Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sorry Mr. Red Sox

First and foremost, I want to say I truly feel sorry for Johnny Pesky. The Red Sox have been his life for longer than I have been alive. I feel he brings joy to the players and to the fans, and that he really is humbled by how much we love him for his presence.
(photo courtesy of id10t's flickr page)

By now you probably know that MLB is going to be enforcing a rule that limits the number of coaches allowed in uniform (Read the story). What this means is the iconic presence of Johnny Pesky will no longer be allowed in the Sox dugout during games.

At first I was really angry. I love baseball. I do NOT love MLB. In fact, I think it's fair to say I loathe MLB. I took this latest news as another blow to the fans. But the more and more I thought about it, I can't find a legitimate reason why Pesky should be allowed to stay. Nothing more than sentiment. I'm a very sentimental person, so seeing him in a Red Sox uniform, in the dugout brings a lot. I love mixing the history of the club. But who's to say tomorrow 15
former Red Sox legends won't approach the Front Office and say they also want to sit in the dugout during games?

That being said, I understand limiting the number of people allowed in the dugout. Can't they make some sort of grandfather clause for Pesky? I don't know. How would I feel if this wasn't my team...if it was a Yankees figure they were talking about "tossing" - I'd probably be happy about it. I need to try and be objective.

The real question becomes WHY?

Some people are saying they are protecting Pesky's safety. Wasn't it last year (or two years ago?) That he got hit during spring training? He may be 87 years old, but he knows the risk he is taking. If it was all about worrying whether or not he'd get hurt, why don't they make pitchers wear masks in case they get hit in the head (we remember the Clement situation all too well)? Why don't they make outfielders wear padding in case they run into each other in the outfield or into walls trying to make a play (Hello, Demon!)? And if that was the only issue, it's nothing that couldn't get resolved by a waiver. There are fences up in front of the dugouts now..I don't know. He could also get hit by a foul ball sitting in the owners box during a game. I just can't justify that as the reason.

Others say it give the Sox (or whatever other team) an unfair advantage having another pair of eyes on the bench. That this extra person would be able to pick up signs others may have missed, blah blah blah....So when is MLB going to ban fans from sitting in the stands during games? Do they honestly think teams doesn't have "spies" situated throughout the park? There is a such thing as cell phones. Crap. Total crap.

So while I don't like the enforcement of this particular rule with my particular team, rules are rules. Sometimes is sucks, but you just gotta suck it up. Pesky, I love ya' and I'm sorry this has happened. Hopefully the FO can come up with some sort of resolution.

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