Roger and Me

Today’s dramatic announcement that Roger Clemens was returning to the Yankees surpised many, disappointed, and delighted, across two legions of rooters.  For this Red Sox fan, it finally gives closure, and lamentably so.  We grew up with Roger Clemens; to give everyone a little context, 1986 was our last year in summer camp and also our first year of college.  That summer, Roger’s coming-out party (14-0 to start the season!), was certainly the apex of the first decade of our now lifelong love affair with the Sox.  Clemens was a tall, lean, and strong fastballer, a kind of new Nolan Ryan, a strikeout machine whose every start was something to anticipate and behold.  He was a player of a type that the Sox had never had while we had been rooting for them: a starter who inspired fear in the opponent and absolute confidence in the fan.  When Clemens took the mound, we couldn’t lose.  He went 24-4 that season, and it portended a run of success for our team; Clemens led Boston to playoff appearances in 1988, 1990, and 1995, and though he famously struggled in the post-season, he was our hero, without qualification.

So when Clemens left for Toronto, we couldn’t help but feel betrayed.  Toronto!?  They weren’t even contenders at the time!  Not only that, but they were in the same division.  If Roger wanted to move on, the least he could have done was find another team we weren’t going to be competing against directly.  That he chose the Blue Jays signalled a real intention to show the Sox what they were missing.  While we watched almost every start Roger made, watched the postgame interviews on the fledgling NESN, and while we read the local papers almost every day during his stint on the team, our youthful naivete didn’t allow us to see through the player and into the ego.  It was at the moment that Clemens left our team that we realized that players weren’t blindly devoted to the team that groomed them.  If any signing opened our eyes to the transience of the free agent era, it was this one: it’s a sad day when your hero rejects you, and this, whatever our indiscriminate GM said, felt like rejection.  A couple of Cy Youngs and an embarrassing disclosure of an illegal and tacit side-clause later, in 1999 Clemens still found a way to do something else unthinkable: he engineered a deal to the Yankees.

We have to admit that Roger’s Yankee day are a bit of a blur to us.  This is embarrassing, as we have lived in New York since 1994 and spent nearly every day of Roger’s tenure a mere four miles from Yankee Stadium.  We remember him winning the Cy Young, we remember him finally winning a World Series (and feeling that no matter what uniform he was wearing he absolutely, positively, deserved it), we remember him getting torched on a Saturday in the playoffs against Pedro, and we remember him throwing a bat at Mike Piazza, a despicable deed that was never explained sufficiently nor punished properly.  We also remember him retiring, taking a Hummer with him on his way out of town.  This blur of memory was partly by design.  Though we detest the uniform, the player who wore the uniform was still a hero to us.  He was the link to our early days as a Sox fan.  We overlooked the egotism and the greed intentionally; Clemens was still, in the end, ours.  He grew up in the Sox’ system.  He won his first Cy Young with Boston.  He signed the biggest contract ever for a starting pitcher with the Sox.  He took us to the World Series and should have owned a ring after that magical 1986 season.  He carried the Sox for the better part of 10 years.  He was still, no matter the later accomplishments, going into the Hall as a Sox, he would forever be remembered for throwing that first 20K game against the Mariners with a Sox hat on.  Same with the second.  Wherever he sold himself, wherever he emerged out of retirement, Roger was still, to us, a Sox.

So today’s announcement stings.  The baseball romantic (yes, we are, at heart, a romantic) in us dreamt of Roger coming back to Boston.  We saw the song and dance with the Hendricks ending in a return to the Fens in home whites, #21 on the back of the jersey, as familiar as ever.  We hoped that in the end, history would trump dollar signs, legacy would trump friendships, and we were wrong.  We thought Roger would honor his beginnings and come back to Boston to heal wounds, and we thought that time did, in fact, cure everything.  But we made a major misjudgment: the romance with which we watch the game is still somewhat untainted by the business that impacts players.  It’s possible (check that, probable), that Roger felt no sense of historical responsibility the the city he had long since left.  It’s probable that Clemens felt no desire or need for closure, he got it when he left, that this sense of incompleteness was all the fans’ and not his.  It’s likely that Clemens and Boston was a story long since ended, and whatever coda we thought could be written this year was mere fantasy.  Tonight there are many Sox fans relieved that they won’t have to cheer on the hated pitcher had he taken the mound for our team: these are the pragmatic folks who got it early, who understood Clemens (and, by extension, most modern players) for what he is.  But we held out.  Until today, we still see Gedman fielding Stanley cleanly.  We still imagine Grady pulling Pedro before that fateful inning.  We will forever envision Pokey Reese tossing it to Doug.  We saw the fantastic.  But now we know the reality: Clemens and Boston are done. 

There’s no anger, though, just the sadness that we won’t get that fantastical closure for ourselves, cheering Roger as he strides off the mound and into that first base dugout, looking to right field while envisioning a "21" up there with 1, 4, 8, 9, 27, and 42.  This is a sad day for at least one Red Sox fan.

181 comments… add one
  • Before you wrote your ode to Roger, SF, why don’t you go and listen to the news conference? Hendricks was in Boston, at Fenway, on Thursday. The Sox made it clear that they didn’t need Roger until June/July. That made the decision more than anything else.
    Maybe if Roger had to legitmately choose, you might have some points in there. Fact is, he didn’t have to. He felt he could come back now, and only one team was willing to accomodate that.
    There was no negotiation, no business side of baseball.
    Not surprisingly, the Sox management had a chance to close the deal on the history of Roger, and they chose the cheapest option – to wait and see. That made the decision for them.
    But of course, SF’s will feel as you do. They felt the same way, unbelievably, when almost every member of the 2004 team was given their walking papers within a year or two. And the majority of fans bought management’s reasoning right down the line from Pedro to Damon to Nixon.
    Loyalty is a two way street. And Roger remembers the ways it cuts. Indeed, all he has to do to see it is to look in the Yankee dugout.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 8:43 pm
  • We heard the announcement alright. $28 million over $18 million. That is just as important as his start date.
    Great article. I don’t want to say we don’t need Roger, but we certainly don’t need him as much as the Yankees. Maybe that is another reason for him to go to NY, one final time he gets to feel like he can play the hero. Here’s to Roger having a good year, and the Yankees still falling short…

    KR - SF May 6, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • SF May 6, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • This is a wonderful post. I question the idea of “legacy” though, as if that is something that required a return to Beantown. Perhaps for Sox fans. But not for the rest of baseball. Roger’s legacy is pretty much secure at this point, and though it may pain Sox fans to acknowledge it, much of that legacy—including the preponderance of Cys and all of the WS rings—was produced outside of the hub. It’s been more than a decade since he wore the Red Sox uni. The divorce was real; daddy’s not coming home, even if there will always be some kind of love from both sides.
    It’s easy to impugn Roger and his motives, and all credit here to SF for not taking the easy way out and doing that. The truth is that Roger has plenty of legitimate reasons to return to NY, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t have the opportunity to make the free choice as to where to play for himself.

    YF May 6, 2007, 9:07 pm
  • YF:
    I agree, which is why I wrote this:
    It’s probable that Clemens felt no desire or need for closure, he got it when he left, that this sense of incompleteness was all the fans’ and not his.
    It’s us SFs who maintain this idea of “legacy”, but perhaps nobody else, and certainly not Clemens.

