Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 11/10/14

How do you disrespect Johnny Pesky? How do you stay away from the man's funeral when he's given most of his adult life (70 years) to the game and organization that you make your living off? How does 21 of 25 players on the Red Sox roster justify not attending the funeral of a Red Sox legend who always made himself available to each one of them when they were struggling with their game? They had an off-day on Monday. What possible reason could any of them have for not caring enough to say a final goodbye to a Boston Red Sox Icon - legend? What's wrong with this 2012 Red Sox team? How can they not care for a man who gave so much to them?

Since opening day its been a team in turmoil. Players and fans quickly aimed their gun sights on manager Bobby Valentine. Valentines "old" school. He doesn't take guff from anyone. He's not always "politically correct." His sharp words, direct approach, doesn't sit well with everyone. Seventeen of the twenty-five man roster ran to owner John Henry in a secret July meeting for the sole purpose of getting Valentine fired. They have denied that was the purpose of the meeting, but, if you believe that, you would have to believe in the tooth-fairy and dancing fairies.

Monday morning when they rolled Pesky's casket into his Swampscott, Massachusetts church, there were only "FOUR" - yes - "FOUR" present day Red Sox players in church paying respect to a man that always had their backs. DH David Ortiz was there, along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Buchholz, and Vicente Padilla. Where was Dustin Pedroia? Gonzalez - Ellsbury - Crawford - Jon Lester - Beckett? The so-call "hearts" of the Red Sox team - the "core" of the team? Later in the day (Monday) Josh Beckett had a fundraiser at a local Boston bowling alley and the entire team showed up. Did Beckett have beer and fried chicken to get the entire team to show up? How sad. How disappointing. I'll guarantee that everyone of the present day roster, at some point in their career, sought out the baseball wisdom of Johnny Pesky. Yet they didn't see fit to pay final tribute, respect, to Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky on Monday.

Sports writer Barry Petchesky touched on a valid point. He wrote, "Johnny Pesky couldn't even die without becoming an indictment of this present team and their locker-room culture. With just 4 players attending, it can be used for all sorts of sweeping pronouncements about this team and their moral character." He went on to write, "But this really isn't about Johnny, whose departure was treated as a loss of royalty, which is what he was to this city, as beloved as anyone who ever represented Boston in the eyes of the outside world." No, this is about the players, individually, they might have had splendid reasons to be among the missing at St.John the Evangelist Church, but collectively, they're not looking so good." I agree with Barry. The team collectively lack moral courage. They also wallow next to last in their AL East division, not because of Bobby Valentine, but because they made the decision (collectively) "not" to play, perform for Bobby V. Not showing up Monday for Johnny Pesky's funeral simply another indictment of their shameful - disgraceful behavior this season...Red Sox fans should boycott Fenway Park for the rest of the season.

With "FOUR" exceptions, twenty one present day Red Sox players couldn't carry Johnny Pesky's jock-straps........ (not even his clean one's)..........

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"-source:deadspin.com/csnne/faniq.com/

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