Whose Departure From the Sox Devastated You Most?

SoxJox

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For the record, I'll be sad if Mookie is traded or doesn't re-sign, but I want no part of some ridiculous $350m - $425m mega-contract that's an incredibly disproportionate allocation of resources, especially considering he'll be pushing 40 at the end of it. So if he leaves, I'll be happy for him and wish him well, while simultaneously breathing a sigh of relief. Similar to how I felt when Pedro signed with the Mets (more due to Pedro's health questions than the money involved).
Agreed. And so continues the rhythmic turning of the seasons - one of the most endearing, yet at the same time frustrating aspects involved in the love of baseball. This too shall pass.

For some reason, this reminds me of a well-known funeral poem by Henry Van Dyke:

I Am Standing Upon The Seashore
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
 

SocrManiac

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Roger Clemens was my favorite player from the moment I had an awareness of baseball. His departure made me essentially ignore the sport for three years. His subsequent renaissance in Toronto didn't help, but I did get tickets for this little gem against the Sox and I wore my 21 jersey.
 
Dec 8, 2017
40
Fisk, Lynn, and Burleson, in that order.

Fisk was only the best catcher in the history of the organization, a natural leader, and a New England kid to boot. I'm still convinced Lynn would be in the Hall of Fame had he spent his career in Fenway banging doubles off the Wall and playing great CF. Rooster was a feisty, no-nonsense, dirt-dog, lead-by-example guy who wouldn't tolerate less-than-full effort. Given a bit of pitching, that late 70s-early 80s team should have won a World Series or two, but management ripped it apart, right up the middle.

After that horrible off-season, I knew I'd be able to survive any future organizational incompetency and still be excited for the day pitchers and catchers report.
 

OCD SS

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I’m coming in later than some here, but no one has left yet who totally wrecked me. Nomad maybe came closest (My namesake after all), but at the time it was obviously a move that had to be made.

Mookie is going to be devastating. As a parent I’m going to have to explain to my 8 year old son who’s just learning to love baseball & the Red Sox why his favorite player isn’t on the team anymore.

Based on my discussion with my 11 year old about payroll and arbitration, I’m not expecting it to go well.
 

S. H. Frog

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I was too young to get Lynn and Fisk. The fact that Dwight Evans played a game where he was not on the Red Sox still burns me up. I mean, I get it, but still.
 

reggiecleveland

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Clemens and Nomar.

In Canada I had to watch the Kays broadcasts in the 80s and they made YES look neutral, so I hated the JAys. Seeing Roger go there hurt. Then when he juiced it and was good, it was even worse.

Nomar was heartbreaking, but in retrospect showed how gangsta Theo was in winning games.
 

TeddyBallgame9

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Fisk/Lynn/Burleson hurt, but the real shocker for me was two years earlier when Luis Tiant left after the 1978 season to join - of all teams - the hated Yankees! The Yankees who had just crushed our hopes and dreams! The Yankees who were hoovering up every free agent in baseball! How could Luis Tiant, who seemed to be the very heart and soul of the Bosox, turn traitor and join Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson and Bucky Fucking Dent!?

Devastated is exactly the right word to describe how I felt.
Worse yet, after El Tiante signed with the Yankees some hot dog company (can't remember which one ) propped him up in front of a camera in his Yankee jersey to say "It's great to be with a WEINER!". God I fucking hated those commercials.
 

chawson

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Mo Vaughn was a biggie, but also Nick Esasky, Wily Mo Peña and Coco Crisp.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I think these are in chronological order:

Fisk and Burleson: such breathtakingly incompetent management. How could this even happen? Has anything else like this ever even happened anywhere?

Lynn: Hey maybe you should keep a CF who hits 347/420/601 in 1800 PAs in your home ballpark. This had to be the stupidest offseason any team has ever had.

Tiant: "Wish they could have kept him, always liked him. Wait, he went THERE?!?"

Clemens: I can't believe I bought his "I could never leave Boston, unless it was to go back to my ol' Texas home, derp derp" BS act. When he was a free agent I was really hoping we'd keep him, but was prepared for him to sign with Texas or Houston. Maybe even Cleveland, since he actually grew up in Ohio and he could have turned them into a total juggernaut, and who could begrudge him trying to win? But nope, he chose to go to Toronto, in our own division to give us as much of a middle finger as he could. I finally learned to never again put much stock into anything any athlete says. When he later weaseled his way to the Yankees I wasn't surprised, and already loathed him.

