He wasn’t speaking for Red Sox Nation, but Curt Schilling pretty accurately summarized the mood of a scorned Sox fan base with this four-word take on Roger Clemens signing with the Yankees: “We don’t need him.”
We took a sampling of Red Sox fan blogs and message boards this morning, and almost universally they depict Clemens as a money-grubbing mercenary whom the Sox are better off without.
Here are the highlights:
Contrary to what he or his agents might say when trying to pit one team against the other in negotiations, we now know with 100 percent certainty that he has absolutely no sentiment for his days for the Red Sox. None. The premise that he might return to pitch for Boston out of some melancholy desire to mend those Green Monster-sized fences and win back the approval of the fans who cheered his first big-league victories has long been based in fantasy.
Today, that fantasy was punctured by a reality that we should have grasped long ago. Clemens’s allegiance has never tilted toward a particular city or fan base, be it Boston, New York, Houston or Albuquerque. The Rocket’s is not about a team, but to a person: himself. He’s a Yankee – again – because New York, it all of its DeSalvo/Pavano/Igawa-fueled desperation, gave him roughly $18 million bucks and the cushy come-and-go-as-you-wish-your-highness schedule for four months of work. Had the Red Sox offered him, say, $33 million, the use of John Henry’s jet, and all the free ballpark wieners the “K’ kids can eat, let’s just say there’s a pretty good chance he’d have shown up at Fenway this week to patronize us with some non-sequitur-loaded speech about how it’s good to be home in Boston again, duh-huh.
Today’s dramatic announcement that Roger Clemens was returning to the Yankees surprised many, disappointed, and delighted, across two legions of rooters. For this Red Sox fan, it finally gives closure, and lamentably so.
The blog entry ends with this:
There’s no anger, though, just the sadness that we won’t get that fantastical closure for ourselves, cheering Roger as he strides off the mound and into that first base dugout, looking to right field while envisioning a “21” up there with 1, 4, 8, 9, 27, and 42. This is a sad day for at least one Red Sox fan.
Clemens, the greatest pitcher of his generation — some would argue the greatest ever — has revealed himself to be a mercenary, a man who will grant his services to the highest bidder.
How else can Clemens’ decision to sign with the Bronx Bombers be explained?
Instead of completing his career with the Red Sox and taking that challenge, Clemens went to the Yankees and pissed off the entire Sox fan base in the process. Those ovations we gave him at Fenway late in his career were regrettable. He never felt any love with the fans, it was all staged and cold-hearted. All along, it’s about Roger and only Roger. He took a prorated 28 million from the Yankees, sprinting towards the cash. He’s not worried about his legacy at all.
The Yankees can’t offer him any more than cash. He has a Cy Young and two championship rings with the Yankees and, at this point in his life, has more money than you can possibly imagine. In typical Clemens fashion, he signs with the Yankees for the most money.
It was too predictable, I feel really stupid even considering he would choose a different route.
“I’d have liked Clemens to have come to Boston and have cheered him. As a Yankee I will boo him more then ever though. If he did come here I’d have expected him to be a 6 inning 3 run pitcher. Simply for the happy ending, entering the HOF with a sox hat and the postseason experience was I rooting for him to land here. I knew every start of his would finish somewhere in inning 6 with a Kyle Snyder or Julian Tavarez appearance. Lester can do that for us now. So bring on the Jon Lester era!” — Message board user Rameaka
“For the 1st time since becoming a Red Sox fan…. I DO NOT want Roger Clemens going into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox hat. He showed today that he is no longer part of Sox Nation… and frankly, he can burn in hell like the rest of the Yankees.” — Message board user soxcrazy2005
“I’m not happy that Clemens is going to NY but I’m not surprised either. I don’t think it was an issue of money. The Sox would have paid the same. It’s an issue of ego. Roger has always been about Roger and this way he gets to be the hero. If he came to Boston he would have been one piece of the puzzle not THE piece of the puzzle. The smart move was to come here. The bullpen is better, and for a guy who going to go 6 to 7 innings, he would have been better off in Boston, but Roger was never that bright.” — Message board user Gov36
According to another Boston.com survey, the Yankees’ acquisition of the Rocket strikes fear in the hearts of only 11 percent of respondents. Thirty-six percent of those polled can’t wait to boo Clemens when he comes to Fenway Park (mark June 1-3 on your calendars).