Poor Jon LesterMORE: Youth served on C's MORE: Kraft's Oscar buzz


Poor Jon LesterMORE: Youth served on C's MORE: Kraft's Oscar buzz

The All Star Game is over, and that can only mean one thing:

Back to miserable stories about the Red Sox!

Today's subject is Jon Lester, who according to Peter Gammons, is unhappy in Boston.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who's watched Lester and Bobby Valentine interact over the last couple starts. It's pretty clear that they aren't on the same page.

For me, the tipping point came on June 27 against Toronto. The Sox were up 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh and there was no reason for Lester to stay in the game. He'd already gone seven innings, thrown 100 pitches and the Sox were up six runs. If it's the playoffs? Yeah, sure. Maybe you roll with your starter for one more inning. But in a Thursday afternoon game two months into the season? Come on.

NESN's cameras caught Valentine walking over to tell Lester that he was done for the day . . . and Lester snapped. He snarled back at Bobby (who walked away shaking his head and smiling arcastically) then crushed his water bottle into a cube, tossed the bottle and spit his gum onto the top step of the dugout.

He was furious.

There had to be more to it. This couldn't have been the product of just one night. Especially when Valentine didn't do anything wrong. Lester's reaction was the equivalent of an NBA star pouting after his coach only played him 35 minutes in a 20-point blow out. I remember thinking: God, he looks miserable. And nothing about the way he's carried himself in the two starts since has change that perception.

And Peter Gammons agrees.

So, the question is: What can they do?

I'd trade him.

I'd trade anyone at this point. And yes, I'm the same guy who wrote a column two weeks ago saying that I didn't want to trade anyone. That Youkilis and Beckett were the only two guys worthy of being shipped out of town.

I'm starting to change my tune. Now that Ellsbury's back, I'm willing to give this team until the trade deadline to turn it around. If the deadline comes, nothing has changed and we're still having the same boring conversations, then it's time to make a move. Time for heads to roll.

And maybe time for the owners to sell?


Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Danny Ainge made no secret of being miffed when Kansas small forward Josh Jackson canceled his workout with the Celtics in Sacramento at the last minute. 

The Celtics, of course, passed on Jackson and selected Jayson Tatum of Duke with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough's comments at Jackson's introductory press conference lend some credence to the theory that the canceled workout was part of Phoenix's plan to keep the Celtics from selecting Jackson and leave him for the Suns at No. 4.

Check out this portion of Jackson's presser via a tweet from Mike McClune of KPHO-TV: 

"I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition," said McDonough, a former assistant GM to Ainge with the C's "The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. [Armstrong, Jackson's agent] and I and...other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.

"We played by the rules – I guess,” McDonough said to some laughter in the room.

Jackson will certainly get more playing time with the rebuilding Suns that the contending Celtics. Ainge called Jackson "a terrific kid and a good player” after the draft, and said the Celtics were set on Tatum all along, even if they hadn't traded the No. 1 pick.

Jackson said his decision to blow off Ainge coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM Mike Zarren after their cross-country flight was "last-minute" and his plans to work out "just didn't work out."

Morning Skate: Devils get a good one in No. 1 pick Hischier

Morning Skate: Devils get a good one in No. 1 pick Hischier

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while locking the name Urho Vaakenainen into my Microsoft World spellcheck.

 *The New Jersey Devils got a No. 1 overall pick that isn’t going to be a generational player, but he’s going to be one heck of a player.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has fired Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett indicating that he needed a change after a long run in the desert.

*The Edmonton Oilers cleared cap space by dealing Jordan Eberle and immediately filled it up with a four-year commitment to Kris Russell. Peter Chiarelli must make sure he doesn’t paint himself into a salary cap corner like he did in Boston with signings like this one. Word is that Connor McDavid is going to command a massive contract, and that could make contracts like the Russell one tough to manage in Edmonton.

*Old friend Claude Julien is only a spectator at the NHL Draft, but he’s already juggling the Habs roster in his mind as it goes through changes. Both Julien and Shawn Thornton came over to shoot the breeze with the Boston media on Friday night as the first round approached, and showed once again why both men are on the All-Class team.

*The Winnipeg Jets took a guy that I thought made a lot of sense for the Bruins, big Finnish power forward Kristian Vesalainen. He was available for the Bruins at the 18th pick when they opted to go defense instead.

*The Washington Capitals decided not to let winger TJ Oshie get to free agency, and locked him up with an eight-year contract.

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is in the middle of the storm right now as he blows up his team and begins to build it the way he wants to.

For something completely different: Everything you always wanted to know about Sammy Hagar but were afraid to ask.