Twist of Fate

Twist of Fate

John Lester and Anthony Rizzo overcame cancer to win a World Series
14
views

"Everything happens for a reason"; it is a popular and often questioned phrase. People tend to use it in the midst of challenging situations. I think it is human nature to try and find a bright light when we face difficult circumstances. Telling ourselves, that there is a purpose for the obstacle may give us the comfort we need to overcome it.

The Cubs’ World Series win may be a perfect representation of a time when some unfortunate things did happen for a reason. In 2007, with Theo Epstein as their General Manager, the Boston Red Sox drafted Anthony Rizzo. During 2008 he was playing single A ball in Greenville, SC when he and his family realized something wasn’t right. Although he was playing well, his legs had swollen to the point where he struggled to put his cleats on every day. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Shortly after his diagnosis, Rizzo came to Boston. He met with Epstein as well as the team’s manager, Terry Francona. On this visit, he also met his future teammate, John Lester. Lester knew how it felt to be a young athlete battling cancer. Two years earlier, when Lester was just 22, he was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. After fighting hard, he came back the next year and started the World Series-clinching game against Colorado.

Lester gave Rizzo a tour of the clubhouse, training room, and then they took some time to talk. Of course, like any father, Mr. Rizzo was full of questions. However, Lester advised the Rizzos to slow down; he gave Anthony advice such as not to let cancer control his life. When he felt up to it, he should do the things he loves. Lester told Rizzo to treat cancer like a competition; when talking about it, Lester says “It was like me going against a team.” Anthony Rizzo praises John Lester, "It was everything I needed to hear…He beat his cancer; I knew I could too."

Later that year Rizzo’s cancer went into remission. When asked about it today, Lester says “it was like gratification…like maybe I had something to do with it. There was a sense of relief too, because Anthony was going to get back to playing." I am not sure if either of them could have predicted the path Anthony’s baseball career would take him once he was back to playing, nor do I think they could have foreseen this magical season.

Maybe Lester and Rizzo had to cross paths under these difficult circumstances in 2008. Maybe it set the stage for greater things. Rizzo and Lester saw each other the following year at the 2009 spring training, but in 2010 Rizzo was traded to San Francisco. However, Epstein promised their paths would cross again too. When Rizzo made it to the majors in 2012, he was traded to Chicago. Interestingly, Theo Epstein, the new general manager for Chicago, finalized the trade. Epstein was telling the truth; their story wasn't over yet.

Two years later Anthony Rizzo made the 2014 All-star game and saw John Lester for the first time in five years. Lester had developed into the Red Sox Ace, and Rizzo knew that he would be a free agent at the end of the year. Rizzo wasn’t sure if Lester would remember him, but of course, he did. They talked for a few minutes, and Rizzo did his best to convince Lester to come to Chicago. When asked about it now, Lester says “Anthony's a big part of why I came over here...What we shared added the intrigue to it, knowing he wasn't just talking to me like, 'Hey, we would really like to have you as a pitcher.' It was other things-deeper things."

Both Lester and Rizzo played key roles in Chicago's World Series win. Would they have both ended up in Chicago if it weren’t for their medical obstacles? Could the Cubs have done it without them? We will never know the answer to those questions. People may argue this multifaceted story is just a big coincidence. However, I think greater forces were at work. People move in and out of our lives, some with a momentary encounter; others play a more significant role for a longer period. Each time we interact with those around us, we have the opportunity to learn deeper lessons and make a choice that each life experience happens for a reason.

Cover Image Credit: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Popular Right Now

I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

49780
views

Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Will Bryce Harper And Manny Machado Ever Sign Anywhere At All?

So please, Harper and Machado, put us out of our misery and just pick a team and sign somewhere already.

33
views

As the MLB offseason is coming to a close, I can't help but feel like it has barely started. Why? Pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring training camps in less than two weeks, and many free agents have yet to sign with a team.

Needless to say, it has been an unusual baseball offseason. This offseason has left me with so many unanswered questions. Even though my beloved New York Mets have made many respectable signings, and trades, this offseason, I am still left pondering the fate of other major league teams.

Where will the superstars that everyone can't stop talking about, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado both 26 and together possessing 10 All-Star berths and 61 career bWAR sign? Will they join a rival team of mine? Or bolster a team in another division's line-up? Where will the rest of the free agent's sign?

Trade rumors are spreading like wildfire, and yet, baseball fans including myself are left with no definite answers. Yes, apps like MLB At Bat and Bleacher Report may be blowing up our phones with alleged rumors and clickbait written by esteemed baseball writers, but no progress has been made.

So please, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, put us out of our misery and just pick a team and sign somewhere already.

Regardless of the recent release of the MLB: The Show 19 Cover, Bryce Harper did not announce where he was going to sign. Though Phillies fans are believed to have Harper in the bag, no official news has been released. Honestly, the suspense is killing me!

Philadelphia met with Harper in his native Las Vegas to pitch to Harper, and the pitch allegedly went so well that the ball club decided to focus solely on Harper instead of both Harper and Machado.

Other teams such as the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers have each shown a great amount of interest in both free agents Harper and Machado.

The Chicago White Sox have a stockpile of prospects and have kept payrolls low. They've also been collecting members of Machado's inner circle including Jon Jay, whom he trains with over the offseason and Yonder Alonso, his brother in law.

Could these all be signs that he could be going to the White Sox? According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the White Sox gave Machado a formal offer of $175 million over 7 years. Yet, no further progress has been made on that front.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had previously acquired Machado from a trade with the Baltimore Orioles. Machado even said he loved playing in Los Angeles during the second half of the 2018 season, so why wouldn't they try to bring him back? They should be in on Harper too, which would be more logical for the Dodgers, since they need a superstar bat and can accommodate his salary.

Though Harper has received some incredible offers, some forget that he could stay with the Nationals, a ball club that he has been a part of for 17 years, after all. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed put and didn't go to another team at all.

The New York Yankees who were said to be interested in Machado never made a formal offer to him, and never truly seemed interested at all. The Chicago Cubs, who were said to be interested in Harper never made an offer either, despite Kris Bryant being one of Harper's friends, and Harper having a dog named Wrigley.

Most recently, there have been said to be mystery teams in on Machado, including the San Diego Padres and who knows who else. Obviously, this offseason is far from over and who knows, maybe these two won't even report to spring training after all.

This new trend of free agents waiting to sign with teams is a hint to all of us invested in the baseball world that something deep within the offseason free agency is broken. Hopefully somehow, someway, we will get the answer to the question: Will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado ever sign anywhere at all?

Related Content

Facebook Comments