Monday, March 03, 2008

Foul Line

Call me idealistic, but I've always thought that as Red Sox fans, there are some lines we don't cross. In my little world, I like to think that if some mass murderer or despotic ruler was somehow allowed to play baseball, and happened to be the greatest player to ever live, we Sox fans would say, No thanks, while Yankee fans would jump at the chance to improve their team. George Steinbrenner (incredibly no longer my most hated Steinbrenner) has said that winning is the second most important thing to him, after breathing. For me, it's more like: 1. Breathing. (Then I'm assuming both George and I are skipping "health" and "family" and "friends" and all that "real life" stuff--we'll call it all "1a.") 2. Going out and trying as hard as you can to win, while playing within the rules. If you win, great, if you lose, you get back up and try again. You know, like real life, rather than the Fantasy Universe called Yankee.

Now, some players are a little less "evil" than the dictators and murderers. Many Red Sox fans argued the case of getting Roger Clemens back last season, and at other times as well. Some even gave him a standing ovation during one of his many phony retirements. I never forgave that guy after he went to the Yanks. I never wanted him back. And we've been through all the arguments in my comments section. But I heard on the radio recently people talking about how fans have short memories, about how we "root for laundry" (I love how when someone brings that up, they act like they're the first one to have seen the Seinfeld routine it comes from), etc., etc. They said that if the Red Sox have a number-retiring ceremony for him five years, all the Red Sox fans will stand and cheer.

And my question to you is, do you really think that would happen? After all that's gone on? Is there one Red Sox fan left out there still saying, "Eh, he did do a great job for us. I'll cheer"? What more can this guy do to make you hate him?

If you can cheer for a guy who left the Red Sox and was pissed about it despite his declining numbers, then went to Toronto saying he wanted to be closer to his family (who lived in Texas), then went to the rival Yankees, rubbing Babe Ruth's plaque before he pitched, and winning two World Series' for those bastids, then "retired" every year just to get extra cheers including ones at Fenway, and only pitching when it was convenient for him, all the while cheating and repeatedly lying about it right to our faces, well, you can cheer for anyone.

I draw my line way before Roger Clemens.

Great post, Jere.I'll never forget the anger I felt seeing Clemens get that standing O at Fenway in 2003. I said if I were there I'd be sitting on my hands. I'd never applaud that creep after all the BS he's pulled...

Your post made me think of a comparison between The Con Man and Judas. I believe Damon will be forgiven by Red Sox fans, after he permanently gets rid of the pinstripes. (Have you also noticed few people seem to care about him since the 2007 World Series win, and his defection isn't an issue anymore?) But Clemens will remain a pariah, and the most detested man by Sox fans (even more than Mr. Hankee or CHB), and that looks like it will never, ever change until the day he dies.

Clemens only has himself to blame, that is, if he even cares anymore.
Thanks. I agree with you that Damon, provided he chooses to be involved with the Red Sox when he retires instead of the Yanks, will be welcomed back. But he'll be booed just as much as usual each time the Yanks come to town this year. As of last year he was still in that "special" category of getting booed. Meaning, more than your average no-name Yankee.
I have to say that this entire situation has hit me hard. Hard as a fan of baseball but more Hard as a fan of the Red Sox. Why? well you know why...cos Roger was what brought me to love the Sox. So although his whole seemingly charade of wanting to be near his family affected many of ya in N.E., it really didnt have the same affect on me as I didnt have that history with him...I was just falling in love with the Sox. However this year was it....I just can't digest anymore of his "hey look at me, I'm great" antics.

The Clemens I fell in love with is dead. I'm sad but I'll live. I've just channeled all my energy into the Sox instead. :)
After reading the Bill Simmons Sonics mailbag, I have a hard time believing that all we're doing by following sports is "rooting for the laundry".

That said, I guess I'm the only person that doesn't care about the Red Sox HOF - it's a bunch of nonsense. Bob Stanley was elected to it - I think that says a lot about how much I should care about it as a fan. They could elect Wil Cordero and that bat boy who got caught with Manny Alexander's steroids and I wouldn't really care.
Tex--Clemens was my hero. From age 11 and all through my teens. The lie about the family was just another thing in his series of crappiness--I just threw it in there. My main issue with Roger was going to the Yankees and Babe Ruth shit. That was a slap in the face of every single Red Sox fan, especially those of us who loved him so so much.

STJ: The Red Sox Hall of Fame and having your number retired are two totally different things. I'm talking about if the Sox had a day in his honor, with him on the field, getting his number unveiled on the roof facade. They don't do that stuff for everybody who makes the Red Sox HoF.
Hear! Hear!
I have to add, though, that I was not nearly as anti-Clemens before he started his pre-season bullshit a few years ago. "Who will I honor with my presence this year" - "I know all you normal ball payers are training and getting ready for the season, but I'm just not into it yet, I'll catch up later" - "Travel?, surely you're mistaking me for someone who cares!"
There have been quite a few Sox end up at the Toilet Bowl, including one of my personal favs - Boggs. I've always hated it when somebody I like leaves, and it's always SO much worse if they go to the Yankees. There is definitely a sense of treason involved. But for me, the sheer despisal of all things Roger came when he (IMO) put himself above the game, it's traditions and expectations, and all those who played the game with him. After that I hoped he never set foot in the Boston clubhouse again. The steroid crap has only reinforced the verdict. He's a pompous ass, and I hope the Red Sox never feel the need to honor him in any way.
If they do - Manny won't be there :>

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