Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Baseball Whore


In case you haven't heard, Roger Clemens signed with the Yankees over the weekend. He should be ready to go by June and will be making approximately one million bucks per start. That's if he stays healthy, of course. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than watching him hurt himself in his first start with the Yankees and mentally hearing the sound of a toilet flushing with George's $28 mil swirling to the depths. I can dream.

Years ago I would have been beside myself. The rich getting richer. I was pissed when Clemens forced a trade from Toronto to NY so he could get himself a ring. Sure, we could have kept him in red, but everyone forgets how he would show up at the start of spring training looking like he opened and ate from his own Texas BBQ joint and barely left the coach. Nothing more infuriating than watching your number one pitcher play himself into shape from April to June. His maniacal fitness routine didn't kick in until Dan Duquette showed Roger the door and uttered his infamous 'twilight of his career' statement. Go back to the day after we cut ties with Clemens and you would be hard pressed to find one Sox fan that thought it was a bad idea. I thought Toronto was foolish for paying him that much. Until he showed up 20 pounds lighter and pissed off the first day of camp. Fucker!

Today, this is nothing but a desperation move by a team with virtually no pitching. Like we all didn't see this coming when Carl Pavano was named opening day starter after they traded Randy (I Hate NY) Johnson back to his cushy life in Arizona. So good old George opened the vault so Roger could play with his buddy Andy, Derek, and father figure Joe. If anything, this smacks as more a publicity move, than an actual free agent signing. Why have Clemens personally announce to the crowd during the seventh inning stretch if they weren't trying to give the NY crowd something to be hopeful about?

I find it amusing that the potential of the Red Sox landing Clemens seems to have spurred Cashman and Steinbrenner to up their bid. Can't say for sure, but I'll be the Sox were offering around what Houston paid him last year. $28 million? Doubt it. Seems strange to be living in a world where the Yankees overpay for an aging, past his prime player because the Red Sox were showing interest. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?
Let's look at this from a strictly practical standpoint and you'll see why this isn't really bothering me.

- Yankees are a team hammered by injuries to their pitching staff and appear to be aging in fast forward. Their solution is to sign a 44 year old pitcher.

- Yes, Clemens has been effective for the past few years, but eventually age is going to catch up to him. Keep in mind, too, that he's been pitching in the National League where every ninth batter is an automatic out and the average shortstop hits around .200. The NL Central is light years removed from the AL East. Christ, the worst team in our division is the Devil Rays and they still throw a tough lineup at you every night.

- As John Kruk pointed out on 'Baseball Tonight', this really doesn't help the Yankees bullpen that much. The last few years, Clemens has been a 5-6 inning pitcher. Figure with the tougher AL lineups, he may be even less than that. This means the bullpen isn't going to experience much of a break. They're still going to have to come in and work after they've already been over worked. And it's freaking MAY!! We need to start a pool on how many Yankee relievers go on the DL or have their velocity dip 3-5 mph by August. It's going to be double digits if this keeps up.

- Who goes into the bullpen to help out? Usually you get a new front line starter, one of your semi-reliable starters can join the bullpen and become the long relief guy. Who does that for the Yankees? Igawa? You would think, but he was just sent down to Class A Tampa. Oops.

Clemens has proven himself to be nothing but a baseball whore with this signing. Toronto I can understand. Forcing a trade to the Yankees I can even understand. He wanted a ring and picked the right place for it. Houston? Sure, he's playing at home and wants to stay near his family. This one? No explanation for it except he picked the highest bidder. Word is Boston and Houston both offered him a deal, but he chose the Yankees. Because of his friends? Because of his family? Because of his loyalty? No, no and NO. Because of his bank account. He prostituted himself to the highest bidder, plain and simple.

Need more? How about a story that he hadn't even told his kids (you know, the ones he went to Houston to spend all that time with) he had signed with the Yankees. According to Buster Olney's blog, son Kacy figured it out when Clemens' agent picked him up at his house. Now there's a family man for you.

You can take my opinion with a grain of salt if that makes you feel better. I am a Red Sox fan and devout Yankee hater, after all. Yeah, he does make the Yankees rotation better, but then again, signing me would have made that rotation better. And I don't top 60 on my fastball.

It's just that Clemens has once again shown himself to be a mercenary. Someone who wants to be stroked and coddled and given maximum pay with maximum perks for minimum work. He's now screwed over the following teams in one form or another: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees (faking retirement then signing with Astros), and now Houston. If anything the Astros and their fans should be more pissed than anyone. They bent over backwards and forwards to accommodate Prince Roger. Then gave him $18 million to start about 20 times for them last year. His response: "Um, yeah, that family thing I was playing for? Not so much any more. I'm heading to New York. Enjoy your season!'

Don't believe Hollywood or Julia Roberts; there really is no such thing as a prostitute with a heart of gold.

Today's distraction: Read this hysterical letter to Roger written by Seth Stevenson back in 2004. Still appropriate today. In fact, Houston fans are probably sending it to each other like crazy this week.

2 comments:

French said...

Moreover, the vaunted Mariano blew another one last night...adding more this plight. They've got little to no solidarity in their rotation and now their 'Sandman' is bordering on mediocrity. I don't know about you, but I have not been afraid of Rivera for two full seasons now.

There is talk (murmurs) of the Yanks potentially trying to pursue RIch Harden later on. Perhaps they'll put Clem in the closer role before all is said and done??

BeachBum said...

That would be perfect! Get a pitcher who is notorious for being hurt all the time. He and Pavano can start their own support group.

Rivera is either hurt and not saying anything or he's completely lost his stuff. Do you see the look on his face when he comes into games now? He looks downright scared at times. Not the best look for your closer to have coming into a close game. I just think there is something wrong with him and he's trying to soldier through it because of the condition of the pitching.

I can still enjoy it though!