The Red Sox invited the stars of the club’s 2004 championship team back to Fenway Park this fall during the ballpark’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Most of the former players were happy to return and share the good times.
But some, like former Sox hero Johnny Damon, were apparently trying to spin their involvement into a second go-around with the team.
Damon, who is still trying to find a Major League Baseball team to play with in 2013, was cut by the Indians last season. So when the Red Sox invited him back to Fenway Park for the anniversary of the 2004 championship, he figured he might as well try to wrangle some at-bats out of the appearance.
“They really wanted me up there for the eight-year anniversary,” Damon said, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I was like, ‘Eight years sounds weird. If I can play, suit me up. I’m still in shape. I’ll be there.’ But they couldn’t adjust the roster, and I didn’t go up.
“It would have been classic.”
Classic, indeed. On that day, the Red Sox were battling the Tampa Bay Rays as they closed out a woeful season, with all sorts of call-ups and fill-ins speckling the roster. Damon may have been able to do some damage.
But perhaps it’s a good thing Damon wasn’t given a spot in the batting order. With Pedro Martinez and Keith Foulke on hand, who knows who else would have wanted to don a Sox jersey and give baseball one more try that night.