Rare Jon Lester Pickoff Attempt Goes Very, Very Poorly (Video)
During the baseball offseason, the Chicago Cubs made a bunch of big moves that got experts talking about the new Cubs and fans wondering if maybe, just maybe, the everlasting rebuild was over.
Well guess what? It turns out that Jon Lester, the Cubs $156 million free agent acquisition, cannot throw the ball to first base, which is about as old Cubs as it gets.
On Monday night, with the Cubs hosting the Cincinnati Reds, we saw our first Jon Lester pickoff in almost two years. It was weak, but it was not a disaster, and it drew a sarcastic ovation from the Wrigley crowd. But then we saw our second Jon Lester pickoff attempt in almost two years. And it was a disaster.
Take a look:
Obviously, Lester’s errant throw over to first wound up working out, since right fielder Jorge Soler saved Lester by gunning Zack Cozart down at third. But you’d still probably prefer he did not throw the ball 15 feet to the left of the first baseman.
The crazy thing is, just six years ago, Jon Lester had a great pickoff move:
However, for some unknown reason it started to deteriorate. By 2012 Lester was “working” on it with Bobby Valentine. And on April 30, 2013, after getting preoccupied with the Blue Jays’ Rajai Davis at first base and giving up a monster home run to Edwin Encarnacion, the Jon Lester pickoff move went on an indefinite hiatus…until Monday night. (You can read more about the slow decline of the Jon Lester pickoff move over at Grantland.)
Obviously, this is a pretty major concern for the North Siders. Little ticks like this sometimes snowball and turn into full-on mental meltdowns. Some people call it the yips. Others call it Steve Blass Disease. Others still call it Steve Sax Syndrome. But the point is, Cubs fans are worried:
My great grandmother could probably steal off Jon Lester. This is a joke.
— Jake Ellsworth (@JakeEllsworth81) April 14, 2015
I’m sorry that I ever doubted the Red Sox in their decision to not overpay Jon Lester. Enjoy that contract Cubs fans.
— Tyler Harris (@T_Harris22) April 14, 2015
Only 5.96 years and $154,259,300 left on Jon Lester’s contract, Cubs fans.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) April 14, 2015
— Baronial Pad (@Baronial_Pad) April 14, 2015
Hopefully this all turns out to be nothing. For everybody’s sake.
Hat Tip – [Extra Mustard]