Valentine defends attendance for Pesky service

Valentine defends attendance for Pesky service

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was firm Thursday when asked whether enough of his players attended Johnny Pesky's funeral.

The Boston Herald reported that four players -- Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Vicente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- came to the service on Monday.

"I think it's very insulting to the Pesky family for people to be thinking that an organization that loved him so much did anything other than the right thing," Valentine said. "That's my answer to that."

Team president Larry Lucchino addressed the same issue in a radio interview with WEEI.

"I think the people who knew Johnny best came to it," Lucchino said Thursday. "Our players had the chance on Tuesday night to participate in the ceremony on the field. They all willingly and enthusiastically participated on that day and then there's going to be another memorial service, so I think it's unnecessary to focus on that issue."

Pesky, who spent 61 years in the Red Sox organization, passed away on Aug. 13. He was 92.

"We came back from New York very late and some of the guys probably had some things to do that day," Ortiz said Thursday. "That's probably the reason why some of the guys didn't show up.

"I can tell you why I showed up. I had a friend that just passed away and I wanted to be there."