This has not been a good season at Fenway Park -- and not only because the defending World Series champions were struggling through a losing season as August reached the midway point. There is also the matter of the visits from Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez.
On Thursday night, along with pitcher Pedro Martinez, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and radio voice Joe Castiglione, Mr. Clemens was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, even though he will most likely never be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The former fireballer has the statistics to get there but his name is also all over the 2007 Mitchell Report investigating the illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Mr. Clemens escaped conviction for allegedly lying to Congress about his use of PEDs, but the court of public opinion is not a court of law and Cooperstown’s doors will probably never open to him.
Earlier this summer, Mr. Ramirez, a power-hitting outfielder, received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Fenway along with his teammates from the 2004 World Series team. Mr. Ramirez was suspended twice for PED use after he sulked his way out of Boston by failing to hustle on the diamond.
Fans are quite forgiving when fat statistics and World Series rings come into play. Still, when Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees third baseman now serving a one-year PED-related suspension, comes to Fenway next season, Red Sox fans should in good conscience refrain from booing him for his sins.