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Happy birthday, Ted Williams

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 30, 2012 05:44 PM

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ANAHEIM, Calif. It would be a mistake not to mention that Ted Williams was born this day in 1918.

The man hit .344 /.482/ .634 with 521 homers and did not play from ages 24-26. His OPS+ was 190. Take a look, my friends, at how great T.S. Ballgame was.

And here is the greatest piece of baseball trivia ever: Joe DiMaggio hit .408 with an 1.180 OPS during his 56-game streak in 1941. Williams hit .412 with a 1.224 OPS in the same stretch of games.

Also:

The Sox sent OF Bryce Brentz from Portland to Pawtucket today, just in time for the International League playoffs.

Gordon Edes spoke to Scott Boras about Jacoby Ellsbury. Holy cow, do the Sox need to trade Ellsbury. There is no chance of signing him before he hits the market based on what Boras told Gordon.

Then there is this: Ellsbury will be 29 next month. That means he will be 30 when he becomes a free agent after the 2013 season. Do the Sox really want to sign a 30-year-old center fielder to a contract of six-plus seasons at huge money?

Ellsbury has played in 227 of the last 445 games. That's 51 percent. What leads you to believe that he will be more durable as he gets older?

Finally, does anybody else find it totally inappropriate to keep criticizing the players for not attending Johnny Pesky's funeral? Because I sure do.

We all grieve our own way and imposing our personal standards on somebody else is wrong, if not downright creepy. Just because you grew up loving Johnny doesn't mean the players did.

I haven't taken a poll, but I would guess 85 percent of the current roster never met Johnny. These guys grew up all around the world and never stepped foot in New England until they became ballplayers. They know little of his legacy.

When Bob Shepherd, the great Yankees announcer, died in 2010, not one active Yankees player attended his funeral. Some reached out privately to his family, others simply didn't realize what he meant to fans.

It comes down to this: Would you rather somebody attend a funeral and pretend to be sad about somebody they didn't know? Is that really respect?

What a player does in uniform is open for criticism, praise, disdain and whatever other emotions you care to conjure up. Have at it. But don't impose your morality on their private lives.

If the Red Sox wanted the players there, they would have made it a mandatory event. When they choose not to, that was the end of it.

From what I understand Vicente Padilla was under the impression it was mandatory and that's why he showed up. That this stuff became a topic is entirely disrespectful to the Pesky family. It would be interesting to know how many of those braying the most about this attended the funeral.

If somebody you know died, would you want a stranger telling you how to act? There are some things that are personal to all of us and that is one them.

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