I don't read Dirt Dogs too often anymore, but I guess there's a strong campaign, centered there on the Web, to get Sox fans not to boo Johnny Damon. Castiglione and Remy put in their lobby for Johnny to get cheered during today's game as well.
In any event, the debate (what I've heard of it--I don't listen to talk radio too much anymore, either, but I'm sure this subject has burned up the phone lines over there) has taken on the proportions of those circular political arguments, the ones in which one side thinks the other gives it a bad name. No one can control what the entire crowd at Fenway will do, but most people have strong feelings on Johnny's departure and re-signing with the Yankees, and will have a strong reaction to his reappearance at Fenway in a Yankees uniform. And each side wants their reaction to be the one that gets represented--each side wants their feelings to dictate the reception Johnny receives, and moreover, thinks that if that doesn't happen, they as Sox fans and Sox fans in general will look bad.
Because to people who blame the front office for not offering Johnny Damon the money he wanted for his departure, and say it's only natural he'd take the best offer, Yankees or no Yankees, booing him is an overly simplistic, childish way to look at things--booing and blaming only the guy you can see right in front of you, rather than the other people who may have been complicit.
But to people who blame Johnny Damon for not taking the "hometown discount" and then signing with the team's mortal enemy, for anyone to expect him NOT to be booed--mankind still has free will, after all, and he knows or should know precisely what he's getting into--is disingenous and an insult to true fans who are passionate enough not to care about the reasons and rationales and explanations. And to cheer the guy, in these fans' minds, amounts to the Red Sox submitting to the Yankees, to their continued fiscal clout in the league, and their propaganda about "class".
So what do I think will happen?
Neither. Both. Neither booing nor cheering will be overwhelming or even in the majority--you can tell by how strongly and evenly the fans are divided outside the ballpark. There will be some who stand and cheer, looking around and glaring at the others who don't join them; there will be others who stand, cup their hands around their mouths and boo with all their might, and glaring back at those who cheer. And overall, the sound in the park will be loud, but mixed--as mixed, when push comes to shove, as our feelings.
But that's kind of a cop-out, I admit. What do I wish to happen? Which side am I on?
I'm with Iain, when he says, "I really don't care what we do - boo, cheer, roll out the red carpet, light fireworks, bring in champagne and naked cheerleaders, whatever - as long as we win the ballgame."