"To have a chance to go there with the best players in the world and be a part of that, I'm really honored," Clement said. "That's what you work for -- to get the chance to be recognized. In the long haul, I'll really appreciate it when I'm done playing and look back."
With ace Curt Schilling out of the mix for almost the entire first half, Clement has stepped up to be the No. 1 starter the Red Sox needed. He is 10-2 with a 3.85 ERA.
Clement last pitched Wednesday, giving him more than enough rest to be able to throw at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Detroit.
Francona wanted Clement to be on the squad in the first place, but the matter was almost entirely out of his hands. As the manager, Francona, with input from Major League Baseball, had a say in five roster spots, four of which belonged to pitchers.
However, because four teams were unrepresented by the time Francona got to make his selections, there was just one at-large pitcher bid left, and it went to Bartolo Colon, who has anchored the Angels' pitching staff this season.
"It's disappointing," Clement said Sunday. "You think you work hard enough to deserve to be there and you're not."
But now he is, which will bring a big smile to Francona's face.
"I was thrilled, probably more than people know, to be able to tell Matt Clement that he was going to the All-Star Game," Francona said. "In my feeling, he had already made it."
When Francona addressed the media following Sunday's All-Star announcements, he was visibly upset. Setup man Mike Timlin was also on the bubble, but didn't make the cut.
"It crushed me," Francona said Sunday. "I'm not very happy about it. I don't expect you to understand everything. I spent so much time on this. The system is what it is, so you make your decisions according to that, but you're seeing a lot of good players that aren't going. And again, out of respect to everybody, I care. But out of respect to our guys, I probably care more."
Clement said the support he got from his teammates after learning he wasn't originally selected "means as much to me as going to the game."
"We're thrilled for Matt," Kevin Millar said after learning of his addition to the team. "He deserves it."
Now Clement has to scramble to arrange for family and friends to join him in Detroit on short notice.
"That's probably the hardest part," he said. "My family will be there, but I probably won't have as many friends there as I would have [if I was originally selected]."