    SF May 6, 2007, 9:11 pm
  • Right, KR. Because given a choice of pitching for guaranteed money vs a maybe in one month (that difference is 23 million versus 28 million BTW), you’ve got to choose the maybe every time, especially for “historical” reasons.
    What’s hilarious is the Sox had a chance to cement a championship year. They chose the easy and cheap way out. And Sox fans will still have their back. No surprises anywhere there.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 9:12 pm
  • This Sox fan is not at all bugged by the announcement, just heartily gladdened that we can resume taunting Yankee fans about their once-again ballooning payroll…
    I look forward to the Sox knocking Roger soundly around in their meetings this year, and taunting him as a self-described “failure” (his word) when New York doesn’t win another ring!
    Let the fun begin…

    Hudson May 6, 2007, 9:14 pm
  • Hudson –
    The payroll is “ballooning” for 3/4 of a year. Meanwhile, your management signed Lugo for four years, Drew for five years, and Crisp for three years, plus of course Matsuzaka. Pretty wise use of money there! Why keep a championship club together, when you can simply light the money on fire?
    As to the rest of your nonsense – that sir is why they play the games.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 9:21 pm
  • Gee, Olney’s article makes it sound like the Yankees simply offered a sum of money so great Roger couldn’t say no. That would, you know, sort of explain how ‘late May’ turned into May 6th.
    Would Boston have matched the offer if given the chance? Doubtful. But to say there was no “business side of baseball” here is naive. I mean it’s possible that Clemens just wanted to start sooner…but it’s just as likely he wanted to start sooner because it meant a hell of a lot more $$$. And if Boston hadn’t taken the “cheap” way out and offered, say, $30MM to retain the merc’s services–and I am curious about whether they’d have made a counteroffer if given the chance–I’ve a feeling certain YF’s would have something to say about that.
    Clemens means little to me; I don’t think my parents had even met when he arrived (heh), and I was 9 when he left. I have an understanding and appreciation for what he did, but only in the same way I understand and appreciate what guys like Ted Williams and Yaz meant to the franchise. By the time my baseball consciousness began, Clemens was just an ex-Sox pitcher who didn’t get along with ownership, got fat and relatively unproductive near the end of his tenure, and turned everything around with Toronto. Right or wrong, and I have real trouble seperating fact and spin in this situation, that’s more or less the way I still perceive him, even knowing how miserable the old ownership group used to be.
    Would have been nice to have him, because the rotation would be better for it. But for me, the historical implications would have been just a novelty. Maybe Pedro will find some sort of magic potion and we can have a similar conversation about him in 5 years or so. That’d be a little different for me, and probably a bit closer to SF’s current sentiment. Not the same given the circumstances behind their departures, but he’s really The Man for my generation.

    desturbd1 May 6, 2007, 9:24 pm
  • Oh…and good piece, SF. Really well done.

    desturbd1 May 6, 2007, 9:28 pm
  • Francis,
    Hendricks explained it and there’s no reason not to beleive him. For good reason, Sox management was happy with the pitching they had. So they wanted a wait and see.
    Yankee management was no happy with what they had. Not in the off-season, not in February, and most especially, not now.
    Roger felt strong enought to come back now. He only had one team to come back to.
    End of story.
    (Though it won’t be. Call in to WEEI tomorrow – you’ll have plenty of company.)

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 9:29 pm
  • d1: having rooted for Clemens as a teenager and through college during the peak years of his early career makes a huge difference, of course. Those who came to Clemens as fans late in his Boston tenure will have a completely different opinion of him, without a doubt.

    SF May 6, 2007, 9:30 pm
  • Jim-YF: How much will Roger cost you with the luxury tax figured in? (And you of course are assuming that Steinbrenner won’t make a similar panic splurge on some other player… or even Roger again… in 2008.)
    In any case, here are some interesting figures for those predicting a 3.50 ERA for Rogggger this year. Take a look at his last season in the A.L. and in pinstripes:
    Roger Clemens, 2003:
    * 3.91 ERA over season
    * 4.24 in second half
    * 8.67 ERA against Boston
    * 2 W 3 L against Boston
    * 11 W 6 L between June-Oct.

    And that was a full FOUR years ago… when he was in his 30s, not his 40s.
    I look forward to the teams’ first meeting.

    Hudson May 6, 2007, 9:36 pm
  • P.S. 2007 Yankee payroll before this deal was cut:
    [USA Today]
    So either way, the Yankees are way over $200 million again.

    Hudson May 6, 2007, 9:41 pm
  • ugh Ya… Yankee fans ugh there so frustrating.
    They complain all winter about throwing money at Matsuzaka, Drew and Lugo and now when Boston doesnt go tossing nearly $30 million for 1 season of a guy who will toss the final two months of the contract as a 45 year old, there at us again. Apparently we can’t win Boston spends there all over us, they dont spend and there all over us… UGH!

    TJ May 6, 2007, 9:46 pm
  • Hudson,
    I already know those stats well. At worst, Roger is a LAIM (though a bit better than Unit) but he has the potential to be much better than that.
    As for salaries, I just don’t care much and it’s a very silly argument coming from a SF and especially after this past off-season.
    Meanwhile, really what are the feelings from SF’s looking at how the last few off-seasons have gone down after 2004? Cause at each choice point, they chose to kick the loyalty to the curb. How is that different from the old management? Because they’re willing to spend more on new and shiny toys?
    And while the jury is still out on Drew, every other decision has worked out for the worse, from Damon and Crisp, to Pedro and Clement, to Cabrera and the revolving doors of SS. The only guy they held onto is Varitek and we’ve seen how well that worked out. But why does it seems that the majority of SF’s support all of those moves?
    This is all relevant now, because moreso than anything else, Roger felt loyalty to the Yankees. Like Pettitte, Moose, and even Bernie. I don’t agree with many of Cashman’s decisions, but that loyalty continues to pay dividends. They pony up the cash to support it.
    No problem there from me.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • Pedro was a mistake???? LMAO

    TJ May 6, 2007, 9:54 pm
  • TJ –
    No, the only problem is when SF’s complain about the money and then say Roger chose it over the Sox. After this off-season, SF’s should be: 1) Done complaining about the money; 2) Realize their management made the decision not to pursue Roger.
    Das it.
    And Pedro vs Clement: That was the decision in the winter of 2004. In the 2005 ALDS, it’s a different series with Pedro pitching. In case you forget, Clement got hammered in Game 1: 8 R in 3 IP.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 10:06 pm
  • >>>As for salaries, I just don’t care much and it’s a very silly argument coming from a SF and especially after this past off-season.
    Easy to say you “don’t care” when the New York’s payroll is $70 + million higher than Boston’s… And when your GM will go out and buy you more toys every year after your others get broken (e.g. Abreu 2006, Roger 2007).
    Unless you think an extra $70 million wouldn’t buy the Sox any additional wins…

    Hudson May 6, 2007, 10:12 pm
  • Yea Jim meantime midway through Pedro’s Expensive contract where is he? same place as Clement, but atleast were paying Clement less to sit on his ass then NY is paying Pedro to.

    TJ May 6, 2007, 10:19 pm
  • It’s only 50 million (70 is high) because they pay for loyalty (see Jeter, Matsui, Moose, Pettitte, Posada, and now Clemens). They could have underpaid for crappier players – they didn’t. It’s the same as it was for Arod. The Billionairre John Henry could have paid for Arod – he didn’t. Matsuzaka, he did. And of course you’re not counting the 50 million they gave Seibu this winter. How many other teams in baseball could have made that bid?
    What’s your favorite tyoe of cheese? Cause you should eat something with that whine (and no that joke never gets old, thanks.).

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • And TJ you would have cared how if the Sox repeated in 2005? With Clement they had no chance.
    So, we’re back to SF’s making excuses about the money, huh? Some of you still believe all that uber-team nonsense?
    That’s funny and maybe a bit sad.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 10:24 pm
  • Hey, you know, I didn’t say it but (gulp), that is a decent post, SF. As a baseball romantic myself, I would have rather (double gulp) Roger went back to Boston.
    My only problem, of course, is with the notion that Roger made the decision. The decision was made for him. And it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 10:32 pm
  • Boston made an offer this week when his agent was in town and dined with Henry in the owners box during an Oakland game.
    18 million prorated.
    To suggest Boston didnt make an effort is incorrect Jim.

