OAKLAND — From worst to initial to worst again, Jon Lester finds his way back to 1st, albeit in white spikes.
‘Changing uniforms doesn’t change precisely what we’re trying to do between lines,’ said Jonny Gomes.
Just their particular chances of standing between those lines past September.
Taken away an obliterated last-place Red Sox list following Thursday’s startling trade for the first-place A’s, Lester and Gomes arrived at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday afternoon all set about their business.
Except landing a bona-fide ace after already pulling in Jeff Samardzija in a invest the Cubs on the Fourth of July isn’t business as usual for these particular A’s, who were forced to part with wildly talented slugger Yoenis Cespedes to make it all function.
That’s why many in the building remained hungover from the shock that Thursday’s off-day produced.
‘It’s a lot to digest,’ claimed manager Bob Melvin. ‘The magnitude of the type of trade gets your own attention. Everybody was so near to Cespy here, and he had an incredible impact on what we’ve completed here in the last two-plus years, and now we wish him the best and we thank him for almost everything.
‘But to bring in the guys that we brought in, you have to trade something quite significant, and that’s what it needed.’
Such shock is mitigated by the presence of impact players such as Lester and Gomes, who walked to the A’s clubhouse to the soundtrack of Bob Phillip Souza’s ‘Washington Post March,’ even though catcher Derek Norris literally marched around the room.
Welcome in order to Oakland, Jon Lester.
‘Obviously leaving Boston right after being there for so lengthy is difficult, but I’m energized to be here,’ mentioned Lester, who will make his A’s come out Saturday against the Royals. ‘Going from a team that hasn’t done so well this year to the crew with the best record in baseball is exciting.
‘They play in the game the right way. Obviously their own pitching staff has always been robust. It’ll be fun to be a part of.’
The 30-year-old was in the middle of his 9th season with the Red Sox, who is sudden fall from Planet Series champions to the downstairs room of the American League Eastern prompted a swift reshuffling venture. Gone went contending inside 2014, and gone went their own chances of signing Lester to an extendable — though both parties are ready to accept getting back together in the offseason, it seems.
The A’s plan only goes so far as 2014.
‘Any time you negotiate with a staff and it doesn’t go the way in which everyone wants it, there’s always a bit of disappointment,’ said Lester, ‘but this is not to say the effort wasn’t generally there on both sides to get something done. But my time inside Boston will be something I usually remember and cherish, via 2002 to yesterday. New kindle nothing but great things to say about the organization, the way they treated me, treated my family through the good times as well as bad times. We’ll notice where that relationship will go later on, but right now Now i am an A and I’m going to just go and perform for these guys and also do the best I can to bring the championship here.’
The lefty ties together a formidable rotation of Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Samardzija and Jason Hammel, and is also reunited with pitching private coach Curt Young, who worked the same role in Boston next year.
He’s not of the same goofy mould as Gomes, but both reveal the title of consummate pro.
Lester also has a 1.’07 ERA in his last 8-10 starts, a 2.52 Time on the year, and a 3.11 ERA in the postseason, together with the second-best winning percentage (.636) among lively American League pitchers.
‘Not only is that this guy well-decorated and climbing your totem pole of the left-handers in the game along with left-handers in the postseason, that’s what you guys take a look at,’ said Gomes. ‘You guys avoid getting to see the work ethic, just what goes into his success, what exactly goes into his championship pedigree, something I didn’t know on the other hand. It truly is a breath of fresh air to know the best drink pitcher on the team is also the particular hardest-working guy on the team.
‘We equally realized early on in our occupation why we play 162 — 162 is only the appetizer for what this game’s exactly about. This is a pretty big item to add to a ballclub. I’ve been fortunate and lucky to have performed behind him. I can’t imagine a better guy to toe this rubber in a big circumstance.’
‘Any time you can get a very good All-Star commencing pitcher,’ said Norris, ‘that beats hitting in my mind.’
Norris was one of many A’s players, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson included, who greatly benefited from Gomes’ counsel in the midst of their 2012 storybook season.
‘He has been the guy that kind of smashed me into the big groups,’ he said. ‘He was the guy that I tried to model personally after as far as the way he carries himself. He’s having a positive guy, he’s a great clubhouse guy, he’s a high-energy person. He’s old school. He’s enjoyable to have around.’
‘You create a various bond of guys when you go through a season that takes you in the playoffs,’ said Gomes, who can platoon in left field. ‘Like not too long ago with the Sox and the year previous to here. Little biased via my end, growing up in your community, being an A’s fan. I always thought it was unique coming here. I went from A’s pajamas to a A’s uniform in about 22 decades. I put a lot of do the job into the young guys, literally, mentally — like a proud dad watching these guys take off, in order to see six A’s in the All-Star Online game, that was pretty cool. Therefore i of course kept tabs on these people.’
Now he wants to share with them the knowledge he believes every ballplayer should have.
‘I was fortunate enough to have that long term goal to get that Globe Series ring,’ explained Gomes. ‘I thought I was hungry to acquire that World Series band. Now that I have it, I have become starving for it. Promoted sinks home to that’s what all of us play for.’