Former Red Sox utility man Pedro Ciriaco returns to Fenway Park tonight for the first time since being traded to the San Diego Padres three weeks ago for cash considerations.
In a deft move by club officials, Boston fans feeling scorned by the team’s move to deal Ciriaco, done mostly to clear roster space for better players, can exchange their No. 23, No. 77 and other variations of Pedro Ciriaco Boston jerseys and T-shirts outside Gate B.
Fans willing to part with their Ciriaco tops will be given a voucher redeemable for a free burrito “wrap” sandwich at designated Fenway concession stands.
A press release issued by the team earlier this afternoon described the jersey exchange as “simply the right thing to do.”
A favorite of former manager Bobby Valentine, Ciriaco was an unexpected bright spot – some may say, the only bright spot – in an otherwise disastrous 2012 season. After starting the year hot, Ciriaco even started nine games at designated hitter before finishing with a not-quite-as-gaudy .293 average and two home runs (.705 OPS).
One anonymous team representative confirmed, “Yeah, we don’t really want a bunch of Ciriaco jerseys floating around Fenway Park on a regular basis as we move forward and try to regain the goodwill of our fanbase. While Pedro was a nice fill-in for us, we feel that hanging onto any nostalgia for his tenure in Boston would be somewhat misguided.”
Since the trade, Ciriaco is batting .255 with one home run in 16 games playing primarily at shortstop for San Diego.