Lucchino defends players
Red Sox players were leveled with criticism on Thursday after reports surfaced that just four players attended the funeral of recently passed Red Sox great Johnny Pesky. The funeral was held on Monday, the Red Sox off day, and the owners had arranged for a bus to pick up players and team employees at Fenway Park to bring them to the Swampscott procession.
To make matters worse far more players reportedly showed up to Josh Beckett’s “Beckett Bowl” later that night.
David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vincente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were the only players to attend the funeral.
Lucchino defended the players decision on Thursday saying this.
”I think the people who knew Johnny best came to it. 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.”
Lucchino went on to explain that the teams bus got in from New York at 4:00 a.m. that morning.
The UFC was forced to make an unprecedented decision Thursday as it had to cancel next Saturday’s “UFC 151 Jones vs. Henderson” fight card due to an injury to Dan Henderson, who was set to fight Jon Jones in the main event for Jones’ UFC Light Heavyweight title.
But the story does not end there. Former middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen agreed to step in to face Jones on eight days notice, but in a shocking move the champion turned down the fight instead opting to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 on September 22.
The move was probably best for Jones’ career as Machida is a much tougher fight, but the decision forced 20 other fighters off the card, all of whom make a fraction of the money Jones does.
UFC President Dana White was predictably upset at his champion and one of his biggest pay per view draws. Other fighters on the undercard also expressed displeasure with the champion through twitter.
-Compiled by Nick Curcuru