Sox should lock up Lester – now

Another Sox star bolts for the Yankees. That scenario used to hurt. Not anymore.

When you have the satisfaction of winning ANOTHER World Series (the euphoria from this latest one should’ve lasted longer than it actually did), a player jumping ship to a hated rival doesn’t boil my blood like it used to.

When Johnny Damon left, my first thought was “how could he.”

Now, it’s “whatever.”

I don’t get attached to Boston sports stars like I used to. Not since my heart was broken all so long ago when my hero Fred Lynn was traded and my second fave Carlton Fisk left because his contract was mailed late.

So Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees. Wasn’t a complete shock. I don’t consider him a traitor. It’s business. And the fact that he’ll be facing the Sox 19 times a season just makes the whole rivalry that much more juicy.

I do wonder why the Sox don’t get ex-Yankees in their primes like the Pinstripes seem to from Boston.

Ellsbury is a solid player. He came up from the farm system. He stole more bases than anyone not named Harry Hooper and Tris Speaker in team history. He’ll be missed. But he just wasn’t worth 153 mil. And I think I’ll miss Salty more.

On to the future, and a more pressing question: How can we keep this from happening again next December when Jon Lester’s contract is up. Now that would be a huge loss.

The ideal situation is to lock him up now. Don’t let negotiations drag on. He deserves an extension and the Fenway Faithful deserves to see him pitch in Boston for the rest of his career.

I don’t need to go into all his stats and WAR and all that. He’s been nearly lights out in the playoffs and has become the team’s ace. Wouldn’t the pitching-strapped Yankees just love to have an innings-eating lefty who can blow hitters away? And an ex-Red Sock to boot.

This whole scenario of losing a star to the Yanks will just repeat itself next year if Lester isn’t wrapped up to a long – dare I say – lucrative contract. The Red Sox are loathe to engage in such tactics, but this should be an exception.

And it should be done now.


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