    TJ May 6, 2007, 10:41 pm
  • $195M + 18M = $213M
    $213M-143M = $70M difference

    Hudson May 6, 2007, 10:44 pm
  • TJ –
    They wanted him to start pitching in June/July – to save the few bucks. They figured they didn’t need him now.
    Face it – this was a once in a history opportunity. And they thought more of the bottomline than of SF’s sentiments. No surprise there.

    jim - YF May 6, 2007, 10:47 pm
  • they wanted him to start in JUne so he was still performing good in October.

    TJ May 6, 2007, 10:49 pm
  • so the sox spurned roger twice in one career?…double-boner…theo may be the reincarnation of dan d…that wait and see crap might work with lesser players, but this proves he doesn’t know roger and his ego very well…
    tj, 18m was an “offer”?…unlike the secret bidding for dmat where it only became known after the fact that the yanks significantly under-estimated the market, the sox had to have known that 18m was a low ball offer, and they completely ignored clemens’ desire to come back now…the “wait and see” bullshit may not have been as important as the money, but it was a factor…
    right on jim…frankly, it doesn’t matter much if the sox win the “budget games” but finish behind the yanks and out of the playoffs again this year…they’ll have spent 10 times more than the marlins only to join them in watching the playoffs on tv again…i’m not saying the yanks are a lock either, but they had to make a move and they made it…

    dc May 6, 2007, 10:52 pm
  • From Gordon Edes
    Clemens’s agent, Randy Hendricks, was in Boston last week for meetings with Sox brass Tuesday and Wednesday and had dinner in John W. Henry’s box Wednesday night during the Sox-Athletics game when the Sox made their bid for the Rocket. It was for a pro-rated $18 million, more than $10 million less than the pro-rated $28 million Clemens agreed to take from the Yankees.
    Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, according to club sources, thought Clemens was still days from making a decision – Lucchino believed this Thursday was the operative date – leaving the Sox time to tweak their offer if they chose.
    Instead, the next time the Sox heard from the Clemens camp was Sunday afternoon, when general manager Theo Epstein received a courtesy call from Hendricks – a similar one was placed to Houston GM Tim Purpura – informing him Clemens had elected to sign elsewhere.

    TJ May 6, 2007, 10:57 pm
  • I love the use of “45-year-old” and “potential” in the same sentence.
    That’s some funny sh!t.
    Bottom line: Today it’s a headline. This signing brings a single guarantee: You got a guy with an unparalleled pedigree who works very hard and RS didn’t. That’s it.
    The rest are variables because of his age. We won’t know if this signing is enough to push NYY over the top until October. If he was 35, well, then it’s a different story.
    The money argument is irrelevant. It’s a drop in the bucket for GS. And JH paid $51M just to talk to Dice-K. It doesn’t matter. The money paid to other players doesn’t matter. Roger’s enormous ego doesn’t matter.
    (I gotta say, though, having him announce it from GS’ box, nice touch.)
    It parallels with Dice-K. Sox outbid NYY, then sign him. And what did they have then? They had a guy who many believed could excel in MLB but had to prove it. Given Clemens’ age, he has to prove he can go 7-8 consistently (because with that money, he should be able to go 7-8 per start), get guys out and stay healthy.
    Had he signed with RS, I would be making the same argument: OK, we got him and NYY didn’t, but can he help us? I will say though, that having him as a No.5 (in place of Hoolian) rather than as a No.3 as he will be in NYY would have him in a much better and more realistic place to succeed.
    Am I disappointed he didn’t sign with RS? Yes. But I never expected it. (I posted earlier today that I thought he’d sign with Houston.) Am I sour about it? Grudgingly, yes. Am I sentimental about it? Yes. I’ll never forget a college buddy of mine trying like hell to keep me from learning that Roger had struck out 20. I was giddy whenver I got to hear a whiney Cubs fan bitch about how they passed on Roger to draft Shawon Dunston. Roger was the bullwark of the rebuilt Sox, the face of the team and eventually the victim of poor leadership.
    But that was a long time ago. He moved on, we moved on. He retired twice, I got over it.
    But I’m irritated now that the argument keeps getting cluttered with irrelevant sidebars. What do Drew, Lugo, Varitek, Pedroia have to do with Clemens? Nothing.
    NYY has him. He most likely will help them. how much? We’ll seen. Me? I like my team.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 6, 2007, 11:09 pm
  • TJ, forget trying reason with jim. He’s throwing grenades, more excited about a day’s headline than being realistic. He’s rubbing salt in the wound, creating arguments out of thin air, anything to get a rise. (cue Nelson Muntz sound bite here, “Ha Ha.”)

    I'm Bill McNeal May 6, 2007, 11:15 pm
  • My only problem, of course, is with the notion that Roger made the decision. The decision was made for him. And it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
    It’s disingenuous to pretend that a man in his mid-40s had no choice as to which team he signed with.
    He wanted to pitch now. The Astros didn’t know if it is worth their money, because all the teams in the Central not named the Brewers kind of suck.
    The Red Sox didn’t need him now. Lester could be ready in a few weeks, and even so, it’s been reported that the Rockies have made overtures about Tavarez. For better or worse, the Sox need to showcase him as a starter if they want to get decent value in a trade.
    So yes, both teams turned him down/not given a chance to counter/didn’t want to counter, whatever it gets spun as, fine. But I guarantee, it’s not like he told the Hendricks, um, hey. How about you decide where I pitch this season? It’s his decision. He’s a grown man.
    This is not to crap on anything else about this, but Roger decided he wanted to pitch now, and yes, only the Yankees would want him to do that. But he could (and had the power to) have decided to wait and pitch later. Because he’s a grown f**king man.

    Scrotum QuoSF 3000 May 6, 2007, 11:41 pm
  • I’m going to get sick of this debate really quickly. My two cents: It’s silly to think that he, or most (if not all) ballplayers, are interested in anything other than making as much money as they can.

    Kazz May 7, 2007, 12:13 am
  • First, Great post SF
    I agree with Kazz. This debate shall grow old fast. Hence all the below.
    I beleive I was gracious in my last comment, back in the original announcement. I said that I felt Clemens still ahd stuff. I said that I respect the Yankees for makign the move. I pointed out that every single arguement that has since been made would be exactly reversed (same words, opposite mouths) had the situation been reversed. Would I rather the Sox have Clemens? Absolutly. For the romantic in me, as SF wrote, and for the realist in me.
    But its not that way.
    I respect everythign Pedro did as a Sox as much as I respect what Clemens did as Sox. Do I hope we give Clemens the same welcome back to Fenway we gave Pedro? Yes. Do I hope Clemens is fianlly old? Yes. Will he be? I doubt it.
    I think this will make the season what it was always destined to be.. another powerful struggle for the most history and talent laden clubs in the game: a struggle worthy of epic poetry. The Red Sox and Yankees are Beowulf and Gilgamesh, Oddysues and Zeus, the Elves and Morgoth, and so on and so forth all rolled into one. This is Destiny. This is the Rivalry.
    That said the name-calling, and biting comments and the finger pointing and rather poor sportsmenship on ALL sides right now is annoying. Yes, SFs are upset and maybe not being the most gracious losers (for the sake of argument), but nor are YFs beign particularly good winners. Everyones racing to point out how the other side’s Powers Taht Be screwed up and are stupid and so forth. So I’m bored of this. I know this is part of the rivalry.. but maybe its my own sorrow at seeing my dream crushed, my own poor sportsmanship, I don’t know… but I’m stepping back.
    I’m taking a, minimum, week hiatus from posting on this thread. I may check a few times tommorrow jsut to see what y’all think of some of the things I’ve said in this post, but after that.. I’ll be gone for a week. Maybe by then the.. emotions.. will be settled down a bit, the particularly BITTER part of this debate will have died down – at least a little – and I will be more sane. I want Rivlarly… but not the wild insanity thats being seen right now.
    Red Sox.
    I will say this… its gonna be a fun season.
    Good night folks.

