September of 2006 wasn't one of the great moments for Red Sox fans. We woke up the morning of the 19th coming off of a too-little-too-late series taking three out of four in Yankee stadium to stave off elimination for a few more days. The roster had too many Javy Lopezes. The pitching rotation was in shambles -- even year Josh Beckett, Clement never recovered from getting hit in the head, Julian Tavarez was getting starts, and their promising rookie's season was because of cancer. There were other traumas off the field that season. In particular, the aneurysm that Peter Gammons suffered in June struck pretty close to home. So many Red Sox fans grew up reading his fabled notes columns and then watching him on ESPN. His passion for the game was infectious.
After a long 12 weeks recovering in a Cape Cod hospital, he submitted his first post-aneurysm column on the 19th. After giving thanks to the whole medical team and everyone who supported him and recapping the couple of months he missed, he muses on the unpredictably of life by looking at the unpredictability of pitching prospects. History is littered with can't-miss arms that do.
Yes, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Bartolo Colon, Matt Morris and Chris Carpenter are the only 100-game winners on the lists. But trade the next Johan Santana, Matt Cain or Francisco Liriano and deal with the ramifications.
Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners.
Today is September 19, 2013. The Red Sox are in the playoffs. Tomorrow night they'll try to clinch the division, lead by Jon Lester and his career record of 99-56.