I realize this is a tough time to be shining the spotlight of happiness on the Minnesota Twins, but a developing situation in Boston has got to make even the most embittered Twins fan proud of the local entry in the American League.
When Harmon Killebrew died last year, the Twins players — all of the Twins players — showed up for his funeral. They didn’t have mourning clothes with them on the road trip, so they shopped for suitable attire.
Johnny Pesky was no Harmon Killebrew, statistics-wise, but he was very much the face of the Red Sox franchise in Boston just as Killebrew was in Minnesota.
When he died two weeks ago, the Sox front office hired buses to bring players, office and staff to the funeral from the ballpark to the church. Only four of the 40 players on the Red Sox roster — David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Vincente Padilla and Clay Buchholz — bothered to show up.
On the evening of Pesky’s funeral, most of the Red Sox players showed up at a concert hosted by pitcher Josh Beckett at the House of Blues.
“Look, there are plenty of times we don’t know what right or wrong is, but plenty of times we do, and this is one of the times when the right thing to do is jumping up and down and screaming about an inch from your face,” WEEI’s Kirk Minihane writes today. “If you are a player on the 2012 Red Sox and you can go to Johnny Pesky’s funeral, you go to Johnny Pesky’s funeral. Even if you don’t want to honor the life he lived — which is plenty telling — you suck it up and go. Put on a suit, spend a couple of hours in Swampscott and leave. How many times have you gone to a funeral if only because you knew it was the right thing to do?”
“I can tell you why I showed up: I had a friend that just passed away, and I want to be there.” former Twin David Ortiz (shown above with Pesky) said.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen calls the team “unloveable, unwatchable, and despicable.”
The Red Sox’s uninspired and selfish play this year, and the team’s bitterness and dissension off the field, no doubt broke Johnny Pesky’s old heart. The fact that only four uniformed players from this wretched team could muster up the decency and respect to attend the old man’s funeral has broken, I suspect, a great many more of the hearts that beat in Red Sox Nation. I used to look forward to October to watch the Sox in the playoffs. Now I look forward to it so I don’t have to hear about these guys anymore. It’s a good thing Johnny Pesky wasn’t around to see what happened to his beloved team this week.
Cohen should consider jumping ship. The Twins might not win many games, but they won’t embarrass us as people.