Jon Lester has always reminded me of Bob Gibson.

And this is where you say, “What?”

Look, I get it: Gibson is a right-hander, Lester is a left-hander. Gibson is black, Lester white. Gibson grew up in Nebraska, Lester grew up in Washington state.

Gibson was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. With Lester, to even discuss the Hall of Fame at this point would be wildly inappropriate.

But Gibson was one incredibly mean, focused pitcher, heavy on the mean. And until last year, meanness was part of what helped Lester to a clinching World Series win, a no-hitter and a career winning percentage in excess of .700.

Something happened last year. Mean Jon Lester was replaced by whiny, complaining Jon Lester. It wasn’t pretty. He’s too good a pitcher to have been staging hissy fits when umpires didn’t give him the right call, but that’s the image we have of the 2012 edition of Jon Lester. He was 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA, and he looked grumpy, irritable and out of sorts every step of the way.

But if you’re looking for a sign that the 2013 Red Sox are ready to bury the past and reclaim their status as a contender for October hardball, it was provided late yesterday morning when Lester sat down for his first media meet-and-greet of spring training.

For a guy with only 25 big league at-bats, Lester sure knocked it out of the park. Talk about a tape-measure job.

“I didn’t really like what happened last year as far as me and the way I pitched,” he said. “It’s solely on me. It’s not on the revolving door of pitching coaches, it’s not on our manager (former skipper Bobby Valentine), it’s not on anybody but myself.”

What a thing: A Red Sox player who isn’t blaming the 2012 season on Bobby V.

“There’s a little bit of a chip here,” he said. “I want to prove that last year was a fluke and it’s not going to happen again.”