    Dionysus May 7, 2007, 12:33 am
  • I was 10 years old in 1986. I worshipped Roger Clemens. Remember in 1986 when there was a song about Roger set to Falco’s “Amadeus”? “Roger Clemens Roger Clemens, Rocket Roger Clemens…” (can’t make this stuff up, folks). He was the man. I saddened to see him leave in the mid-90s, and happy for him when he rejuvenated his career with the Jays. I was at his first game versus the Sox at Fenway, screaming “RAW-GER!!!” with 35,000 others. I was at “his final game” in 2003, on my feet with 35,000 others, giving the loudest ovation I’ve ever heard. I was happy for him to have continued success in Houston. Best pitcher ever, considering longevity and all that.
    Anyways, I’m taking my soon to be father-in-law, a YF, to a Sox-Yanks game at Fenway on June 2nd. As far as I know, it’s the only game i’m going to at Fenway this year. It would be soooo f’n cool if that’s the day Clemens makes his debut. I’m getting hoarse just thinking about taunting him.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 12:47 am
  • Clemens was my idol growing up–he was half the reason I even started caring about baseball in the firstplace.
    I forgave him when he signed with Toronto and suddenly got back into shape. I couldn’t forgive him when he orchestrated his trade to NY, and when he threw the bat at Piazza I lost whatever respect I still had for him. When he was in Houston, he was out of sight, out of mind, and that was fine. I’d hoped he’d either go back there or finally, mercifully, retire.
    Now he’s a Yankee again, and this whole process did nothing but remind me of what a greedy, egomaniacal ass he is. Maybe when he gets inducted into the HOF (whenever it happens, and whatever hat he’s wearing), I’ll be able to reflect more positively on William. But right now, I find myself hating his guts all over again. I hope the Red Sox pound him into submission.

    mouse - SF May 7, 2007, 1:12 am
  • i think the point quo was that the timing, money, and nostalgic value of playing with some of his old teammates [not necessarily in that order] was right with ny…he recognized the yanks were in a panic mode and made his move now…can’t blame him for that…in a few weeks the landscape might be completely different, and while he’d be a valuable addition to either team, his value [at least to the yanks] is at its peak right now…i don’t think it’s fair to criticize him for holding out for the most money…that’s what free agency is all about…and, i respect both the sox and yanks mgmt for doing what they think is right for their teams…i agree that the pissing contest is unnecessary…
    dionysus, you were the most gracious…this debate will cool down until he pitches his first game…then i suspect it’ll get bloody again…

    dc May 7, 2007, 1:41 am
  • dc,
    Absolutely my point. There were factors influencing his choice, but it was still his choice. The Yanks had a lot of factors in their corner, not the least of which was the possibility that he could have a hand (or right arm) in saving their season.
    I guess I was just tired of jim’s implication that he was somehow forced into this decision, and really, what YF even wants to assume that? Timing, money, old teammates, and a desire to play for the Yankees were all factors in his decision, which he was not forced into.
    Absolutely agreed too, that this’ll come up again in force after just one start for the Yanks at the ML level, whether he’s able to limit an offense like the Rays or Indians to 2 runs over 7 or if he’s shelled for 6 by someone like the Royals in 4. The latter seems improbable, but the “I told you so”-ers will be out in full force if it does happen.

    Scrotum QuoSF 3000 May 7, 2007, 1:47 am
  • “Meanwhile, your management signed Lugo for four years, Drew for five years, and Crisp for three years, plus of course Matsuzaka. Pretty wise use of money there! Why keep a championship club together, when you can simply light the money on fire?”
    Well, it’s good to know that after 31 games the Lugo, Drew, and Matsuzaka signings were disasters. And that the fact that Crisp seems to be finally over his broken finger is an illusion. I guess I can just write them all off now and not bother watching the games.
    As for keeping a championship team together? Remember, they tried to re-sign Pedro and Damon, but were outbid. Playoff heroics notwithstanding, Lowe was pretty average his last few years with the Sox, and wanted to be paid like he was elite. Not signing OC was probably a mistake, but the FO thought he was too much of a free swinger. The Arroyo trade has turned out to be a bad move, so far. Trot is older and has more chronic injury problems than his replacement. Roberts was traded to honor his desire to play every day. Mueller, Millar, Bellhorn, Embree and Pokey have shown they weren’t really worth keeping around.
    “they pay for loyalty (see Jeter, Matsui, Moose, Pettitte, Posada, and now Clemens)”
    Counterexample – Bernie.
    “Face it – this was a once in a history opportunity. And they thought more of the bottomline than of SF’s sentiments. No surprise there.”
    Boy, you must have a pretty great source in the Sox’ FO to have such insight into their innermost thought processes. May 7, 2007, 2:03 am
  • And Zulu still brainwashed by the “uber-team” logic. When necessary, they’ve done whatever it took to sign players – Matsuzaka, Drew, Lugo – all overpaid with respect to what they would have gotten elsewhere. No such effort was made for Damon and Pedro – they nickel and dimed them. That’s the reason the prior moves are relevant, Bill. They establish an MO, and signing Roger just wasn’t that important to them (unlike Matsuzaka, Drew, and Lugo).
    Funny, but I think Lucky Larry just pulled that strategy from the archives. It’s the exact same one they used with Pedro and Damon. “We thought we were going to have a chance for a counter-offer – Whoops!”. And funny enough, most SF’s are playing by the same script too – blame the player, not management.
    Complete and utter BS.
    The Sox stupidity made the “choice” ridiculuously easy. They decided they didn’t need Roger. We’ll see how well that logic holds up.
    Sorry, if you knew any better, Bernie’s exactly the loyalty I was talking about. They signed him for 2006 even though he wasn’t capable of playing OF anymore. That was his farewell tour. And you know what happened afterward? When the Yanks decided there wasn’t a place for him on the team, he didn’t sign anywhere else because he didn’t want to wear another uniform.
    Meanwhile, Trot Nixon is having a better season than JD Drew.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 5:30 am
  • Love how Edes leaves out that Roger earned a prorated 22 million last year – from Houston. But the Sox offer 18 million – yup, they were real serious! Damn that greedy Roger!
    Love how CHB has Roger riding on a horse after a Yankee championship. Let’s hate him so much that we can make stuff up!
    Love how Schilling says they didn’t need him. I’ll anxiously wait for karma to catch up to that.
    Love how the media and players are as crazy as fans because management got cheap.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 6:14 am
  • I don’t want to get into this, but as a point of fact in 2005 Pedro Martinez was shut down in September due to injury, so the idea that he would have been starting in the ALDS instead of Clement is a fallacy, if all things were equal.
    Now back to the subject at hand.

    SF May 7, 2007, 6:27 am
  • SF – I knew that, but it’s very hard to know if the Sox treat him differently whereas the Mets rode him hard all year long – to the tune of 217 innings before the injury.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 6:55 am
  • Bill,
    About my post on the other thread…
    The deal Clemens gets doesn’t mean he gets to go home for four days. From what I understood on the press conference, the media and the fans have had it wrong all the time.
    When he wasn’t on the team he was with the AAA Houston affiliate working with the young guys a lot. I heard the press conference over on LoHud Yankees and from what I got he would spend a lot of time with Scranton and working with the kids.
    He was actually pretty pissed at the general assumption that for four days he is laying around on a lazy boy. It’s toward the end of the interview.

    Erick May 7, 2007, 7:10 am
  • Clemens will enjoy the DL with fan favorite Carl Pavano…….44 years old – give me a break! Not impressed with Yankee signing.

