(Boston Globe and Reuters File Photos)
Should Manny Have Freed Up Some Time For
Those Who Gave Their All for His Freedom?
Manny, Theo Epstein, and Julian Tavarez Were All No-Shows
for USA's War Heroes in Washington
Kevin Youkilis prior to visiting Walter Reed Hospital: "It will be fun to go to the White House again, it's always a trip you like to make because you know you won. But going to Walter Reed Hospital, that was interesting, seeing some of those soldiers who were coming back from the war and injured, and it's definitely something that puts your life in perspective. You realize that you get to play baseball for a living, while other guys are giving up their bodies and lives to be able to play."
Sox CEO Larry Lucchino Chimes in on Reedgate
"It wasn't a mandatory event. I think Manny's going to find out from his teammates today that he missed something. It was an exceptional day because after the White House of course we went back to Walter Reed, we had done that after the '04 championship and I think it's a good balance to the day. ...
"But I think the even more memorable event for many of the players, the most emotional part of it, was going to Walter Reed. The players divided up someone to various rooms. A group of us went to the main rehab area where there was a group, many from Massachusetts, group of veterans and the players mixed. And it was great because rarely do you see the players as moved and as relaxed and as comfortable. I heard a lot of statements from the players of admiration and respect and gratitude to these warriors and it was very touching. ...
"Very quickly you see that these people are still in military mode. The way I look at it they see their continuing duty is to be positive, to be upbeat, to not wallow in self-pity. It's almost like it's well they can't perform the standard military duties, at least many of them cannot again, there's a new form of military duty that they see for themselves and that's to again, to be positive, to be upbeat, to talk about going back to their unit, to talk about other roles they can play in the military, it's inspiring.
"I don't think we'll make a big issue of it [those who didn't make the trip]. If we had chosen to make an issue of it, it would have been a mandatory appearance for people.
"The fact is we did allow people to make a choice, and some chose to spend some time down here with their family. Spring training is a very congested time, and as you might imagine, I don't want to offer any excuses, I can just see people making different value judgments. (Doesn't it bug you though?) A little bit. I'm not going to make a big deal out of it." -- 2.28.08, Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino on WEEI