Damon’s Looming Return Sparks a New Round of Lame Commentary

Johnny Damon will be returning to Fenway Park tomorrow night and do you know that what means? Of course, the Boston media’s time-honored  tradition of wading in to the lamest of all debates …. Whether or not a particular player should be welcomed or booed at Fenway Park.

It boggles my mind that any space or radio air-time is wasted on such a childish matter, but today I counted three missives on the subject of Damon’s return to Fenway as a Tiger, here, here and here. Nothing yet from the Herald or the ProJo but give it a day and something might turn up to turn this Full House into a Royal Flush. For those counting, two of today’s pieces were advocating cheers for good old number eighteen while the Globe’s Eric Wilbur pressed for more jeers.

But all that is beside the point. What’s more interesting to me is that this stale and juvenile discussion on “who should be cheered” not only keeps coming up when new targets come to town (Pedro, Manny, Nomar, Barry), but in this instance, an oldie but goodie is being recycled from four years ago.

Folks, the Johnny Damon chapter to this book was discussed ad nausea in 2006. So does it now need refreshing because Damon moved on to a less objectionable team? Hardly, yet today we had three writers “double dip” into the past and regurgitate slightly amended stories just to keep this weak journalistic tradition alive.

I won’t get into the merits of any of the arguments at this time. Suffice to say, two are written by members of Damon’s defense team who have man-crushes on their client and one is authored by a prosecutor who thinks Damon is an insecure idiot. That case is among the easiest in history to prove but again, that is beside the point.  

What matters to me is not so much the substance of these arguments, but the mere fact that they are being made in the first place. Do members of this industry have so little imagination (and dignity) that they must now advocate for a particular fan reaction? I realize it’s a slow news day and this debate gives writers an opportunity to shed their objectivity and show their feelings for a player. But isn’t it just a little sad when grown men are pleading for the public to support or reject a player?

This scribe thinks it is not only sad, but stale and sophomoric as well. That said, I still can’t figure out whether I will cheer or jeer when Jason Bay makes his return to Fenway in 2013 and I  hope Eric Wilbur and Pete Abraham are still around to help me figure it all out.


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