Friday, July 13, 2012

Leave Lester Alone

Peter Gammons accidentally-on-purpose let it slip that Jon Lester seemed unhappy here in Boston. And during the All-Star Break, with no other sports news to sink one's teeth into, the story exploded. It even prompted Lester himself to Tweet that he was in fact happy to play here.

If Jon Lester is unhappy here, I can't really blame him. This team hasn't won a playoff game since 2008, hasn't been to the playoffs since 2009, has finished in 3rd place since 2010, and suffered an infamous collapse in 2011.

The team has changed managers, changed GMs, and their clubhouse character is questioned (rightfully so) on a daily basis.

And who would be happy working for Larry Lucchino and John Henry?

I criticize Lester all the time because he seems whiny, but I can't disagree with his whining here. I criticize Lucchino for being a bad boss, Cherington for being a sock-puppet, and Valentine for being a reality TV show personality. How can I criticize Lester for not enjoying working for these guys?

And do we want Jon Lester happy?

Didn't we hate how careless Beckett and Lackey were as the team collapsed last September? They were happy as the team went down the drain and it pissed us off. As General Patton said: "I wouldn't give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed."

Jon Lester is 5-6 with a 4.49 ERA. If he were happily joking around with Peter Gammons and laughing it up with the dugout with David Ortiz, I'd be pissed at him. And so would a lot of Sox fans. I think he's as disappointed with his performance this year as we are, if not more so.

And he should be. He shouldn't be happy. I'm glad that at least one key player on this team is unhappy with losing.

Here's what actually happened. Gammons was told something juicy by a person in the Sox front-office. That's why he let it slip on The Hub, and then later that same day on The Fan. It was a leak, a nugget of speculation that would elicit a reaction.

What is the Machiavellian motivation for the leak? I don't know. Maybe the Sox want to gauge fan reaction to a possible Lester trade. Maybe they're laying the foundation of the "he didn't want to be here" campaign they'll launch after Lester is traded or leaves.

Or maybe they wanted fans to speculate if this team was going to "blow up" the roster just so Ben Cherington could declare that he won't blow up the roster. Although, keep in mind this is the same guy who declared that Youkilis would start over Middlebrooks when he returned. Cherington will do whatever puppet-master Larry Lucchino commands he do.

I don't mind Lester being unhappy. I'm unhappy. Misery loves company.

In honor of Friday the 13th, I published this post at 1:13 PM, or 13:13.

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