Today, the Chicago Cubs officially introduced their new ace pitcher, Jon Lester in a press conference at a posh Chicago restaurant that I will probably never go to because I can’t afford it. Here are some highlights.
- Theo Epstein spoke first, introducing Lester and his family. He thanked everyone involved in the process of bringing Lester to the Cubs.
- Theo also reiterated that this signing, in part, represented a transition for the Cubs to compete for a World Series in the foreseeable future.
- Jon Lester appeared to get Kerry Wood‘s old #34 on his jersey, which is a pretty nice touch. I wonder if Wood was instrumental in making that happen as well? Either way, it’s a very nice gesture on the part of the Cubs, who couldn’t give the retired #31 to Lester.
- Lester and Epstein/Hoyer then ran through a bunch of questions from the media that I didn’t really care about. I was eating chili at the time. Mmmm, chili.
- Theo did keep throwing out “World Series” out there so there’s a bit of marketing and probably a goodly amount of belief in the plan in those statements.
- Jon Lester said he believed in the Cubs’ plan and also felt it was the right fit for him and his family.
- Lester also said something about the bottom of the zone, hmm!
- And then you have Sahadev Sharma asking about changes in mechanics to get Lester back on track from one of his worst seasons to his best season in 2014. Nice question, Sahadev. Lester said he felt more comfortable, it was sort of a non-answer, but I guess that’s expected because they can’t really give away too much.
- Lester said his decision to join the Cubs was made mere hours before the first confirmation on Twitter (paraphrase) so it was a pretty tough process. Here’s hoping he made the right decision (I think he did).
- As for being prepared for Chicago…Lester said he was in Boston for eight years, so yeah, he’s set.
- Haha, one of Jon’s kids wanted to sit on his dad’s lap. Nice. The kid was all smiles, he’s loving this. Lester’s kids got mini-Lester jerseys too.
- Lester said he talked to guys like Jake Peavy, David Ross, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and even Ryan Dempster about playing in the National League, so thank those guys for part of the recruiting process.
- Theo mentioned the quick rebuild (still in progress), the improve on the field in 2014, the farm system and the great decisions by the scouting and player development staff as key points in helping to convince Lester to join the Cubs.
- Jon Lester likes to win. So yeah, let’s win. Like, this year, even. He said it.
- Lester said being traded pretty much helped him learn whether he could play for another team or not. Thanks Boston.
Now, with video: