When Wade Boggs was a member of the Red Sox, I liked him. I didn’t love him, but I liked him and I respected his ability to hit and get on base. I did, though, think he was selfish and a butthead at times. Then, when he and the Sox could not come to an agreement on a new contract he bolted for the Yankees, won a World Series, rode a police horse in Yankee Stadium and relished his Yankee status, went to Tampa Bay for a chance at 3,000 hits, and then wanted to wear a Devil Ray hat into the Hall of Fame (the HOF said no – you go in with a Sox hat). This, in my mind, disqualifies Boggs from Red Sox Nation worship. He’s a HOFer, but he is still a jerk for many Sox fans.
I grew to dislike Boggs as his time away from the Sox grew. In the past five years, I can’t say I’ve thought much about him. Today, though, an article by Stan Grossfeld came out in the Globe shining a less then flattering spotlight on Boggs. Boggs it seems is sad and bitter, Grossfeld reports, because the Sox won’t retire his number and put 26 up on the Fenway facade along with Doerr, Cronin, Pesky, Yaz, Williams, Rice, Fisk, and Jackie Robinson. Really, Wade? You’re whining about that? Boo-hoo. Finish your career as a Red Sox if you cared so much. Yeah, the Sox made an exception with Fisk, but he hit perhaps the greatest Red Sox home run of all time and didn’t act like an ass.
Here is Wade’s whine:
“It would be nice,” said Boggs, 54, who is currently the assistant baseball coach of the Wharton High School Wildcats here, wearing pinstripes. “Am I bitter? I thought when I wore a Boston hat in the Hall of Fame I’d be up there.
“It’s been eight years now. I used to be bitter. But I think those days are over. Was I bitter? Absolutely.”
Wade makes it sound like it was his choice to wear a Sox cap into the HOF. Revisionist history me thinks. Recently, Boggs also had a war of words with Oil Can Boyd. The Can accused Boggs of being a bigot. Boggs denied this on the Dennis and Callahan radio show (a place where bigots seem to cluster) and took a swipe at the Can.
“Absolutely, positively, 100 million percent, I am not a racist, I am not a bigot,” Boggs said. “You have a delusional drug addict who let not only his family down, but his team, the city of Boston, Red Sox Nation when it counted most. Now he wants the good people of Boston to go out and spend money on this garbage to support his habit. I find that extremely amusing.”
Boggs has never been one to take the high road. But, where does he get off judging Oil Can’s relationship with his family when Bogg’s cheated on his wife? Hypocrite. He is, though, probably the only person able to will himself invisible so that counts for something I guess. Bottom line for me: I never want the Sox to put number 26 on the Fenway facade. Boggs got his HOF election, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep him off the Fenway facade.