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Red Sox can't handle the truth

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  August 24, 2012 09:33 AM

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This is not an indictment of the Red Sox players who selfishly failed to attend Johnny Pesky's funeral Monday. At this point, piling on these guys is becoming tantamount to marathon exhaustion. And frankly, what else should we expect?

But can they at least get their stories straight?

Case in point: There was Dustin Pedroia before last night's epic collapse against the Angels, explaining that he would have loved to attend the Red Sox legend's funeral, but seemed to infer the built-in excuse that his wife was pregnant with their second child, and, according to Gordon Edes, is "confined to bed rest." 

Nothing wrong with that, particularly after the long road trip the Sox just came off.

Enter the Inside Track, which started this latest controversy Thursday. On Wednesday, Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa "Tracked Down..." "Red Sox players Cody Ross, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury and their ladies doing dinner at Strega North End on the boys' night off ..."

They have dinner in bed at Strega? Neat concept.

Case in point: Clay Buchholz, who attended the service, said the players didn't find out about the funeral until around 3:30 Monday morning, following Sunday night's late game in the Bronx. This, despite the fact that the Red Sox sent out an email last Friday to certain members of the media with details on the Pesky funeral, and despite the fact that David Ortiz told WEEI.com that he urged his teammates to attend while on the plane ride back from New York.

Can we just get a consensus? 

Go ahead and lie. After all, we've come to expect it from this group, this franchise on the whole. But at least get all your deceptions straight.

Of course, we know now that the whole group attended the Beckett Bowl that same evening. But let's face it: Isn't lending oneself to Josh Beckett's extremely worthy charity a little easier when it happens to come at a drink-slinging event? Good for the Red Sox players to lend a hand to their embattled teammate, but the tiny matter that it was a fun night out probably didn't hurt.

Mix in the sellout streak, the denials over L'Affaire "Fire Bobby" via text, the miscommunication between coaches and players, and the incompetence of the 59-66 (Seven Below) product on the field, and it continues to evolve into one, enormous farce on Yawkey Way. And where's John Henry? Neither he nor Tom Werner, along with general manager Ben Cherington, showed up for Thursday's team picture (which must have just been a giggling, good time), but don't fear. He tells Dan Shaughnessy he's writing a book.

"I'll finally have my perspective in print," he e-mailed (of course) to Dan.

Isn't his perspective always in print? As in a mass e-mail anytime something goes astray?

You can forgive Henry for not showing up for the team photo. After all, he was probably hunkered down somewhere watching Liverpool's 1-0 win over Heart of Midlothian while the picture took place. But it speaks to the entire shambles of this franchise. No accountability. When it's time to face the music, the Red Sox have spin down to a science, so much so you imagine the master Larry Lucchino holds bi-weekly sessions on how to stretch the truth. Hide behind your radio and TV partners. Hide behind e-mails. Deny, accuse, and enable. 

There's plenty of that in all professional sports. But if the Red Sox haven't brought it to a masterful science, than nobody else will. In the process, they've lost more public trust than any other Boston sports team I can remember. It's best for all of us to turn away, but the Red Sox are such an unfathomable mess that some level of rubber-necking is only natural. 

We only ask that they get their duplicity on the same page. Is that too much to ask? 

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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