Nomar: I HATED this trade at the time, and all the nonsense about how he was "pouting" when he was actually injured. It worked out great, obviously. And he was already broken down so it was a smart move. (I still think we probably would have won with him and Pokey splitting SS, but I wouldn't change anything about that postseason obviously.) You'd think his injury devastated career after leaving would demonstrate that he really was injured, but the narrative still lives on that he didn't feel like playing because he was pouting or whatever. People are stupid.

Pedro: Painful. Very painful. At least he didn't go to the Yankees. It's easier to take some of these when the guy who leaves is never again close to as good as he was with us.

Damon: "Wish they could have kept him, always liked him. Wait, he went THERE?!? After 2004?? Fuck that guy. What the hell??"

Ellsbury: "Wish they could have kept him, always liked him. Wait, he went THERE?!? At least they gave him way too much money for too long." Got to say now I love what Ellsbury's done with the Yankees. Thanks Jacoby!

Francona and Epstein: It's like the whole organization had a full frontal lobotomy, going from these two to Valentine and Cherington/Lucchino. Amazingly lucky we were able to survive it. Tito and Theo should be Boston legends forever.

Lester: Lucchino low-balled him and refused to offer him Homer Bailey money. And instead eventually gave about that much money to cuddly ol' Panda, who everybody would love! Thank god Lucchino is gone.
 

Marciano490

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Manny, though some of the stuff that came out later softened the blow.

The first time I remember being really excited about something in baseball was the bidding war to get Manny here.

Plus, his departure was the capstone on the Nomar/Pedro/Manny era.

3 of my all-time favorite Red Sox. Each ended up being let go or traded at the right time, but part of me would rather root for a losing team of players I love than a winning team of players passing through.
 

lexrageorge

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The very first departure that got me upset was that of Sparky Lyle: a very good bullpen guy traded for sub-replacement level production. Never understood why. Felt similarly about Reggie Smith and Cecil Cooper, both times unaware of the racial angle that led to their departures.

However, Lynn and Fisk were the big ones for me, especially Fisk. I thought it was fitting justice that he had a career 0.957 OPS against the Red Sox after the trade.
 

mwonow

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Sparky Lyle was one for me, too. And I'll be like the 40th person to say Pudge and Lynn, and Burleson (in that order for me).

Bruce Hurst hurt a lot - he was the guy I liked and trusted most on the staff, including Roger.

I believed that Luis could have kept getting guys out forever. And that Bob Watson could hit forever. And that Don Baylor's team would always be in the playoffs. So them, too (esp Luis, of course), but not at Lyle/Hurst levels (heck, maybe I just identify with lefties)
 

SoxVindaloo

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Seems like the consensus is the one from childhood cuts the deepest.
For me Fisk by a mile. I was 13. As an adult the sad prolonged bitter divorce from Nomar was very painful but not at the Fisk level. Burleson and Lynn would be 3rd.
 

DourDoerr

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Fisk, easily. My mom drove me god knows how far out of town to a car dealership where Fisk was signing autographs. Got a signed photo and had him sign a baseball card too (I think it's the 1980 card - he had particularly good luck with Topps as most of his cards were killer-looking). His leaving was a lightening bolt out of nowhere, stunning. Did get to see him hit a home run in the last year of old Comiskey as I stopped to see a game while driving a U-Haul west cross-country to CA.

Lynn's departure hurt a lot, but there were always rumors that he wanted to go back to California, so it wasn't nearly as surprising.

Hurst would be the second worst for me. So close to getting over the hump in '86 and finally had a really good rotation to continue to compete and his leaving just blew a huge hole into those plans. Incredibly frustrating as this was deep into the pre-2004 years and it made it a lot harder to see an end in sight.

BTW I think my mom bought my pants at the same store as saints rest's parents did.
 

brs3

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Nomar, but it was easier to swallow months later. Pedro, too, and knowing full well his best days were behind him. I would've loved him to spend his twilight years with the Sox, but obviously no regrets with how that played out. A lot of the key 2004 players when they left, really. The deconstruction set the tone for future championship build ups/break downs that we are now numb to. Mookie is just the latest.
 

twoBshorty

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Terry Francona. The way his departure was handled made me ill. I was angry and completely disgusted and still haven’t really forgiven ownership for it. The titles are amazing but treating people like crap leaves a stain. He deserved way better from them. And his players.
 

wiffleballhero

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All said, more or less by others, but: Fred Lynn.

