Good news for Jon Lester fans worldwide. This is from the Thursday Boston Globe....
"Jon Lester, who came back from a cancer diagnosis in 2006 to win this year's World Series clincher for Boston, was honored Wednesday with the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through spirit, determination and courage.
The award, which will be presented at the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner on Jan. 17, is named for the promising Red Sox player whose career was derailed when he was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967.
Pitching coach John Farrell said Lester "looks great" and "will be counted on heavily once spring training opens."
Peter here, and what a deserving honor. To be able to overcome cancer AND pitch effectively (he was 4-0 and won game 4 of the World Series) is quite simply a stunning achievement, and we have to hope he will be able to continue his winning ways in 2008 while pitching for the Red Sox. His name has been bantered about in the Santana talks, so until the end of next week, his future remains up in the air. The same goes for Clay "no hitter" Buchholz. Keep reading.
Why keep reading? Because I've been thinking about Clay Buchholz recently, and the sky is the limit for this young man. 2008 will bring him fame nationwide. This quote from our pitching coach supreme John Farrell is from the Hartford Courant....
"Buchholz, 23, showed electrifying stuff in a month with the Red Sox, including the first no-hitter by a rookie in team history Sept. 1.
But Buchholz was shut down in September with arm fatigue and the team has him on a strengthening program in Florida.
"There have been gains from a physical standpoint," pitching coach John Farrell said. "In retrospect, it was certainly the right decision to de-active him, for lack of a better term. But he is making progress. He still has some work to do, as we project 180-185 innings for him next year."
Clay's name has been linked with Lester's in the many "what-if" scenarios...what if we trade Lester and Buchholz and Crisp just to be able to join the rest of the Santana suiters. I say this...the biggest reason why the Sox want to land Santana to be their number two starter would be to keep him away from the New York Yankees. I like the six man (for now) rotation of Beckett, Schilling, Matsuzaka, Lester, Buchholz and Wakefield. Other teams crave that mixture of young arms and experienced mound soldiers, and I so hope the Red Sox won't sell the farm to buy a dozen eggs. Even if they're double yolkers! That's just my opinion. That's all I've got.
Please click on the title of this post for Rob Bradford's Boston Herald article that focuses on the maybes surrounding the whole Santana dilemna. And it's EXACTLY that. Here's a snippet...
"Even though, as one major league executive said last night, “The Twins are in a bind. They have to trade Santana,” and the Red Sox remain as one of a handful of teams with the prospects and financial resources to get the job done, completing a deal will be one of the current Sox regime’s biggest challenges to date.
If, however, that challenge can’t be met, falling back on the arms of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester - whose names have been thrown around in the Santana rumors - is a pretty good security blanket, judging by offseason reports."
Peter here, and Rob has it exactly right...combined, Lester and Buchholz will be a force to be reckoned with for all of the American League pretenders, and I MEAN pretenders. And so, my Constant Readers (thank you SK), click on the title, and thanks yet again for stopping by. Readership is slim as the days dwindle down to a precious few before the season-defining winter meetings start next week. So until then, keep the faith, leave a comment, and just BE WELL. Always. Red Sox Forever!!!!!