rotation has three number ones...Lester, Beckett and Lackey. Here's what Jon had to say to those who call him the ace of the team...

“If people want to say that, that’s great, but we’ve got five aces, six aces on this team,” said Lester. ‘Everyone here is capable of going out there and helping this team win. I’m ready to go. For some reason this offseason was a little different,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because it ended early or what, I guess those couple extra weeks help you get that itch a little sooner, get excited about coming down here. I’m pretty excited about this team this year and getting it going. There’s nothing to lack confidence about,” said Lester. “Hopefully I can go out there and maybe not get off to that slow start like last year but I’m confident.”

I'm excited too. I think this Red Sox team, playing in an American League East that is vastly tougher than last year, will be in it to the very end (Baltimore and the Yankees improved themselves immensely and don't forget about Tampa Bay). Will they win the division or will they snare the wild card? That doesn't matter to me. As long as they qualify for post season play. THEY WILL.

Here Mr. Lester on newly acquired pitcher John Lackey...

“I think he’s going to be another Josh, another bulldog out there, another guy giving you quality starts,” said Lester. “He’s going to go out and compete every five days and that’s what we need. We need somebody to go out there and compete.”

Hey Jon, will the Sox offense be able to score enough runs??

“Run production’s fun, don’t get me wrong. You like to see our offense go out there and put up six runs in the first two innings. It makes our job a hell of a lot easier,” he said. “But, at the same time, those games that you run into where you’re pitching against CC Sabathia, or A.J. Burnett or Felix Hernandez or Cliff Lee, those 2-1 games are just as important to be able to prevent those runs from being scored. Somebody being able to make a great play, it definitely helps us out just as much as scoring six or seven runs.”

And lastly, on teammate Mike Lowell...

“Mikey has kind of been in a bad situation,” said Lester. “I hate to say it because he’s such a good guy and such a good teammate, but that’s the business side of baseball and it sucks to lose a guy like that. But if you throw in a guy like Adrian Beltre in there, it’s not going to be too much of a gap defensively or offensively.”

I, too, love Mikey but Beltran's defensive ability is far and away better than any other third baseman in all of Major League Baseball. He is, quite simply, the best. That goes for the Boston Red Sox defense as a whole. So things are looking up for Red Sox Nation. You and me and the Fenway Faithful are gearing up for an exciting 2010.

That's it for this soon-to-be-snowy Wednesday morning. The snow is on our doorstep and will start before 7am EST. Here we're expecting about a foot. The howling winds will also be a major problem this afternoon and evening as the storm, still developing off the eastern seaboard, deepens and intensifies. There are BLIZZARD WARNINGS out for New York City and Long Island. I'll keep you posted. You can count on it.

Click on this post's title for Red Sox questions answered by the Globe's Amalie Benjamin and remember, TRUCK DAY is Friday, only two days from right now. Hard to believe, isn't it. As always BE WELL. Wait, I can hear a faint cry of "play ball" getting louder and louder day by day.

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