I'm left handed, I was born in 1972. I am still a little permanently hurt by that loss.

As I got older, I think the Fisk loss was really worse though, even for me with my Lynn issues. I also grew up in New Hampshire, so it really seems like the second biggest mistake, after Ruth.
 

OCD SS

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A great many of these from post-2004 I was actually hoping the player would leave:

Damon: clearly declining and couldn’t play CF anymore; he couldn’t throw enough for a little league OF, let alone Fenway’s RF, and we had Manny in LF so we couldn’t shift him to a corner. Ellsbury was already primed to take over CF, so letting him walk was a no brainer. It sort of sucked that he went to the Yankees after he said he wouldn’t, but I expected him to breakdown anyway.

Ellsbury: with JBJ lined up to replace him (eventually), in CF, this wasn’t a problem either as I didn’t expect him to have another monster year and the money it would take to keep him looked better spent elsewhere.It initially sucked that he went to the yankees, but at least he never said he wouldn’t.

Lester sucked for all the reasons that have been mentioned, but that one I think we saw coming from ST…
 

Ted Cox 4 president

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I was a Mets fan until they traded Tom Seaver to Cincinnati. That was the end of our previously very solid relationship. I then started following the Red Sox. I had rooted for them in the 1975 Series (of course), but I didn't become a serious Sox fan until 1978, cemented by my first visit to Fenway in 1979. Carlton Fisk's departure, as a result of sheer stupidity on the part of the front office, was the worst. For me, nothing comparable thereafter.
 

SFRedSoxFan

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Longtime lurker here as well, but I thought I'd put in a vote for Clemens. My rooting priorities as a kid heavily favored the Celtics...mainly b/c it was the team that my family griped the least about. I probably thought "The Red Floppers" was the official name of the Red Sox until the mid-80s or so. Clemens (and the rising fortunes of the Sox) were what drew me into full-time fandom. I never looked away again, even after the absolute heartbreak of the '86 WS. I did follow the whole team, but my fan focus was on Clemens....I tried to catch as many games of his that I could, either in-person or on TV.

His departure process is, in hindsight, a now familiar script, but I didn't have the awareness to see the whole picture back then. I was just consumed with the idea of my favorite player leaving my team.

Of course, it's far less hurtful now given his subsequent actions. If there was a thread for "Which former Boston player did you stop rooting for the fastest", he might top that poll as well.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Come to think of it, Rollie Fingers departure from the Red Sox in 1976 was pretty disappointing. Of course, he wasn't around long enough for people to develop a real emotional attachment to him...
 

Manramsclan

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Clemens. I was only a teen-ager but I would tell people, "I don't care if he's an a-hole. I don't need to hang out with the guy, I just want him to pitch for my team!

Pedro and Nomar were rough too, but it was the right decision.
 

am_dial

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Lynn was my idol, but it was the whole offseason that broke my heart. The highlight of Sunday's back then used to be the Frank Lanning cartoon on the front of the Projo sports page and the stats page in season. I remember Lanning did one after Fisk left. My googlefu failed me in digging it up, but maybe someone else from RI remembers it.
Lynn and Fisk for me, too. I’m pretty sure in the Worcester Evening Gazette (then still a separate paper from the Worcester Morning Telegram), the headline was “Another One Bites the Dust.”
 

Rough Carrigan

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Fred Lynn. I was young enough that it mattered to me personally. Another kid who lived a few blocks away actually became an Angels fan because of that trade.
Same here. I don't know why but I never felt as much affection for Fisk. When I was a kid I tried to do everything the way Lynn did. And maybe the whole weird contract thing was harder to grasp mentally. I mean, you could tell yourself that they tried to keep him but just screwed up. You didn't quite know for sure. But they traded Lynn and got back Joe Rudi's sarcophagus and the maraca that was Frank Tanana's shoulder it was easier to take in and seemed nuts.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Lynn and Fisk for me, too. I’m pretty sure in the Worcester Evening Gazette (then still a separate paper from the Worcester Morning Telegram), the headline was “Another One Bites the Dust.”
If I recall correctly, the Globe would run a column in 1981 updating the stats of Fisk, Lynn and Burleson titled "Our Boys in Exile".
 

snowmanny

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Scott, Lynn, Fisk, Tiant and Pedro all really annoyed me. Fisk probably the most of that group because it was just stupidity.

