Lester: 'No bad feelings' in contract talks

BOSTON -- Despite the All-Star break offering an opportunity for the Boston Red Sox and pitcher Jon Lester to make progress on a contract extension, Lester said Thursday night that general manager Ben Cherington didn't contact him at any point during the break.

Speaking at his third annual "NVRQT Night," Lester said the lack of recent talks hasn't been a disappointment for him.

"There are no bad feelings on either side," Lester said. "I think everybody is in a good place and we both have the understanding that we're good with where we're at. We're focused on the season and getting back to the top."

A free agent at the end of the year, Lester is 9-7 with a 2.65 ERA in 19 starts this season. He pitched an inning for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, allowing two runs on three hits.

"NVRQT" (short for "never quit") is a partnership between the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Lester, who was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 22 and overcame the disease to return to the majors a year later. The campaign was formed to raise awareness and money for children's cancer research.

Held at the House of Blues in Boston, "NVRQT Night" attracted many familiar faces on Thursday, including many of Lester's teammates, New England Patriots players Julian Edelman and Dominique Easley, and other local celebrities and media personalities.

The festivities consisted of a "3 Up, 3 Down" Hollywood Squares-style game featuring Lester and his wife, Farrah, as contestants, as well as a live silent auction.

"This is a good way to cap [the break] off," Lester said. "Hopefully we'll have a good night tonight and a good second half after this."