    Anonymous May 7, 2007, 7:55 am
  • The only proper Red Sox response to this Clemens signing is to announce during the 7th inning of the next home game at Fenway that PEDRO MARTINEZ IS NOW A RED SOX!
    Seriously though, I think the buzz around this signing is more about the symbolic value of having Clemens back.
    Even the whole announcing Clemens is back during the middle of a game seemed like a Public Relations move.
    How much he will actually contribute moving from the NL to the AL East, and at age 45, will be seen.

    SoxFan May 7, 2007, 8:59 am
  • I’m eating my hat with steak sauce, ummm, this is some good hat.
    So, nothing but money really mattered to him, fine by me.
    It’s sad and sort of pathetic, but it is what it is…
    Now, let’s watch him hopefully suck.

    LocklandSF May 7, 2007, 9:08 am
  • I see Jim took the retard pill today.

    Brad May 7, 2007, 9:19 am
  • And Lockland with the typical SF response!
    Well done.
    For the more intelligent prelude:
    “I must respectfully disagree with Julian Tavarez, who is on record as saying the Red Sox don’t need Roger Clemens. Were I the fifth starter on this team, I, too, might lobby for a career 348-game winner with seven Cys to stay home and play catch with the neighborhood youngins. But were I Theo Epstein, I’d be waving John Henry’s golden checkbook in Roger’s face, if for no other reason than if I’ve got him, my friend Brian Cashman doesn’t. Beyond that, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH PITCHING.
    This is neither 2003 nor 2004, when the Red Sox scored 961 and 949 runs, respectively. The 2007 Sox are an OK offensive team, nothing more. They’ve had some tepid nights at the plate already, and you should prepare yourself for at least a half-dozen more shutouts or 3/4-hit nights, and not always against a primo starter, either.
    Pitching has placed the 2007 Sox at the top of the AL East, and pitching is what will keep them there. But pitchers are fragile creatures (see Bombers, Bronx) and two of Terry Francona’s starters were alive and kicking when the 1967 Sox revived baseball hereabouts. Stuff happens (See Bombers, Bronx). You’re always a tweak or angry oblique muscle away from a Kyle Snyder start or two (not that this would be the worst thing in the world).
    If Roger Clemens is available, get him.”
    Bob Ryan, May 4th, 2007
    See, for a mere 4 million (the difference between 2006 Houston Clemens and Edes’ reported offer), the Sox could have at least been in the running. They couldn’t even bring themselves to that.
    The choice was with the Sox FO and they punted. No problem is the starting rotation stays healthy. Good luck with that.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 9:20 am
  • See, for a mere 4 million (the difference between 2006 Houston Clemens and Edes’ reported offer), the Sox could have at least been in the running.
    See, no they couldn’t. You’re naive.

    Mike May 7, 2007, 9:22 am
  • excellent point, SoxFan. The guy is old, barely hits 91 on the gun anymore, can hardly ever go seven, and really, wasn’t a difference maker three years ago.
    I’m not worried. It surely gives them better than Karstens, but hardly does it give them Johan or Doc. Roger, like most every other pitcher, can be beaten badly on any day.
    It makes it more fun, but it’s not making it a lock at all. It’ll be more fun.
    I do agree though, he’s the reason I started watching the game at all, and I couldn’t wish harder for his failure and demise now.

    Brad May 7, 2007, 9:23 am
  • Good one, Mike. Sox FO made the “choice” easy. They wanted no where near Clemens and that report is only a PR move. If they couldn’t ante up what Houston did, then it was over before it started.
    Glad to see SF’s swallowing the turd sandwich whole.
    And Brad – that’s why they play the games. Do you promise not to whine when one of the Sox starters gets hurt in August?

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 9:30 am
  • Yes, I do. It’s part of the game, and I accept it. But, paying Roger Clemens over four million a month, when really, you don’t need him isn’t smart baseball. So why do it? If someone goes down, so be it. But if you want to predict injuries, why are we just assuming that Roger, Andy, and Moose are going to make all their starts for the rest of the year?
    Now that will surprise me.

    Brad May 7, 2007, 9:36 am
  • Glad to see SF’s swallowing the turd sandwich whole.
    And not getting a 45 year old five or six inning pitcher from the NL central is hardly a turd sandwhich.
    See: Randy Johnson. It’s not that big of a deal really. It reeks of desparation, and is further proof that Cashman has one hell of a shaky rotation. Again.
    But, that’s just my opinion. It’s not worthy of an attack. I’ve looked at the stats, and feel that the whole package creates more of a problem than a solution in the clubhouse for any team. The Yanks needed him more than the Red Sox. Thats all.

    Brad May 7, 2007, 9:40 am
  • Someone over at Soxaholix just pointed out that Rogggger will be getting about $950,000 per start.
    Tell me again, YFs, why talking about money is irrelevant? This is the largest annual salary in the history of baseball, and is transparently the move of a very rich owner frantically throwing money at a huge p.r. and performance problem.
    At an average of 6-1/3 innings per start, that’s $150,000 per inning… $50,000 per out… for one player. Something to keep in mind while YFs cheer him on.
    Nice work if you can get it.

    Hudson May 7, 2007, 9:57 am
  • The turd sandwich is not you – it’s the Sox FO response.
    To say the Sox don’t need him is just silly. He provides an above average fifth starter as well as insurance, and that’s to say nothing of the historical significance. With Clemens I really don’t see how the Sox don’t take the division and probably a ring.
    And who cares about the money? It’s not you spending it, and it doesn’t matter after this off-season.
    Henry has also shown he’s willing to pull out his sixth inch golden checkbook. This was one place where it should have been a no-brainer.
    Instead SF’s fall back on “uber-team” logic.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 9:57 am
  • I have a recommendation: When you see a new post, scroll first to see who wrote it. If it says “jim – yf,” don’t read it. This debate would not have gotten nearly so nasty without his trolling comments and the responses to them.

