A Silver Lining

Lately, it seems that every time you flip to the sports section in your local newspaper or turn on ESPN, you hear about another sports scandal: An accused crooked basketball referee, an indicted quarterback accused of organizing cruel dogfights on his property, a baseball slugger with a possibly steroid-tainted career home run record-breaking performance in the offing. It's bad news every time you turn around...

And yet, last night in Cleveland, a young left-handed pitcher named Jon Lester made his first start of the season for the Boston Red Sox, his first major league start in about eleven months. Why is this news? Because Lester has been recovering from a battle with lymphoma that interrupted his rookie season in 2006. Now he seems to be fully recovered and cancer-free, and he pitched well last night for the Red Sox, who gave him plenty of early run support in a 6-2 win. The game was on ESPN2, and his parents had come all the way from Seattle and were in the stands cheering him on.

It's a feel-good story at a time when the sports world could really use one. Just being able to come back from cancer to compete at the major league level is a difficult challenge, one that it appears that Lester has met. Hopefully he can do for baseball what Lance Armstrong did as a cancer survivor for cycling.