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Retiring Numbers at Wrigley, Lester Not Looking to Coach, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am on the road today, hence Michael busting out a post before these Bullets got up. My planned stopping schedule got thrown off, so today you get mid-day Bullets. Here’s hoping I can get to my place before any word breaks on today’s MLB/MLBPA meeting. I don’t expect anything super positive, but I do expect there to be news that leaks out.

•   With Jon Lester heading off into retirement, you shouldn’t look to see him taking up coaching any time soon. He told 670 The Score, “I don’t have anything on the schedule. It will be my first summer off since I was 6 years old probably. It will be definitely nice. I’m sure it will be tough at times, but that’s just the nature of the beast.” He’ll miss being around the game, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t expect him to do much more than maybe (hopefully?) stop by Arizona or Chicago for a visit with the team, and maybe a ceremony for the fans.

•   A question I see from a lot of folks: will the Cubs consider retiring Jon Lester’s number 34? And if that were the question, alone, I think it’s probably a pretty clear, “No.” Lester absolutely did some incredible things with the Cubs, and he will forever be one of the best signings in history. But his time with the Cubs was relatively brief, his time with the Red Sox was considerably more impactful, and the bar for retiring a number has to be kept really, really high.

•   Here’s the question, though – what if it were a combo situation:

•   As a fan, I’d certainly enjoy seeing it happen. Forever marking 34 as the Cubs number we associate with two very important pitchers at important times in the team’s history. Each of Lester and Kerry Wood probably don’t get there on their own, but does their combined impact merit a number retirement? That’s probably a pretty close call, right?

•   Just for fun, combine their numbers with the Cubs to come up with Jerry Wester and you get: 157 wins, 35 saves, nearly 2500 strikeouts, over 40 WAR, a load of postseason success, and 10 home runs.

•   He may not have always had the huge years you were hoping for, but catchers tend not to be as consistently above average as Willson Contreras has been:

•   A 7.8 WAR *projection* is just bonkers, but that’s how good Juan Soto is:

•   The MLB Commissioner on an important milestone in affiliated baseball:

•   More from Balkovec here.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.