*photo from boston.com*
57 years. For most of his adult life, Johnny Pesky has worn the uniform of the Boston Red Sox. He's been a player, a coach, and a manager, and a prouder Red Sox member has never been found.
Banished from the dugout by previous ownership in 1997, he was back where he belonged, in the dugout, when the current ownership group took over in 2002. Except for brief periods, including late in 2004 (Yes: MLB in all it's infinite wisdom did not allow this proud man in the dugout when they finally won it all) that's where he's been.
There is no better sight than Mr. Pesky congratulating Big Papi with a hug after another monster bomb, or when Ortiz sits down next to him in the dugout and throws an arm over his shoulder. The respect and love these players have for this man is obvious to anyone who sees it happen. Who can forget Pesky, with tears streaming down his face while Schilling poured a beer over his head on the field after they beat the Cardinals in Game 4? Schilling kept saying "You deserve this. This is for you." My wife can tell you the times I've cried in front of her on one hand and have fingers left over: I'll admit, it was a mite dusty in the house that night.
Once again, Uncle Bud and his stormtroopers have screwed up big time. These keystone cops could not find water if they fell out of the boat, and now they are going to enforce some antiquated rule about only having 6 coaches in the dugout, even though it's apparently been OK the last 5 years, give or take a few weeks a season. These are the same morons who took their game package away from 250,000 potential customers, cancelled a World Series, and let an all star game end in a tie. They let performance-enhancing drugs change history while turning a blind eye, yet get emphatic that an 87 year old man can't sit in the dugout during a game.
He is an old man. How many more years does he have left on this earth? For all we know, being around the game so much is what has helped him get to 87. Selig and MLB thrive despite themselves: a more callous, heartless, selfish bunch of morons you'll never find.
Here's to hoping someone with an IQ higher than a 6 year old sees the stupidity in all this, and Johnny is in the dugout the first game in Boston. Or, as Matt suggested to me today, Papi gets the players to pitch in and pay whatever the fine for him being in the dugout will cost.
Better yet, how about John Henry just goes to Selig's office, gives him a blank check, and tells him to fill in how much it's gonna cost, and then tell Uncle Bud to go pound sand where the sun don't shine.
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