Okay, players of the Boston Red Sox, we hear you loud and clear: you not only have zero respect for your management, but also for one of your legendary predecessors. Johnny Pesky taught many of you a lot of what you know about baseball, and despite being one of the classiest guys around, somehow taught you nothing about it.
According to a report in The Boston Herald, only David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia attended Johnny Pesky's funeral in Swampscott on Monday, which in case you forgot, was an off-day for the Red Sox.
Sox spokesman Charles Steinberg told The Herald, "We ordered the buses for the front office to go, knowing that any players could join us or drive separately from their homes. Between the ownership, front office, current players and staff, and former players, we were well represented by the people who knew Johnny best."
Ha! That was obviously the front office's way of attempting to do damage control, since Ortiz and Buchholz are really the only two of those four current players that spent a considerable amount of time with Pesky.
Amazingly, nearly the entire team found the time to attend Josh Beckett's annual Beckett Bowl for the Beckett Foundation at Lucky Strike Lanes and the House of Blues later Monday night, which is really the issue here.
Apparently, Larry Lucchino, John Henry and his wife, Linda, Sox CEO Sam Kennedy, GM Ben Cherington and several other Red Sox executives and staff were on hand to lay Pesky to rest, along with Nomar Garciaparra (who came from the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA with ESPN's permission for an off-day to travel) Jim Rice, Bill Lee, Jerry Moses and Mike Andrews. But that hardly makes up for the fact that FOUR out of FORTY players on the roster took one hour out of their days to show up.
And it's not like these guys even attended Johnny Pesky's wake to pay their respects, because on Saturday when the wake was held, they somehow managed to win a game against the Yankees in New York.
Trot Nixon, however, another former player, did attend and offered this eulogy to The Herald:
"I look back and it’s not just him being on the field and hitting ground balls, but how he carried himself and how much he cared for all the ballplayers, whether you were at the major league level or in the minor league level. Everybody that worked in the organization, from the highest level down to guys working in the clubhouse, he generally cared for everyone and loved the game of baseball. He was a fantastic ambassador. I loved Johnny."
And on top of this latest embarrassment, the Red Sox players had the audacity to stand on the field Tuesday night, all wearing jerseys with No. 6 on them, like they were proud to honor a man who gave sixty years of his life to the team. I was in the stands weeping like a baby as they played a photo montage of Johnny Pesky on the jumbotron, and a trumpet player blew "Taps" out as the giant flag was draped over the Green Monster in honor of the three years during his prime that Pesky went off to fight the war with the Navy, and probably was more deserving of wearing his jersey than they were.
Yes, Johnny Pesky would've encouraged those guys who chose not to show up to spend time with their families, and not to waste time mourning his loss, that's just the kind of guy he was--but that's beside the point. Pesky was so proud to wear No. 6 and so proud to be a part of this team and it seems to these current players that this is one of those fly balls that gets lost in the sun that multiple guys like Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury run for, but in the end, it just drops on the field in between the two of them.
Perhaps we've been wrong about these guys this whole season ... it's not that they don't care ... they just don't get it!
I also heard that following throwing the ceremonial first pitch, David Pesky, Johnny's only son, went straight into the locker room to visit his dad's corner locker on Tuesday night. If I were him, I probably would've punched every guy except Ortiz, Buchholz, Saltalamacchia, and Padilla on my way in there.