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 9:57 am
  • And Paul with his first angry comment of the day! Welcome back!
    Meanwhile, I suppose I was a “troll” when I complimented SF on the post and said I would have preferred Clemens on the Sox for the same romantic historical reasons.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 10:03 am
  • SF’s have four choices:
    1) Hah, the money!
    2) Hah, he’s old!
    3) Uh, nice job. Wish our front office had done the same.
    4) [Silence]
    Seeing, alot of 1’s and 2′ but also 4’s around here.
    It’s the 1’s I’m reponding to.
    2’s have a point. That’s why we’ll see.
    3’s and 4’s I have nothing to say to.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 10:07 am
  • Let me piggyback on SF’s excellent post by adding some thoughts of my own.
    I was four when Roger burst onto the scene, so I don’t really remember his best years — 1986-90. Clemens was always a bit of a frustration when I was old enough to start following baseball obsessively. He suffered groin injuries frequently. He received little run support. From 1993-1995, when I was 11, 12 and 13, Clemens won a total of just 30 games. The strike cut short what could have been an impressive 1994, and injuries forced him to miss most of 1995. In 1996, he managed just 10 wins despite an ERA 1.5 runs below league average. So while I called Clemens my favorite player, Mo Vaughn was really the hero of the Sox by the time I started getting into baseball.
    When Clemens left for Toronto, I felt betrayed, like everyone else. When he went to New York, Clemens was dead to me. I’ve never rooted against a player as passionately as I rooted against Clemens. When he went to Houston, it was as someone above said, out of sight, out of mind. No problem. Yesterday’s announcement brought back some old feelings, none of them good. I doubt Clemens will get cheered when he returns to Fenway. That ship has sailed. He hasn’t been a member of the Red Sox in ELEVEN years. Why should Sox fans cheer him now? I wouldn’t.
    As for the implications, this clearly helps the Yankees. Any starting pitcher with any track record of success helps the Yankees. He would not help the Red Sox nearly so much, and I think the teams offered salaries commensurate with his value to those respective teams. Indeed, Clemens’ biggest value as a member of the Red Sox would have been not being a member of the Yankees.
    After all, which of the Sox’ starters would Clemens be likely to outperform, at least based on current performances? Not Schilling or Beckett, certainly. Not Wakefield, as Wakefield seems to consistently put up exactly the numbers guys like Orel Hersheiser are predicting (4.00 ERA 10-12 wins), and Wake is clearly having one of *those* years. He could outperform Matsuzaka, if Daisuke pitches like he has the last three starts. That is unlikely. So Clemens would be the Sox’ fifth starter, ultimately taking Jon Lester’s spot. Could Clemens outpitch Jon Lester this year? Probably. Would the Sox want to take starts away from Lester and give them to Clemens? Probably not.
    Likewise, the Yanks’ new rotation — Wang, Mussina, Pettitte, Clemens, Rasner — still has trouble holding up to the Sox’ — Schilling, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Lester. Schilling and Wakefield have proven age has yet to to catch them. Mussina, Pettitte and Clemens have not.
    Finally, Clemens “retired” from the Yankees for a reason. He did not look like Clemens in the AL East of 2003, when the Sox had baseball’s best lineup. The Sox’ offense isn’t THAT good anymore, but it’s still a top-tier lineup. As is Toronto’s. And Tampa Bay’s hitters aren’t bad either. If anything, there is MORE offense in the AL East this year than there was in the early 2000s, when Clemens’ best ERA never went below 3.51.
    I wanted Clemens to sign with the Sox — for the legacy and because it meant he wouldn’t pitch for the Yankees. But I was concerned that he wouldn’t be that good, and that he’d take starts away from good young pitchers (like Lester) who could at least nearly as well. In that sense, I would have been nervous if the Sox had signed him. I imagine many Yankee fans, if they really think about it, are a little nervous as well.

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 10:19 am
  • Oh come oooooon! This started out as a wonderful post by SF and in no time at all became another catty argument.
    jim-YF, stop baiting people. And the intelligent SFs (most of people here) should just stop taking the bait, like Paul said.

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 10:20 am
  • I refuse to talk to a monkey.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 10:28 am
  • great post, SF. I think, like you, a lot of us are baseball romantics at heart.
    And YM is right (as usual). It’s unfortunate that every thread here seems to deteriorate into a pissing contest regardless of the original post. I guess it’s the nature of a rivalry site, but doesn’t it get boring for people after a while?

    Nick-YF May 7, 2007, 10:30 am
  • Nick – Not me! Especially not when it’s SF’s being dumb.
    People see me baiting, but I only had a problem with one thing – the Money/ business argument. As I saw it more I felt honored to take up the cause of righteous truth. SF in his original post went there. That opened the flood gates.
    Like I said in my original reponse, had the Sox FO made it a legitmate “decision” by Roger, I would have had nothing to say to SF’s post. They didn’t. Roger’s choice was made for him.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 10:41 am
  • Yet that’s what you just did >:)
    Paul, you bring up some excellent points. Clemens is a good signing for NYY precisely because he won’t be blocking anyone else who could take his place. Pavano is as good as gone, figure Hughes will slot in his place when he comes back. Igawa? Please…He needs a long vacation in Scranton before he’s good for anything. And the rest of the kids aren’t ready. So Roger is the perfect solution – for now. With Yanks’ offense, they don’t NEED him to be Cy Roger, just better than Igawa/Karstens/Wright/flavor of the month, and I think he can be that. Yanks’ pockets are deep enough to pay for him and it’s better than trading some of our good prospects for yet another mediocrity, as Cashman would (and still might!) be forced to do.
    For Boston, he’s a luxury they don’t necessarily need – for now. Should an injury or two befall them, they might change their tune. Certainly, keeping him away from New York would’ve been a plus, but I guess they didn’t feel it was a $20+ million plus, which is fine.

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Nick — I think it does get boring for most of us — but the vocal minority here (who love to flame) seem to be exceptionally vocal.
    Great post, SF.

    Kluv May 7, 2007, 10:43 am
  • Paul – As a certain simian, has pointed out, you’re assuming, like your FO, that no one gets hurt on the Sox staff. I think that’s a big assumpotion given 2006 and given Schilling and Wake’s ages and Beckett’s history.
    Okay, so Paul’s a solid 2 with a bit of 1 throw in.
    Meanwhile, I’ll revel in the 4’s. Silence IS golden.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 10:50 am
  • Paul, I for one am not very nervous, but I’d like to think that’s because my expectations are reasonably calibrated. The move does a few thing which have probably all been mentioned here, but I’ll do it again: it prevents ANY chance of Clemens being really good for the Red Sox, which would have been the nail in the coffin, and it probably gives them a chance to win on his pitch days against most teams. Hudson, I’m not sure quoting the Rocket’s stats against the RS from a few years means all that much since a lot of the team is different, but just like every other pitcher in the league, I bet his starts against the Sox will be a lot harder than his starts against the Rangers, because let’s face it, the Sox are the team to beat in baseball. Sox didn’t need him, the Yanks had to have him. It doesn’t lock anything up, and the presentation was typical tacky Yankees-grandiose, but I still consider it a neat, semi-major improvement. I had the Yankees counted out; I thought it was Astros for the convenience, or Sox for the history, and that all he had to gain by coming to NY would be severing all ties from The Nation for good. Turns out he also had 950 large per start to gain. I’m so naive. Great post SF.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 11:17 am
  • i guess i’m a little surprised at the sox fans who seem to be rooting already for roger’s demise, even hinting at potential health issues [he is 45]…so, just so i have this straight, he sucks, and he’s going to get hurt…more yankee money wasted i guess…but, aren’t you the same guys who said you don’t boo former sox heroes when they trade uniforms…if you’ve got a beef with anybody for roger leaving for toronto, you can start with dandy dookett…he’s the guy that embarrassed roger into leaving…roger only came to the yankees after that because of the money and he saw that it was his best chance to win, duh [see also boggs]…but i guess i’m a little disappointed because i expected more of you to be a little more gracious if for no other reason than to show up the yf’s who took heat for questioning the sox for sinking so much dough into the dice-k pickup…otherwise you look like hypocrites, and i know you hate it when i point that out…sf’s post aside, the general sf sentiment here seems pretty anti-clemens…maybe i don’t blame you, particularly given the sox FO’s skill with the spin machine, but that may be one other reason why he chose ny…

    dc May 7, 2007, 11:20 am
  • “Schilling and Wakefield have proven age has yet to to catch them. Mussina, Pettitte and Clemens have not.”
    The first month of this season convinced you of that? Because last year certainly shouldn’t:
    Schilling: 15-7 3.97 ERA 204 IP
    Wakefield: 7-11 4.63 ERA 140 IP
    Mussina: 15-7 3.51 ERA 197 IP
    Pettitte 14-13 4.20 ERA 214 IP
    Clemens 7-6 2.30 ERA 113 IP
    neither should ’05:
    Schilling: 8-8 5.69 ERA 93 IP
    Wakefield: 16-12 4.15 ERA 225 IP
    Mussina: 13-8 4.41 ERA 179 IP
    Pettitte: 17-9 2.39 ERA 222IP
    Clemens: 13-8 1.87 ERA 211 IP

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 11:23 am
  • SF, I enjoyed your post very much, but who is the we you keep referring to?
    You and the Mrs? You and SF?
    Shouldn’t the title be: “Roger and WE”?
    (just being a d*ckb#g) :)

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 11:33 am
  • Father of SF says if Georgie Porgie wants to pay Clemens 20 million for 100 to 120 innings, let him. Less than 6 innings per start in the NL Central last year probably (although not definitely) means 2007 is Roger’s one-year-too-many. SF is too much of an idealist. Money, and only money, talks.