But the worst for me was Lester. Drafted here, beat cancer here, pitched a no-hitter here, won two titles here, lefty who threw hard and never missed time. It just seemed completely unnecessary to let him go, it seemed as if they were trying to prove some point or something. Complete malpractice and basically farting in the face of the fanbase. It seemed really really likely he would be worth the money they could have signed him for in the spring (and guess what...he would have been!) Replacing him with Price and/or Porcello or however you count it was fine-ish, and they won a title, but despite Tom Ricardo's golden rule it would have been somehow even more fun to watch them win that one with Lester. The only saving grace is that I am pretty sure they realized they totally fucked up that negotiation and maybe they learned something.
 

wiffleballhero

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Bill Lee.

I already noted Lynn and Fisk, but i really wish Lee had not been let go. It might not have been a mistake, but it seems a shame that he ended up in Montreal.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Bill Lee.

I already noted Lynn and Fisk, but i really wish Lee had not been let go. It might not have been a mistake, but it seems a shame that he ended up in Montreal.
Lee's departure was unique in that it was out of pure spite, which should make it the most enraging. His talent wasn't on the level of a Fisk or a Lynn, but he wasn't going to be expensive like they were; the team dumped him for nothing (well, Stan Papi) because Haywood Sullivan and Don Zimmer were Archie Bunker and Lee was Meathead. The whole dismantling of the Buffalo Heads was along the same lines, but Lee was the focal point. So, so stupid.
 

garlan5

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Phil Plantier-- watched him and followed him from Lynchburg Sox to Boston.
Youk- Made me sick when that POS Bobby V stood in the dug out clapping when he pulled him mid game following the trade announcement. VI didn't like him and watching him clap and try to encourage him back out the dugout for a standing ovation really pissed me off. That was a stupid trade in an already tanked season.
 

notmannysfault

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Evans.

I later tried to jump on the Manny train and pretended I had a new favorite player...and I enjoyed Manny, to be certain, but looking back, it's not even close.

Hearing that the Sox would not be offering Dwight Evans what I assumed to be his final, one year deal... absolutely broke my heart. The implication--that he would likely wear a different uniform and possibly (ugh) play against the Sox was my first and most important disillusionment/realization with respect to pro sports.

I wore an Orioles cap (?#!**?) during his 1+ seasons away from Fenway. Not proudly, but in protest. Don't regret it; it changed MLB for me...not the sport of baseball at all, playing the game has always been my love, but my relationship with the professional baseball product.

28249

my 12th birthday present... lithograph by armand lamontagne, numbered and signed by the artist and the subject. not a cheap gift from my parents... but still hangs in my office, next to the individual media collage from each WS victory season's day-after newspaper front pages.
 

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Ale Xander

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1. Manny. I'm a fanboy, warts and all. Best RHH I have ever seen. Made the game fun for me. F Jack McCormick. Cent believe he's not in the hall

2. Clemens. If this question would be about 2+ after departure, ge would be first. Probably the only Yankee I ever rooted for to succeed. Also a fanboy. F Mcnamee. Can't believe he's not in the hall.

3. Pedro. Would be higher if it wasn't expected or if he was still as dominant. I've never been as happy for an opposing pitcher when he came to Fenway as a Met.

4. Maurice. Loved that he made big boned people believe they could be great players. Had a great smile.

Big drop off

5. Lester. Lowballed him, then trashed him on the way out.

6. Lowe. Hard to explain

7. probably Boggs. At least before the horse


Loved Nomar but that had to be done. F Al Reyes
 
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Al Zarilla

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Ted Williams. I know he was “just a retirement”, but someone already used another one in Big Papi. Williams was like Orr, Bird and, when it happens, Brady. You know you’ll never see another one like any of them.
 

Marciano490

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I haven't really followed the free agent departures for other teams, but do the Red Sox have a weird history of kicking players, managers and executives in the ass on the way out? There seems to be a lot of gossip and acrimony whenever anyone leaves the team.