LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — From the first day of spring training, reporters started grilling Terry Francona about the identity of his Opening Day starter. While we all knew the answer, the question had to be asked, and until yesterday, the Red Sox manager kept saying he wasn’t quite ready for a public response.
As it turns out, Jon Lester knew the answer sometime over the winter, when Francona asked him, “Do you want to do this?’’ To which Lester responded in the affirmative.
“Obviously, it’s a big honor,’’ said Lester, who went 4 2/3 innings (79 pitches) against the Braves yesterday, giving up eight hits and three runs in a 4-3 loss. “Growing up, it’s what you want to be. Like I said in the past, Opening Day is nice, but the playoffs are more important.’’
The offer to Lester was even less formal than Francona made it sound. Lester said it was a text that read, “How would you feel about starting Opening Day?’