This is a great feel good story. Last night on the mound at
What really stood out for me in the aftermath of the young pitcher’s phenomenal achievement was the quality of the response of his teammates. It was clear in watching the players, manager and coaches embrace Lester after the final out had been recorded that they were celebrating the human being as much as they were congratulating the achievement. And the post-game comments drove home that point even more poignantly. My thoughts turned immediately to the book, “Season of Life.”
(See review in The White Rhino Report,
That book beautifully chronicles the remarkable story of the players and coaches of the
“What is the job of us coaches?”
“To love us!”
“And what is your job?”
“To love each other.”
And from such “unmanly” sentiments championships are spawned! Some may feel that this soft approach is all well and good at the high school level, where not much is on the line. But in professional sports? No way!
Well, what came across the TV screen to me last night as Lester and his team celebrated the 18th no-hitter in Red Sox history was pure love. The embrace by manager, Terry Francona, was that of a proud father to a beloved son. Some of the first words that Lester spoke were of his sentiment that “Francona has been like a second Dad to me – just being able to talk to hi, not just as a manager, but as a friend. He cares a lot about his players.”
On a day when Francona had traveled from
Francona commented on his emotions being on the surface last night:
"I looked up in the ninth and you're trying to keep your emotions in check, and I went to say something to John Farrell and he was being a big baby next to me. It made me feel a little bit better. . . This probably isn't fair to say, but I feel like my son graduated and my son threw a no-hitter. . . Joy. You feel joy for a kid like that."
Throwing a no-hitter requires an element of luck and good defensive play. Most of the no-no’s I recall had at least one sterling play by a fielder, and last night’s gem was no exception. Jacoby Ellsbury, a young Red Sox phenomenon in his own right, made a spectacular diving catch in the 4th inning that preserved the string of hitless Royals batters.
What a thrill it is to cheer for a team that seems to do everything – on and off the field – better than the other teams in major league baseball. They hit better, pitch better, run better – and love better!
Red Sox Nation. You gotta love it!