BOSTON It will be 16 years ago Friday that Rogers Clemens pitched his last game in a Red Sox uniform. A 4-2 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. He went 7 23 innings, with 10 strikeouts.He went on to pitch 11 more seasons before calling it quits in 2007.Well, quits so far, maybe that should be. Clemens, who turned 50 on Aug. 4, pitched for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters this season, contemplating a major league comeback.He has said recently, though, that such a comeback is unlikely. When he was asked that question Wednesday night at Fenway, though, he added another layer of ambiguity.Well, I had a lot of ice last time I pitched, he said. I dont know. It seems to get worse and worse each time. So, we were just having fun with it.Clemens was back at Fenway as part of the All-Fenway Team honored before Wednesdays game against the Rays to recognize the 40 best Sox players in the 100-year history of Fenway.I felt young around some of the guys and I felt old around the others, he said. "It was a great night. Everybody was pretty excited about it.Clemens made his big league debut May 15, 1984, in Cleveland. He didnt get his first win at Fenway until June 12 that season, against the Yankees. He went on to record 192 wins, tied with Cy Young for most in Red Sox history.All 13 years here were wonderful just for the fact that when I drove into the ballpark from Framingham people were coming from all over New England and they cared, Clemens said. Thats what I was excited about. they cared and they showed up to watch you work.Clemens has been an infrequent visitor to Fenway over the last few years, but hes been around over the last few days. He took part in the tribute to Johnny Pesky after Sundays game and was back for Tuesdays game against the Rays. For the most part, he was given a warm welcome unlike the times he returned as a visiting pitcher.I cant control the smattering of other things, but every time Ive been in this town theyve been nothing but great and thankful for the effort I gave when I was here, he said. I know how I went about my work here and we came close so many times. We made a lot of great memories. I had 13 wonderful years here.He believes the Sox can rebound from their lost 2012 season.This is an organization that youll get back on top pretty quick if you get the right players with the right attitude that mentally can stay on course, he said.
Never say never?
While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.
CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season.
Pedro Martinez just told me & @jtomase he thinks Ortiz will come back to play next season. Says won't believe he's retired 'til season's end— Trenni Kusnierek (@trenni) January 21, 2017
For the full interview with Martinez, click here.
Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.
The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.
But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.
“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.
“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”
He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.
He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.
But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.
“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”