Ortiz mourns loss of friend 'Mr. Johnny'

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Ortiz mourns loss of friend 'Mr. Johnny'

BALTIMORE Before things got crazy in the Camden Yards visitors clubhouse on Tuesday, the mood was somber as longtime Sox players like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz paid tribute to Johnny Pesky. The 92-year-old Sox legend passed away on Monday and left behind six decades of association with the Sox organization as a player, coach, manager, ambassador, special instructor and in the last decade or more of his life as a living legend.

Ortiz and Pesky had a special relationship as the two would engage in a playful give-and-take within the clubhouse and dugout before games, and always seemed to find each other for a victorious embrace when the Sox captured their World Series championships. A sad smile stole over Ortizs face when he was asked what Pesky meant to him during his 10-year career in Boston.

A lot, man. Ive been in this organization for 10 years and Johnny is what the Red Sox franchise is all about, said Ortiz. Thinking about Johnny Pesky and not being able to have him around physically is hard to deal with. Its pretty devastating to find out that hes passed away.

He was an unbelievable human being. He showed you from the very beginning what love for this game was all about. I always liked to be shadow him when he was around he had some good things to say. He had some funny things to say. Im going to miss all that.

There wasnt a single story that leapt to mind for either Pedroia or Ortiz when it came to the franchises elder statesmen, but his image is still abundantly clear. Pesky would walk around the Sox clubhouse with bat in hand and boast to the players that he could still go out and do some damage with the bat.

It didnt matter who was pitching, and it certainly didnt matter that Pesky was pushing 90 years old. The Sox players loved him for his spirit and energy that age couldnt take away from him.

If you can hit .300 in the big leagues thats something hard to do, said Ortiz. There are tons of stories with him. The most important thing with him was his personality: the way he handled his business. Even at his age he said he could still get a hit. That was how strong mentally he was, and I appreciated all those great times I spent with Mr. Johnny.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:

 

QUOTES:

"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.

 

NOTES

* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.

 

STARS

1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.