Would You Invite Roger Clemens?


On April 20, 2012, the Boston red Sox is going to throw a 100th Birthday bash on a grand scale for their beloved home, Fenway park.  Many of the living former Red Sox will be invited to this shindig.

It is easy to guess that such players as Pedro, Schilling, Millar, Yaz, Fisk and Johnny Pesky are shoo ins to receive their invitations.  Which raises the question, who won’t be invited?  How can you ignore anyone who played on the 2004 Championship?  But, that said, Will Manny get an invite?  Highly doubtful, but even if they did, would he attend or even realize the significance of the 100th anniversary?  Then again, how can you exclude the World Series MVP that broke an 86 yr old curse?

If there was ever a name that could make the back of your hair stand up when mentioned, it is the villainous Roger Clemens.  As much as we love to hate Roger Dodger, was he not one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history?  I thought it was disrespectful and classless when the New York Yankees didn’t invite Joe Torre to their Yankee stadium celebration.  Wouldn’t the Sox ownership look just as classless if they don’t invite Clemens?

As Boston fans, don’t we hate everyone who leaves our teams for so called greener pastures?  Just look at the receptions we have given to players like Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon when they came to town wearing Yankee pin stripes. 

Even still, can you imagine the buzz and amazement if we saw number 21 trot to the mound during the festivities?  The mood in the Fenway will already be festive and in awe of the ceremony.  Do you really think Roger will get the bronx cheer?   

Will this ownership team show some courage and backbone and invite one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history or will they be spineless and cowards like John Henry was when it took him five months to return Terry Francona’s phone call?

Love him or hate him, if you’re going to celebrate the history of Fenway Park, then you need to invite everyone who played major part in the making of its history.  Clemens has made history in that ball park and deserves to be there on April 20th.  How fitting would it be to be playing the Yankees with Clemens wearing his Red Sox Jersey?  You can’t even throw the steroids cloud over the situation anymore.  If Mark McGwire can celebrate on the field as hitting coach when the  St Louis Cardinals won the World Championship, then Roger Clemens should be allowed to stand on the mound for a few brief minutes at Fenway Park for its biggest birthday.

Agree or disagree?

 

Should Roger Clemens be invited to Fenway's 100th?

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Curt Schilling Fenway Park Fisk John Henry Johnny Damon Manny Mark McGwire Pedro Roger Clemens Terry Francona Wade Boggs Yaz

  • Derek Stykalo

    Nice piece Rick.  Personally I think he should be invited and I would be curious to see if he would accept the invitation given his ties to the Yankees in his latter years.  Wouldn’t that be something if he declined to attend to once again wear the jersey that made him so famous. 

  • JLFCASH

    The Yankees pretty much kicked him to the curb after his mediocre 2007 and the Mitchell Report. Their fans never really got 100% behind him to begin with.
     
    He definitely should be invited. He’s a long way from ever being forgiven (if it ever happens), but he is one of the three greatest pitchers in franchise history. And if he does make the Hall of Fame, he will go in with a Red Sox cap. He won most of his Cy Youngs with one team with the Red Sox and was clean during his time in Boston (some speculation about 1996 though since Canseco was on the team that season).

  • Derek Stykalo

    @JLFCASH Great points as always Cash. I just get the feeling Clemens is prouder to be a Yankee. Just me though and a feeling I get. Could be completely wrong. He deserves to be at Fenway on April 20th as a Red Sox.

  • Rmeegs

    Thank you JLFCash and Derek for your comments and insight. I honestly think that if Clemens sat back and reflected on his career that he woudl be more proud of his Red Sox years over the Yankee years. Sure, he won a couple Cy Youngs and a World Championship wearing pinstripes, but he was more dominant and pure as a Red Sox. His entire career after the Red Sox is clouded by steroids. With the Sox , he was all natural and the most dominatinig pitcher of that era.

    Before the steroids the debate was whether he would be the first unaminous player in Hall of Fame history, now it is hight suspect that he will even get in.

