Sunday, May 25, 2008

America Needs Less Lester

Sure, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester "earned" the distinction of somebody topical for the Disneyland Sports Channel's vanilla "Sunday Night Conversation" for being the first person in the history of the universe to beat cancer and to throw a no-hitter in the same calendar year, but, c'mon ...

Was that the best Disneyland could do?

For the 1,185th time, we'll phrase this as carefully as possible:
Players in The MLB -- least of all, Red Sox pitchers -- who overcome cancer ... are NOT heroes.
Or role models.
Or "an inspiration" to us all.

They could be, though.
That is, if Jon Lester had a real job and his boss said, "We know you have chemo and radiation sessions this week, but could you stay late on Thursday and Friday? We'll see about bumping you pay up from $11.13 and hour to $12.50, so, whaddya say, Sport?"

It's a fairly-educated guesstimate from those of us who are married to a non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor that Jon Lester was never in jeopardy of losing the job which pays him wayyyyyyyyyy too much $$$$$.

In fact, there were likely many days when Jon Lester's only "job" was chemo and/or radiation and soft-toss a baseball or ride a stationary bicycle, etc ...
And he did so on the Red Sox's nickel.

Which begs the obvious question: "What's so heroic about that?"

That Simmons guy who writes that vapid Sports Guy crud had a fairly-typical response the other day when he wrote, "I'll be honest: When Terry Francona gave Jon Lester the extra-long hug after Monday's no-hitter, it didn't just get a little dusty at the Sports Guy Mansion, it got "Brian's Song"-level dusty."

It's adorable when people who don't care pretend to care, although most of us get all full of melancholy and Brian's Song dustiness when we remember that this world was a better place when people who didn't care didn't bother to play dress-up with their apathy.

Maybe the Sports Guy With The Queer Eye can take Jon Lester by the hand and chronicle their tag-team trip to the nearest childrens' hospital.

Imagine how the face of the 11-year-old who's losing his/her battle against leukemia will light up when he/she learns of the "heroism" of Jon Lester.

"That's right, Veronica ... you're probably not going to live to see 14 or 15, but, if you could simply remember that John Lester laid it on the line for you, that would really help."

And, if Veronica happens to live in Tennessee, well, okay ... so Jon Lester can't make it to her bedside, but, hey ... she can catch up on Lester on "Baseball Tonight."

"Look, Mommy. That's Steve Phillips. He didn't have a double masectomy like you did ... and he doesn't know what it's like to have both breasts removed and feeling inadequate or like less of a woman, but he looks as though he's fully recovered from his addiction to sex."

That's the frosting on a Memorial Day Weekend.
Disneyland Sports puttin' a happy face on cancer

So, when you've lost all your hair and food tastes like metal and you're wunderin' how the flock these hospital bills are gonna get paid, well, maybe you could stop thinking about yourself and your problems for five minutes and give it up for Jon Lester.

He's an American hero in the sense that you need to re-word it to read "Pseudo-American Hero," yeah ... that works.

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