Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Lester Has Cancer

Sometimes I just don't understand the way things work. It has been recently leaked to the media that John Lester, father of our cancer-beating no no pitching Jon Lester, also has cancer. Instead of trying to write a post about it, I'd like to point you to a great blog post written by Texas Gal on Center Field.

She writes:

As if the no hitter and victory celebrations afterwards weren't already sweet enough, Jon Lester wasn't just putting to rest his own battle over cancer... but also the news that his father had also been just recently diagnosed with lymphoma as well. Jon revealed the news during an interview with Erin Andrews on ESPN earlier today.

Lester said his father John was diagnosed with lymphoma last month and that the cancer is "slow growing, ... something [his father] will die with, not die from."

Jon Lester learned of his father's medical problems during Boston's opening series at Fenway Park when they got their World Series rings. Jon Lester, who was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma nearly two years ago, earned the victory in the clinching game of Boston's sweep of the Colorado Rockies last year.

When his mother sat him down to deliver the news, Lester knew the seriousness of the situation.

"You hear the word cancer, and you figure death," Lester said.

Jon Lester said his father is doing well and has two more treatments to go. The 24-year-old pitcher said that his father is proud of him, but after learning first hand what his son had to go through, "He's more proud of me on another level."

It also helps explain that extra bit of emotion shared between Jon and Tito Francona:
After the no-hitter, Lester and Red Sox manager Terry Francona had an emotional embrace. Everyone understood then what the pitcher had been through to get to this point -- or at least they thought they did.

While none of Lester's teammates knew of his father's cancer, Francona had been told what was going on. That was likely why Lester had said he wanted to keep his conversation with his manager private after the game.

Father and son had debated whether or not to talk publicly about his dad's condition. John Lester wanted his son to get it off his chest.

"He's telling everyone ... like he won a prize," Jon Lester said. "It makes him feel better to sit there and talk about it. He can tell people, you know what, I have cancer, I'm doing great, everything is going to be good and people look at him like he's crazy. I guess that's how everyone looked at me when I told them."

Jon will get to see his father for the first time since his dad was diagnosed today, when he takes the hill in Oakland.
Father and son will get to talk in person about their unfortunate common bond on Sunday. Jon Lester is scheduled to make his first start since the no-hitter Sunday afternoon in Oakland against the Athletics.

When the Lesters meet up Sunday night, Jon is bringing a special gift for his dad. He'll have a brand new Red Sox World Series hat with him to cover his father's head that is now bald due to cancer treatments.

She also posted the full video of the Erin Andrews interview of Jon, which on May 25th as Sunday Conversation on ESPN. Stop on over and take a look.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jon Lester No Hitter - I Was There!

It's the stuff dreams are made of.

Every Red Sox fan hopes to experience things in their baseball lifetime -

  • Going to games at Fenway Park - Thanks to my awesome family I'm guaranteed at least 10 games a season
  • Seeing Justin Masterson's Major League debut? I'd say that's impressive (especially after only giving up three hits the other night). I was also there for Cla Meredith's MLB debut.
  • Watching a crazed fan get dragged of the field? Briefly captured on video
  • How many of you know Jose Canseco actually pitched an inning against the Red Sox? I do, I was there
  • How being there for walk off wins thanks to Papi? Been there
  • Our favorite Jack Drinking first baseman Kevin Millar's return to Fenway in 'o5? Yep
  • Johnny Demon's return to Fenway Park? The same night Mirabelli gets dressed in a cab to make his return as well? Uh huh...I was there
  • Signed baseballs from a legend? Thank you Johnny Pesky
  • Witnessing the history making back to back to back to back homeruns against the Yankees? You guessed it - I was there!
  • Playing catch with dad in the Fenway outfield? Done that
  • For Red Sox Fans a wish was always for a World Series win in their lifetime. I've had two - complete with their Rolling Rally parades!
I have been a blessed baseball fan - and last night I was blessed again while experiencing a no-hitter from Mr. Jon Lester.

I have to thank Google for this. The tickets were a gift from them, thanks to the business our companies do together. Those New Yorkers couldn't have picked a better game to bring us to. THANK YOU will never be enough!

Armed with my new camera, a Canon 40D, I was able to get some good shots of the game. Not great shots, I've seemed to left my photography skills back with the film cameras. If anyone wants to teach me how to use this beast, I'm game!

Anyway - I don't need to go on and on about how impressive any no hitter is - never mind the circumstances behind this no hitter. What I really want to do is share some of those pictures with all of you.

A full moon rising over the park in the 8th inning.

Lester getting ready to pitch in the 9th

The Last Pitch of the Game


Look how high Youk jumped!
Cora and Lowell in unison

The mighty bullpen leaping over the camera wires

130 total pitches - 86 for strikes - Last pitch a 94 MPH Fastball!

Captain Tek handing Lester the game ball (if you look closely you can see it in his right hand)

What a game. What a night. What memories!

But before another person I know tells me how much they hate me for being at the game, let me bring things back down a little bit. This morning, as I was walking to my car on my way to work, I stumbled on the grass and twisted my ankle. Bad. Bad enough that I was given a cast, crutches and orders to stay off my feet for five days. All of this 17 days before my wedding. So really, don't hate me too much. PLUS, these crutches...they don't do it for me. I was obviously not coordinated enough to walk on my own two feet, and now I have to try and balance on these things? Oh no way...this is not working well.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Kids on the Block on the Today Show

I'm sorry to do this to many of my "manly" regular readers. Really, I am.

I have fallen in love all over again (my fiance knows about it - so that makes it ok, right?)

Truth of the matter is I tried to embed these videos on my craptastic MySpace blog and it didn't work. And they need to be shared with the world - or at least my world of lunatic NKOTB loving friends. So here they are.

The first two (or ten) times I heard NKOTB's new single, Summertime. I really didn't like it. But I've fallen again, and hard. Now I think it will be my summer anthem. I kind of feel like a teenager again. Normally I would relish that feeling, but right now I'm still a bit embarrassed about it. Ah well.

Joey Joe is still my favorite of faves...but I'm finding myself having a "thing" for Donnie too. I can't help it - it's that Boston bad-boy thing. It's what attracted me to my fiance at first too.

The one bit of news I haven't shared with my fiance yet....there will be some New Kids played at our wedding. Eeeek!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Red Sox Garter

29 days and counting until this SoxyLady is a SoxyWife. We're really trying to make our wedding personal, customized to our tastes and interests.

We're having the ceremony outdoors, the reception in an antique car museum and we're giving away El Tiante Cigars as favors to the guys (I love the Red Sox, My man the Cigars).

Today I ordered the next "personal" item, which is my very own Red Sox Garter!!!

I can't wait to get it. I'm so excited.

I was telling one of my friends about it and she mentioned another friend of hers is also wearing a Red Sox Garter at her wedding. Obviously, that wouldn't bother me under normal circumstances. But this is not a normal circumstance. This girl is not only a very casual Red Sox fan, she's also having her wedding during a Red Sox/Yankees game (and she set the date AFTER the schedules came out this season). Bah, I think that just cheapens the idea, and I don't want to be cheap.

That's like those casual fans getting free tickets to Red Sox games, and making stupid comments and ruining the atmosphere for the rest of us.

Ah well. I'll wear it, and represent the true RSN with pride. Ya with me?