<
>

Twitter mailbag: Jon Lester

Jon Lester is getting to know his new Cubs teammates. Rich Pilling/Getty Images

MESA, Ariz. -- This past weekend new Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester took time to answer questions from fans on Twitter. You can follow @ESPNChiCubs to participate in the next Twitter mailbag:

JL: Not really. My wife and I walked around when I signed and then for the convention. We didn’t have a lot of time. We did more looking around for places to stay and stuff like that than exploring Chicago. It’s a beautiful city and every time we went there my wife and family came and we did the normal things everyone else does, go down Michigan Ave. and stuff, so we’re looking forward to exploring and finding some new parts to it and everything.

JL: Nothing crazy, but it’s just cool to fish in your own pond. I have them in my yard in Georgia. Just spending the time and money to raise the fish and trying to get them bigger and then turning around and catching them is kind of rewarding.

JL: Probably Brad Penny. He was into all that MMA stuff. And he’s 6-5, 250 pounds. He’s not a bad guy to have on your side.

JL: I wouldn’t say close, but we had that connection (cancer survivors) and we talked a couple times through his whole process. He was just so much younger so I didn’t know him until the day I met him, and unfortunately with the circumstances. But seeing him over the years and catching up with him was always good.

JL: I have to give that some time to watch them more, but the numbers in the minors speak for themselves. But it’s a whole different animal up here. As far as everything I’ve heard and watching just a little bit, they’ve definitely impressed me. You don’t see 6-4, 6-5 third baseman that have the hands and smoothness over there that Bryant has. Haven’t watched Soler too much but from all I heard he’s pretty good too. Hopefully all they’ve done in the past translates. It’s all you can really hope for.

JL: I think as far as just getting an out, probably Derek Jeter. As far as the nostalgia angle, it would have to be Ken Griffey Jr. I faced him a couple times when he was with the White Sox and Seattle. That was tough for him facing your childhood hero and all that stuff. But for getting an out it has to be Jeter.

JL: When you get to where we are at now it’s not really about inventing anything or trying to change things, it's more about improving the consistency of what you have. It’s just a daily battle that you always fight. You always fight that until the day you’re done. It becomes hard if you come into spring training every year and you’re trying to invent something or make something extremely better. I think you’re given what you’re given and your ability to manipulate certain pitches. I can’t throw a (Kyle) Hendricks changeup, I can’t throw a (Jason Hammel curveball, it’s just what you’re given and try to improve the command of what you have.

JL: I would have to go with Old School. That’s pretty funny.

JL: It wasn’t something I planned but I was fortunate enough to throw less pitches in my two innings so I went to the pen to throw some more. I hate doing that stuff because you don’t have the adrenaline of the game going. Usually you’re throwing ball one, ball two or they’re fouling pitches off so was just fortunate enough to get some quick outs. So finished up in the bullpen.

JL: The main reason was for Nolan Ryan. Loved watching him pitch as a kid. Besides 31 that was my next favorite number. And also for the Chicago connection with Walter Payton and Kerry Wood. Was just honored he let me wear it and was accepting of that. It’s cool.