So Johnny Damon returns to Fenway on Monday as a member of the Yankees. I expect him to be booed. This is pathetic. (See this Boston.com link
if you'd like.)
Yes, Johnny Damon went for the most money and signed with our rivals. Yes, Damon said he would never play for the Yankees and did anyway, taking top dollar. Of course, I was not happy about it, even though I love Crisp and am happy with what the Sox are doing (getting young, cost-controlled players).
How could Red Sox fans forget what Damon did? A grand slam and then a two-run homer in the best comeback--and only one down 3-0--in the history of baseball? Maybe I'm biased because I was down the thirdbase line when he hit those two homeruns and danced in Yankee Stadium that night, but are our memories that short?
Booing seems to be a trend.
I was annoyed that on opening day, the boos reigned on Josh Beckett after a rough start--in the first inning! Are you kidding me? And then David Wells, trying to pitch his way back into shape has a horrendous start and is booed.
Last year, the reason for the Yankees dominance over the past decade--Mariano Rivera--was booed after two bad outings. This is hardly a Boston-NY phenomena--it happens in many stadiums, to many beloved players.
What is going on?
I think as fans, we've become selfish. We think that because we pay a lot of money--for tickets, hotdogs, beer, hell, even Direct TV--we can boo anytime we want. And, yes, we can
. But that doesn't mean we should
. I'm not against booing. It's warranted many times--but fans seems to have a myopic view.
Take ALCS Game 7, 2003--Clemens got crushed and was taken out early. My brother and I were one of the few Sox fans to give Clemens a standing O, along with the Yankee fans. It wasn't a mock cheer; it was a cheer because we thought his career was over and he deserved it, even though I think he is the devil. No, I'm no saint--I get caught up in the moment, too. Let's take a step back, though.
We need to make our boos mean
something. And we start by booing a little less regularly. How about when we boo, the players actually are surprised?
But Damon is a different story. He won't be booed on performance. He'll be booed for taking top dollar, for being a hypocrite, for selling out. Just don't forget what he did for the Sox, and show him some love. A few years ago, Fenway did it for Clemens. Let's to it again.
When Damon steps into the box, in pinstripes, clean shaven, give him a standing ovation. Thank him for his great seasons in Boston. Thank him for that grandslam. Thank him for the Idiots. Thank him for laughs over his third-grade girl scout throwing arm. Thank him for running into the wall at full speed. Thank him for racing cars to stay in shape. Thank him for being our caveman. Thank him for winning the World Series.
Make Fenway shake. Make him step out of that batter box and tip his cap. He deserves it.
Boo him later if you must. I will not.
I'm back. Sorta.
Do not boo Johnny.