Roger Clemens: If Acquitted, Should the Boston Red Sox Retire His Number?
Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
I've never hidden from the fact that I am a huge Roger Clemens fan. Always have been, always will be. That being said, I am not naive. I have read all of the articles and have followed his case closely. I've read all of the books and seen all of the specials.
There is a fair amount of compelling evidence to damn him. However, it is Roger Clemens, and that seems to go a long way.
This however, is not about whether or not he lied to Congress. This is about a very simple question, if Clemens is acquitted of these charges, should the Boston Red Sox retire his number?
Initially, you may think not. However, there are a couple of things that stick out in my mind over the past several years that make me think otherwise.
First, let's take a look at the obvious. No other player has worn the No. 21 since Clemens left the Red Sox in 1996.
There were rumors at times that both Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz had interest in wearing the number, but obviously, neither landed it.
The answer for me is simple, just like the No. 45—the team has plans for it.
Beyond that, let's take a trip down memory lane. The year was 2007 and Clemens had decided to return to baseball during the summer. His choice was down to just three team, the Yankees, the Astros and the Red Sox.
Would you be okay with the Red Sox retiring Clemens #21?
At the time, it was rumored that Sox general manager Theo Epstein had put together quite the video montage for Clemens to take him down memory lane in an effort to bring his career full circle.
Obviously, that didn't happen but not for a lack of effort.
The most recent event that raised my eyebrows was his noted absence from the 100 Year Celebration at Fenway Park. When speaking of the event, Clemens said:
Big-time (regrets)," Clemens said. "I talked to Mr. Lucchino (Red Sox CEO Larry). We still love Boston and the family is looking forward to sitting on top of the Green Monster for another game. We will be up in Boston for a Jimmy Fund (Dana-Farber Cancer Research Center) fundraiser in June.
While the front office has been no stranger to controversy, a move that would involve retiring the number of an ex-player, turned Yankee, turned scapegoat could be a fire starter.
The thought is on their minds, you just get that sense. Watching this trial play out is fascinating if only for what may occur down the line with Clemens.
While they have not come out and said it, the current Red Sox ownership would revel at the idea of retiring No. 21. The question is, just how would fans react to that?
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