David Ortiz said prior to the Red Sox' game against the Angels Thursday night that he understood how previous commitments might have prevented some Red Sox players from attending Johnny Pesky's funeral Monday, but he did point out that he had encouraged members of the team to participate in the ceremony.
"My No. 1 priority that day was being there, being with family and just sharing that last moment with him," Ortiz said. "I said on the airplane to everybody, 'Expect his funeral tomorrow. If you can go ahead and show up, go ahead, that would be great.' If they could make it, great. But I don't think it's fair bringing it up now."
The Red Sox have come under fire after a Boston Herald report stated just four players -- Ortiz, Vicente Padilla, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Clay Buchholz -- attended the funeral.
"Let me tell you, I see it two different ways," Ortiz said. "No. 1, a lot of us were close to Pesky. I was very close to Pesky. The funeral is the last goodbye you give to a friend. There's no way you're a friend with somebody, that person passes away and you're not going to show up to his funeral.
"I was talking to [Kevin Youkilis] this morning, and Youk feels so bad he wasn't able to be at that funeral. Youk was close to Pesky, but he was in another city in another place having to play. It was hard for him to show up. But I'm pretty sure one way or another he contacted somebody to give his condolences. At the same time we have guys here that through the years they were able to be close to Pesky and they have their reasons they didn't show up. That's not my business. We got in at 4 o'clock in the morning -- and I'm not saying this is an excuse -- some of the guys had things to do that day. I had things to do that day and I showed up, but I was close to Pesky."
Ortiz said with the Red Sox arriving back in Boston from New York at 4 a.m., and off-day plans already in place for some of the players, he grasped why the player turnout wasn't what many had hoped for.
"We came back from New York very late and some of the guys probably had some things to do that day. That's probably the reason why some of the guys didn't show up," he said. "I can tell you why I showed up. I had a friend that just passed away and I wanted to be there.
"It was probably the best thing to do, but like I said everybody has his opinion, things to do, and I'm not going to say who should and shouldn't [go]. Hopefully they don't make a big deal about. We don't need that right now. We just need to continue to keep playing and focus on trying to win some games to see if we can go to the playoffs."
According to Ortiz, not only was he happy to attend the funeral, but the ceremony provided lasting memories for the designated hitter.
"There were a lot of people at the funeral," he said. "Me, personally, I can give my opinion on what I felt I was supposed to do. I felt I needed to be there supporting his family. It was very sad. I heard one of the guys giving a speech about a poem he wrote about Pesky, a really close friend of his, and when that guy spoke I couldn't hold it in. That brought up a lot of memories. Any time Pesky was here I used to go in and mess around with him. Pesky would give me confidence just saying a couple of things. Pesky to me was part of the family. There was not one day that man wouldn't make you laugh."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Rob Bradford catches up with Clay Buchholz to discuss the former Red Sox pitcher's new lot in life with the Phillies, while reflecting on his up and down tenure in Boston. Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak also joins the podcast to discuss his team's pursuit of Buchholz.
Hour 4. Albert from RI battles Alex, who is actually Tomase, over racism in Boston. Kirk says he has great gaydar, proving it by identifying who is gay at the station. A high school coach in Washington put his hot dog in a bun.
Hour 3. Tomase reiterates that white people cannot speak on racism in Boston. Tomase thinks Bomani Jones may have a better perspective than Kirk and Gerry.
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry, and Tomase discuss the ongoing Hernandez trial. Headlines features Ellen’s finger injury. Tomase says that getting mad at Bomani Jones for calling Boston racist means you’re racist.
HOUR 4 - The guys get into more talk about the negative ramifications of LaVar Ball's antics, and whether NBA teams will be hesitant to draft Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo. Also, the argue whether or not trading Isaiah Thomas is an option.
The No Fun League will be posting a "Do's and Don'ts" video to help NFL players prevent themselves from getting flagged for excessive penalties. Another Cleveland journalists says the Browns will make a run at Jimmy G next week at the NFL owners meetings. LeBron James fires back at LaVar Ball.
HOUR 2 - The ESPN talking heads think that Colin Kaepernick is getting blackballed. The guys talk about the type of team that he COULD thrive on. Jason Whitlock compares Kaep to a former Patriot QB.
With so much legal stuff swirling around New England sports right now, Dale, Michael and Rich spoke to Michael McCann, law professor at UNH to get his insight to it all.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Bruins on the heels of a bad loss at home to the Senators.
So the Patriots knew all along that Aaron Hernandez was murdering people and still gave him a contract extension? That's what some folks would like you to believe. Dale, Michael and RIch Keefe delve in to the Hernandez talk to dissect what's real from what's BS
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey rank the Quentin Tarantino movies and discuss how they all connect in the Tarantino-verse. Plus "This Week in #DORK," "Davey's Video Game Minute," "Pick of the Podcast," and "Black Panther Reads iTunes Reviews."
Ken Laird & Chris Curtis recap a Wednesday K&C with John Tomase back in for the first time in several months to discuss Boston’s reputation of race among other items.
Uncle Buck, George, and Nick "Fitzy" Stevens talk about Boston Sports Movies, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Hour 1. Alex Reimer joins Gerry and Kirk the morning after Kirk’s epic Early Edition. Kirk gave quite a performance on Comcast and says he’s officially done with TV. Gerry is in a bad mood because of the A-hole tournament. Jared Carrabis took down Pete Abraham in a blog on Barstool.More from this show
Hour 4. Kirk said goodbye to Comcast on Monday night. It was great television.More from this show
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry, and Tomase discuss the ongoing Hernandez trial. Headlines features Ellen’s finger injury. Tomase says that getting mad at Bomani Jones for calling Boston racist means you’re racist.More from this show
Hour 3. Pete Abraham tried to defend himself on Brand X. Pete’s explanation for calling “Brad T” the grand wizard was embarrassing. Gerry, Kirk, and Alex argue about Kaepernick and whether or not the national anthem is important.More from this show
Hour 2. Brady’s jersey was found in Mexico. In Headlines, Gerry is angry at Chelsea Handler for a tweet. Ken Laird says he’s worried the Bruins won’t make the playoffs.More from this show