    Waldomeboy May 7, 2007, 11:36 am
  • I was an idealist, Pops.

    SF May 7, 2007, 11:40 am
  • You and Pops maybe?

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 11:43 am
  • “I imagine many Yankee fans, if they really think about it, are a little nervous as well.”
    Not this one. I don’t expect to see the Clemens of the late ’90’s; hopefully he’ll stay healthy and pitch reasonably well.
    Let’s put it this way: I was a lot more nervous at this time yesterday…

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 11:50 am
  • tom = Nice move + Money
    pops = Money
    But Pops, why didn’t the Sox offer what he made in Houston?
    Where’s that story from Edes?

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 11:52 am
  • This whole discussion is rather amusing to me. I would find it interesting to see how everyone would have reacted if the tables were completely turned. If the sox had lost 5 SPs to injury and went out and threw a whole bunch of cash at Clemens would it be desperation? Would Clemens be too old? Would they be “buying their team”?
    Fact is the Yanks HAD to make this move at this point in the season. Nobody can really dispute that. Im sure we would have liked to wait 3 weeks but we could not. The sox certainly didnt need to sign him at this point either so they did the right thing by letting him walk. They have a great team and should be confident with it. As far as money is concerned, I am bored of it too. Yes the yankees have the most money and yes we spend it on our team. I still fail to see why this is a problem. The Sox have the ability to outbid basically every other team but ours and often do so for players they want. These two teams are each in their own league when it comes to money. Plus carping about money does nothing, the teams play the games out there no matter what they are being paid. On the same note I dont believe YFs should be so defensive about it. We have loot and we spend it big deal, it guarantees nothing.

    sam YF May 7, 2007, 11:57 am
  • To paraphrase Tennessee Ernie (how many participants in this blog will have the faintest idea what I am referring to?) the Sox did not offer what he made in Houston because Roger is another year older and the Red Sox are deeper in debt – and Roger is not worth it in any event. They had to offer something to satisfy their fans.

    Waldomeboy May 7, 2007, 11:57 am
  • Exactly, Sam. Yanks needed him, Sox didn’t. The end. I do believe that a lot of SFs here and elsewhere are so acrimonious because he’s gone to NYY; had he re-upped with Houston the reaction would’ve been totally different. Had he signed with Boston, what would you SFs think? I’m pretty sure I know what the YFs’ response would be….

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • Ah, Pops calls it a PR move. You think you’ll read that in the paper any time soon?
    But there was nothing in Roger’s performance last year to suggest he should get docked pay. And his case is simply supply and demand – there were no other 7-time CY winners on the market, and especially not for simply throwing down the cash with no players attached and no long-term deal. He’s not worth it, but he’s certainly worth it more than a Clement or Pavano or Meche even.
    Henry is a billionairre. This could have been a one-time event for the history of the franchise and its longtime fans, like your sonny boy. And the Yanks certainly aren’t making money on this move. Not surprisinlgy, their own dug into his own pockets again.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
    Another day older and deeper in debt.

    Maybe this, Pops?

    SF May 7, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Would Clemens be too old? Would they be “buying their team”?
    Sam, I don’t think thats an accurate representation of the general Soxfan sentiment on this blog or in this thread.
    As to your points, DC, I don’t think anyone said it was rational. Clemens left the Sox when most of us were kids, and that skews your perceptions. FWIW, I also hate Dan Duquette. But you also forget (conveniently?) that this is not Clemens’ return to Fenway. I don’t remember if he was cheered or not in his true return, with the Jays. But that was 10 years ago. Why should SFs keep cheering him, particuarly since he’s a member of the Yankees? To assuage your sense of moral outrage at our alleged hypocrisy?

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • “(how many participants in this blog will have the faintest idea what I am referring to?)”
    Tennessee Ernie Ford. That’s a line from “16 Tons” We’re not all kids here, Pops.

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • I am very happy with this move. It definitely changes the dynamic of the season. I felt the Yankees could contend before the Roger signing because I feel like Schilling, Beckett and Wakefield are pitching above their long-term mean, and we are pitching below ours. I still think the Yankees are a better team than the Red Sox, but was starting to doubt that it would matter due to our injuries and the Sox’ great run so far. Now I feel like we are the team to beat in the AL East.
    Look me in the eyes, Sox fans, and tell me that a rotation of:
    does not scare you.
    Is Roger a guarantee? No. Will he make a big difference to the season? More than likely. Are the Yankees a lock to win the Division? Definitely not a lock. But put it this way. Had the Sox gotten Roger, the season would have likely been over for the Yankees. Now it’s a real debate about who is the team to beat in the AL East.

    Nemecizer May 7, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • It isn’t only SFs who think this deal smacks of a little desperation and a little more money than sense in the Yankee organization.
    Headline in today’s New York Daily News:
    – – – – – –
    shell out
    $1M per week
    to get
    Roger back

    – – – – – –

    Hudson May 7, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Oh, and here’s a question (genuine curiosity, not trying to start anything):
    How much is the fact that Clemens didn’t often go full 6 innings last season a product of having to lift him for a pinch-hitter?

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • YM, as I said, I’d be happy he wasn’t going to New York, and I’d be happy he’d be putting up innings and good starts for the Sox, but I’d be sad about blocking Lester and nervous that he wouldn’t be the same Clemens who last pitched in the AL East — which was still far removed from the Clemens who pitched in Boston and Toronto.

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • And here’s the caption under Roger’s picture on the back of today’s New York Post:
    – – – – – –
    The pitching-desperate Yankees lured Roger Clemens (throwing in the outfield yesterday after the Bombers’ 5-0 win over the M’s) out of retirement with a $28 million prorated contract that will work out to about $1M per start from when he’s ready to join the team in early June.
    – – – – – –

    Hudson May 7, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • “When there are grey skies,
    I don’t mind the grey skies,
    You make ’em blue, Sonny Boy…”
    Who sang that one, Pops?

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • You know you have a strong argument when you have the headline writers making it for you.

    Nick-YF May 7, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • Pops isn’t a big Jolson fan, Andrews.

    SF May 7, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • I didn’t say Yanks weren’t desperate. OF COURSE they were! You tell me who wouldn’t be desperate after losing 3/5 of their rotation to injury in the first month of the season!!!!!
    *deep breaths*
    As a point of fact, I was completely against resigning Clemens before the season started. It would’ve been an awful idea and like Paul said, he’d be blocking the promising young kids. But, with the rotation in tatters, what choice did they have but to fling buckets of cash at Roger? I have no illusions of why Clemens picked the Yanks over everyone else. And he’s not a savior or a god or whatever. But he gives New York a fighting chance, which is more than could be said for some of the other characters who’ve graced the mound lately. If someone else has a better idea of how to improve the Yankee rotation right now without Clemens, let’s hear it.

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Hudson, just what are you trying to prove with those quotes from the post?
    More money than sense? Steinbrenner is old and in questionable health. He’s willing to pony up in an attempt to save the prospect of a successful season. As other yf’s have pointed out, it’s a part year deal that costs no prospects, and as of the end of last year, Clemens was still a very effective pitcher – he allowed more than two earned runs in only 3 of his 19 starts.

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Hey, SF – pretty impressive!!!

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • I’m not sure why the phrase “smacks/reeks of desperation” has been tossed around here like it’s supposed to be insulting, or something to be denied. The Yankees ARE desperate. Extremely desperate. Desperate for pitching. In the “Who’s Less Desperate” standings, the Sox are way ahead. The idea isn’t to avoid making moves out of desparation, it’s to avoid making STUPID moves out of desperation, and I don’t think this move (or the Hughes callup) fall into the latter category.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • Of course, one could also say that the idea is to avoid becoming desperate in the first place by developing organizational depth and not hiring a butcher to conduct team workouts, but why cry over a jillion gallons of spilled milk?

