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Clemens Booed, Boggs Cheered in Fenway Park

Associated Press

Two Boston Red Sox players who spent the off-season in turmoil were greeted with mixed feelings Monday by a 1989 home-opening crowd in Fenway Park.

Ace pitcher Roger Clemens, who last summer made vague references about his displeasure with the Boston area and its fans, was booed. Wade Boggs, the hard-hitting third baseman who had a highly publicized extramarital affair that has haunted him this spring, received a resounding ovation.

“Clemens dumped on the fans and Boggs didn’t,” said Ken Magrath, one fan attending the game. “You know what they say about Red Sox baseball: It’s not life and death. It’s more serious than that.”

Clemens is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and in 1986 was the American League’s most valuable player. Clemens entered Monday’s start with an 0-2 record.

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Clemens, however, angered hometown fans last summer when he said he was unhappy with Boston. He said the area did not afford the family atmosphere he valued and he did not believe the Red Sox did enough to protect his family at Fenway from rowdy fans.

Though Boggs was greeted with cheers, not all fans were ready to forgive him for his affair with Margo Adams of Costa Mesa.

John McCoy, attending his 35th consecutive home opener, said: “It’s a sad commentary on the morality of our country.”

McCoy’s friend, Chris Doherty, said: “Clemens basically offended and insulted a city, a group of people. Boggs hit more of a non-local group--he did it to women and women around the country.”

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A police officer escorting Gov. Michael S. Dukakis through the crowd had an altogether different theory on the fans’ reaction.

The officer, who requested anonymity, said fans were unhappy with Clemens because of his winless record in 1989, whereas they mostly were behind Boggs because he is batting .429.


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