Red Sox players skip Johnny Pesky's funeral

Not shocking news: Red Sox players have screwed up once again

8/23/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

April 20, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Fans line up at gate B and surround the statues of former Red Sox players Ted Williams (not pictured), Bobby Doerr (not pictured), Johnny Pesky (not pictured), and Dom Dimaggio (not pictured) before the start of the 100th anniversary celebration and the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.  Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIREAt every turn, the Red Sox organization continues to screw things up.

Whether it's on the field, in backroom players-only meetings, or the funeral of one of the most beloved players in franchise history, it seems like they just can't do anything right.

Johnny Pesky's funeral was on Monday. Conveniently, that was an off day for the Red Sox. Pesky had been with the Red Sox organization as a player, coach, manager, assistant, or some other official capacity for almost 70 years. He took a brief hiatus to fight in World War II, and another to play for the Detroit Tigers for a few years. Other than that, he had been with the Red Sox since 1942.

Pesky is beloved among players and fans, largely because he has always gone out of his way to be as accommodating as possible.

Whether it was signing autographs for hundreds of fans after a spring training game, talking to fans before and after regular season games, hitting fungo to players well past the age of 80, Pesky was always willing to do whatever it took to help the team and the fans.

So how many Red Sox players made the trip to attend his funeral on their day off?

Four. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla, and David Ortiz were the only players present.

That means there were 21 other guys on the active roster who had no interest in taking an hour or two of their time to honor a man who had dedicated almost 70 years to the Red Sox organization.

Red Sox ownership provided buses to take players and front office personnel to the funeral. They didn't even have to drive. Yet only 4 players were in attendance.

Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and other long-time members of the pitching staff weren't there. Dustin Pedroia, the closest thing we have to a modern-day version of Pesky, wasn't there. Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, two of the team's highest paid players, weren't there.

Nearly the entire team attended Beckett Bowl later that evening, a charity event hosted by Beckett. That's great, but where were they for Pesky's funeral?

Unfortunately, the ownership group didn't have the intestinal fortitude to make it a mandatory trip, which it absolutely should have been. For all the decades of service that Pesky gave to the Sox, it should have been a no brainer for them to make a much better showing at his funeral.

There's no excuse for this embarrassing showing by the Red Sox. There needs to be a huge shift in priorities throughout the entire organization, or the fans will abandon this sinking ship soon.
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8/23/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

That reminds of me of when beloved Oriole Elrod Hendricks (who was a player and a long time bullpen coach) died. Only one player, Melvin Mora, attended the funeral. Granted, it was the offseason, but still.