This isn't Shaughnessy-related, so if that bothers you, please feel free to ignore this and come back when Dan writes again.
There is rampant speculation all over the Internet right now that Jon Lester may have cancer. Said speculation was triggered by this Tony Massarotti article, published late last night in the Herald.
A lot of people are expressing extreme displeasure with the Herald for putting this out there, and I would like to jump on the bandwagon. The article shows an appalling lack of respect for Jon Lester and his family. Massarotti reveals that Lester has "enlarged lymph nodes" and has information from--you guessed it--unnamed sources, and the Herald publishes the sensational headline, "Lester tested for cancer."
First of all, whoever leaked this information should be fired. If it was a Sox official, I want them gone. If it was a health professional, I want them gone and I want them arrested for a HIPAA violation (yes, you can be jailed for that).
And, that said, the Herald should be ashamed of themselves for such an alarmist headline followed up with almost no backing in the article. There are dozens of causes for enlarged lymph nodes. Cancer is only one possibility. Yet that was the one they focused on? There is no information whatsoever in the article besides the illegal revelation that Lester is being tested for cancer. One sentence: "Such a symptom can be caused by an array of issues, from infections to cancer. " No other information given, so here it is: an infection is FAR more likely than cancer. So much more likely that such a headline is ridiculous. The vast majority of swollen lymph nodes are caused by exactly this. I should know, I had lymphadenitis this summer. Pretty much anything can cause swollen lymph nodes.
Yet in this article, we get "Lester tested for cancer!" followed by one sentence about how it could be an infection and a whole pile of smarmy BS about his prospect status. Utterly irresponsible. And what's worse, every news outlet then picked up on it and it's on top of the ESPN site. So Lester, who is probably scared out of his mind, has to deal with the entire world knowing about this when it may not even be true? Shame on you, Boston Herald. You had nothing to go on besides information from sources who legally should not have given you this information, and you published this. Shame on you. Once a tabloid, always a tabloid, I guess.
If it turns out that Lester, God forbid, DOES have cancer, this won't change my stance one bit. It won't justify this.
Irresponsible headline update: Today's article comes with the headline "Lester in Sox' thoughts: Team confirms diagnosis." Does this not make it sound as if they've confirmed the CANCER diagnosis and everybody's now freaking out for him? Is that not what the implication seems to be here? Yet there's really no new information, except that everyone is scared for him (me, too) and that he's had other symptoms like feeling lousy and losing weight (look, more HIPAA violations!). I feel sick enough about what might be happening, why do they have to make it worse?