It’s all just hopefulness at this point, subject to an offseason of financial considerations and an evaluation of performance projections, but it still makes me smile. I’m preemptively nostalgic like that.
Apropos of Jon Lester’s comments about Wednesday’s game possibly being his last start at Wrigley Field, and his desire to stay with the Cubs after his contract expires this year, Cubs manager David Ross was asked about the decision to pull Lester after just five innings. His answer turned to one of those smile places:
David Ross said he had knots in his stomach when he had to pull Jon Lester the other night after just 5 innings in what could be his last Wrigley start. But then he also said he thinks Lester will be back next year.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) September 18, 2020
Cubs manager David Ross acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester’s future and says: “I don’t see it as his last start here. I see him coming back. That’s my hope. I think he’s got a lot more to prove.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) September 18, 2020
eyes dot emoji
Look, like I said, this is all just hopefulness right now. Or, well, it’s mostly just hopefulness. We can’t yet know what the financial situation will be, what the market will be for Lester’s services from other teams, and the Cubs’ plans for the rotation. Ross is not speaking for the front office at the moment, and he’s not talking out of school. He didn’t just spill any beans, because the beans are all yet to be figured out.
But the beans that could theoretically already be available to spill are whether Lester has a genuine desire to return to the Cubs next year. He said it, yes, but players say that all the time. Now Ross suggests, publicly, that he thinks there’s a chance it really does happen. Add those two things together, and it’s reasonable to surmise that, unlike mere pleasant-speak, there’s probably a legit interest on Lester’s part (and certainly Ross’s) in a reunion.
I’ll take it for now. But in the meantime, let’s just hope Lester looks great again next time out, and sets himself up to be the Cubs’ third starter in the postseason, where he has consistently been so excellent for the Cubs.