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.
CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.
Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.
In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.
But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''
"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''
Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.
Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.
After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.
Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.
Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.
Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.
In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.
That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.
Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.
When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.