The circus has left town and has been replaced by a sheriff, and Jon Lester couldn't be happier.

The Red Sox left-hander knew only clubhouse stability from his 2006 debut until September 2011, when things went haywire. He then endured a dysfunctional 2012 that saw the Red Sox post their worst record in over four decades before firing manager Bobby Valentine.

But the Sox took a giant step toward the future this week when they announced a three-year deal with manager John Farrell, who rejoins the organization after two years in Toronto. Farrell will be introduced at Fenway Park this afternoon, and Lester can't wait to get started.

"That's our ultimate goal, to have that stability," Lester said by phone last night. "You look from '04 to 2011, pretty much it was the same people. A few moving parts here and there, but the core management was the same. And I think that's how you build championships, when you've got a lot of the same ideas the same mentality, day in and day out."