In a break with tradition that rivals the departure of longtime pitcher Roger Clemens and a new billboard above the famed Green Monster, the Boston Red Sox have banished longtime coach and goodwill ambassador Johnny Pesky from the dugout.
The 77-year-old former shortstop known to generations as "Mr. Red Sox" was told by the team that he can continue to hit grounders during fielding practice, but then he must change out of his uniform and watch the game from the press box.
"It hurts me quite a bit, to be honest with you," Pesky told The Boston Globe in Monday's editions. "I don't have much time left and I was hoping they'd let me stay in the dugout. I think some of the players like having me around there."
Pesky played seven of his 12 major league seasons with the Red Sox, and served as a manager, coach, broadcaster and special assistant for the team the last 40 years.
"He is a permanent member of the Red Sox," said team spokesman Dick Bresciani. "We have an agreement to pay him for the rest of his life. It's not a slap. We want to expand his role. He was getting away from doing a lot of the things he had been doing like working with minor leaguers and in the community."
Said first baseman Mo Vaughn to the Globe: "How can you let No. 6 not be around?" That's lovely, man. Johnny Pesky gave his heart and soul to the Boston Red Sox. He's a great man and he should be appreciated for all this time.here with us, on the road with us."
The Baltimore Orioles activated outfielder Pete Incaviglia and sent outfielder Tony Tarasco to its triple-A affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. . . . The Seattle Mariners signed veteran pitcher Mike Maddux, brother of the Atlanta Braves' Greg Maddux, to a minor league contract.