I really don’t give a flying whatever who shows up at who’s funeral. But in a world where some people think it’s cool to rake players over the coals for not going to Johnny Pesky’s funeral, this little aside from Steve Buckley is kinda delicious:
I’m not part of the pious, hand-wringing mob that’s demanding to know why more Sox players didn’t make it up to Swampscott last Monday. Am I disappointed more players didn’t show up? Of course. But I’m not outraged, and for two reasons: 1) I don’t think it’s part of my job to legislate other people’s mourning rituals, and 2) it’s not like Johnny’s funeral was overflowing with media types. Considering that Johnny was one of the most gracious, accommodating individuals in Boston sports history, it would have been nice if more folks from the pressbox had made the trip.
Now, let us allow Mr. Pesky to rest in peace and note that the rest of that column — suggesting that re-signing David Ortiz might not be a good move for Boston — is sort of laughable. He was the only dude who produced better than expected results for the Sox this year and, in a world where (a) the team lacks big boppers for 2013; and (b) the Sox have $50 million + freed up compared to 2012, his signing in Boston has to be a foregone conclusion, yes?
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.