    I strongly believe he should be there on April 20th, I don’t think his former teammates sitting in the visiting dugout would dissaprove.

    We have all seen Yaz, Fisk, Eck and Rice get honored before. How awesome would it be to see such players as Millar, Timlin, Schilling and Damon wearing their old uniforms? That would make the 100th even more special.

  • PatrickRiordan

    He should NOT be invited. He disgraced himself and every team he ever played for when he took steroids and then LIED TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS UNDER OATH! He is currently awaiting trial on his federal perjury charges. He is a liar, a lowlife and a bully. His presence anywhere within 100 miles of Fenway Park on the day of the celebration should be seen as a crass insult on the people of New England,

  • Derek Stykalo

     @PatrickRiordan I was hoping we’d hear from someone other than those that feel he should be included in the festivities.  You make a fair argument and if he does get invited and accepts the invite, it’ll be interesting to see how the Fenway faithful welcome him.  He made mistakes, but more so when he was a Yankee.  Red Sox fans have good memories of the Rocket during his time in Boston and if Bill Buckner can be forgiven and welcomed back, then maybe so could Roger? What do you think?

  • PatrickRiordan

    @Derek Stykalo With respect, the two situations are in no way similar. Bill Buckner is an honorable guy and a hell of a ball player who gave his all on the field every day. He needed no forgiveness because all he did was muff one play. He took his licks and maintained his dignity. Roger, on the other hand has only ever cared about Roger. Team means nothing to him. And I don’t want to be a jerk, but I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, because none of my friends have warm fuzzy Roger memories. Our memories are of Roger asking to be pulled in Game 6 which caused Mac to burn the bullpen, or being tossed in the ALCS by Cooney, or that his two biggest gems, his 20K games, both happened when the Red Sox were well out of playoff contention. We remember that after becoming the highest paid player in baseball, he spent the better part of 4 seasons gaining weight and assembling the least impressive stats of his career. We could always count on Roger most when it mattered least. Then, when he signed with Toronto, not one word of acknowledgement to the fans who had supported him in spite of his unsportsmanlike play, his arrogance and his failure to deliver. Roger is a disgrace to the sport, a poor excuse for humanity, and every team he’s ever played for should disavow any affiliation with this soulless mercenary.

  • Derek Stykalo

     @PatrickRiordan  I agree that the two situations are entirely different but Buckner did incur decades of torment that he didn’t deserve and still received none the less.  I’m not condoning what Roger did and you make very valid points about when the Sox needed him most he reverted to his arrogant Roger ways.  It’s those ways that perhaps are now stuck with him and judging by your words, that stands true.  
    I guess when I think of the Fenway celebration, Roger did provide many great memories there, along with numerous sour ones.  If it’s a collection of memories over the years that are supposed to give us all a warm and fuzzy feeling then maybe Roger shouldn’t be there, if most are still pissed at him.  I personally believe he should, but I’m far from forgiving him or even respecting him for that matter.  In the end we’ll agree to disagree, but this debate was excellent.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments and of course thanks for reading.  Any discussion on baseball and especially the Red Sox is always a great time and I look forward to more with you in the future. 

  • JLFCASH

     @PatrickRiordan I dislike the guy too. And a big part of me still wants to see him convicted and given a jail sentence. That being said, he is the winningest living pitcher in franchise history and has more Cy Young’s than any other Sox pitcher. As much as I hate to say it, he’s in a tie for first for greatest pitcher in franchise history. For that, he deserves the invite.
     
    It’s a win-win situation for the Red Sox. The club will look good in the public eye for extending an olive branch. If Clemens turns it down, his bad reputation will worsen more. If he accepts, well…
     
    Either A.) If you are for it, you can cheer the guy for the good things he did on the mound.
     
    Or B.) If you’re against it, you get to boo him mercilessly again. So technically it’s a win-win situation for all of us.