The worst season of Wade Boggs' career just got worse.
Roger Clemens criticized his Boston Red Sox teammate for instigating a scoring change that turned an error by Boggs into a hit and raised Clemens' earned run average from 2.24 to 2.31, still the best in the American League.`I don't care to discuss it with him. It's over," Clemens said Tuesday night. "He did what he did, and I just lost a great deal of respect for him."
One of the few things left for the last-place Red Sox to achieve is an ERA title and a fourth Cy Young Award for Clemens, who is 18-9. The official scoring change in Saturday's 9-5 loss to Detroit doesn't help that quest, although Kansas City's Kevin Appier is a distant second with a 2.46 ERA.
"Because of the year we've had, that's something that would mean something to the players," Boston manager Butch Hobson said of the Cy Young Award.
"If I'm an infielder and I've got a pitcher who has a chance to win a Cy Young Award," Hobson said, he would do anything to help him.
"If a ball's hit to me and it's ruled a hit, I'm going to ask to be given an error."
Boggs did the opposite after he couldn't handle Tony Phillips' leadoff grounder to his right in the fifth inning. The Tigers scored two runs in the inning, which became earned when the scoring change was made.
"A hit is a hit, and an error is an error," Boggs said before Tuesday night's 7-2 loss to Milwaukee.
Boggs was in the original Boston lineup but was scratched shortly before game time because of a stiff back. He was not in the clubhouse afterward to discuss the rift between two of the greatest players in Red Sox history.
Clemens was, and he reiterated remarks he had made before the game. In a tone more disbelieving than angry, he said he was shocked that Boggs would dispute the error call with official scorer Charles Scoggins.