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • The idea isn’t to avoid making moves out of desparation, it’s to avoid making STUPID moves out of desperation, and I don’t think this move (or the Hughes callup) fall into the latter category.
    This is 100% correct.

    SF May 7, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • I agree, Tom. I also was not in the Clemens camp at the beginning of the season. Now? It was a no-brainer.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • 16 Tons was actually written by Merle Travis, Ernie Ford just had a hit with it.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • “How much is the fact that Clemens didn’t often go full 6 innings last season a product of having to lift him for a pinch-hitter?”
    YM, good observation. I hadn’t considered that.
    Here’s a comment/question: I’ve seen lots of projections that Hughes will be the No.5 guy in the rotation.
    Is that the best thing, for him and for NYY? Or would NYY be better sending him back to Double-A. Certainly with Celemens on board they have more flexibility. If they do send him back down, who would be the best, most realistic No.5?
    And SF, the Globe blog referenced your blog note and linked to the blog. Congrats. Well deserved. That was a nice post.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Bill. Why does it matter if hughes is the #5 starter and why would they send him down to double-A vs triple-A?
    I think that having clemens on the staff is going to be great for Hughes and he better learn as much as he can…

    sam YF May 7, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • Sam, I’m just asking a question. Just wondering what people think.
    Double-A, triple-A, doesn’t matter.
    My point is, is the best thing for Hughes and his long-term development? Given that NYY had said they weren’t going to rush him and then called him up out of desperation. The big stage isn’t necessarily the best place to develop. Now they have more flexibility and don’t need him as much.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • I was just trying to clarify what your were asking Bill.
    I think the yankees plan was to bring him up around June all along unless there was some overwhelming reason not to do so.
    Given the wisdom he can get from Clemens et al this season I think its in their best interest to bring him up now for good and be as careful as they can with his arm. Im in the camp that Hughes should learn whatever else he needs to on the job not in AAA. I think the yankees other options arent gonna be as good…

    sam YF May 7, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • “How much is the fact that Clemens didn’t often go full 6 innings last season a product of having to lift him for a pinch-hitter?”
    Looking at his pitch counts last year, it looks more like he was taken out when he was done pitching. He was often up over 100 through five innings.
    As far as the impact Rawge will have on Hughes, how much of a day-to-day impact can he have if he’s back in Houston on days he’s not pitching? I mean I guess Roger had a major impact on Schilling in just a few conversations back in the early 90s. But I don’t see Hughes and Roger as all that similar. I think his impact may be a little overstated.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • I’d certainly agree that their other options probably aren’t as good. But I’m basing that on Hughes’ two starts.
    I’d probably be leaning toward the send him down camp. Other other hand, I think there will be less pressure on him now than without Clemens, which, obviously, would be good for him.
    Another factor is that he’ll probably get 1-2 rehab starts in the minors before he comes off the DL, so they might see what want before they have to make a final decision.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • “how much of a day-to-day impact can he have if he’s back in Houston on days he’s not pitching?”
    Tyrel, I tried raising this question earlier and was castigated for it. Apparently some folks are pushing the fallacy that Roger will be with the team somewhat regularly.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • The one thing I think we can all agree on, how ever you feel about this, is that it provides for some great drama, these teams always find a way to kick it up a notch, year after year, and I for one, love it.

    LocklandSF May 7, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • Good find, Tyrel. Clemens averaged 95.5 pitches (and just under six innings) per start in 2006. By the same token, he seemed to be lifted after six with fewer than 90 pitches a lot. On the other hand, there were plenty of starts where he hit 100 pitches in the fifth and sixth innings.

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Now, all we need is for the Sox to go out and trade for Harden… which was mentioned by one “AL executive” in the Globe today, probably just repeating the rumor that went around last week. Hehe.

    Paul SF May 7, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • Oh, God. I can’t even imagine what Beane would want for Harden.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • Thanks Paul. I worry about Harden though. His contract is pretty reasonable, even for the (soon to be much richer) A’s, so if Beane is willing to trade him there’s got to be a pretty heavy risk of him going Pavano over the next few years.
    Yes, “Pavano” is now an adjective.
    Bill, I’m sure Rawge will stick around sometimes, but his contract allows him to leave. I don’t think he would have asked for it if he wasn’t planning on using it.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • From what they said at the presser yesterday, it didn’t seem like he was planning to go back to Houston all the time, just when he needs it. There was also much talk about him being excited to work with the Yankee youngsters, but who knows how much of it is plain lip service…

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • So many Sox-ites whining about how Clemens is a mercenary…it’s kind of pathetic. Bottom line: the Yankees gave him what he wanted – his start date, his perks, his pay. At this stage in Rocket’s career, you wait for him, not the other way around. Houston and NY get that, why doesn’t lowest-bidder-Boston?

    Lewis May 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Yeah, that’s kind of my point, YM, the lip service. He’s said a lot of things over the years that legitimately bring his sincerity into question. But just as we don’t know how good he’ll be, we also don’t know that he’s doesn’t mean it this time.
    I can’t imagine he’ll want to bail all the time because he’s so tight with AP. And his kids are old enough now that it would be almost as easy for them to go to NY to be with him. And what kid wouldn’t want to do that? That’s a hell of an experience.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • Buster Olney addressed the impact question that I had (I didn’t actually ask him the queston, but he answered it anyways)-
    “A very, very underrated part of Clemens is that when he’s on a team, in the clubhouse, he’s fully invested in the other guys — and other pitchers are naturally drawn to him, because of who he is and what he’s accomplished. His presence will help Hughes understand the importance of preparation, in the same way that Ted Lilly and Andy Pettitte were effected by being around Roger. It’s only going to help Hughes, for sure.”

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 4:12 pm
  • “Bottom line: the Yankees gave him what he wanted – his start date, his perks, his pay.”
    First, that’s what a mercenary is.
    Here’s the definition from 1. working or acting merely for money or other reward; venal.
    Second, a lot of NYY-ites are saying the same thing. It is what it is. Had he signed in Boston, people would have called him a mercenary.
    But make no mistake, that’s basically free agency. Just in this case, there was more emotion and money involved, not to mention the biggest-name pitcher available. So everything is very amped up.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • so you got jaret wright back. big deal. pitch your 5 and start taxing that solid middle relief.

    sf rod May 7, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • Clemens made Ted Lilly the pitcher he is today.
    What a feat.

    SF May 7, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • At this stage in Rocket’s career, you wait for him, not the other way around. Houston and NY get that, why doesn’t lowest-bidder-Boston?
    Lowest-bidder-Boston doesn’t because Theo & Co. set a value on Clemens and if another team exceeded that value, so be it. Paying a pro-rated $28 mil to an almost 45-year old pitcher with a recent history of various ailments is questionable to say the least. Before any YFs jump on me for saying so, I ask when does his value meet that pricetag? If he gets 10 wins? If he gets 120Ks? If he averages 6 IP/G? If he has a sub 3.50era? None of those strike me as being worth the cost incurred.
    I recall that Cashman was trying to move the yanks in the “younger, healthier, cheaper” direction- what happened to that? This move screams desperation to right a slowly sinking ship. With or without Clemens, I’ll still take the Sox’ rotation over NY’s every time.

    Nate=Soxfan May 7, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • Is that who he is? Foolish Yankees.
    But, wait a minute: didn’t the sox offer Jaret 18 mil?

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 4:32 pm
  • “This move screams desperation to right a slowly sinking ship.”
    Nate, that was covered quite well by tom, above:
    “I’m not sure why the phrase “smacks/reeks of desperation” has been tossed around here like it’s supposed to be insulting, or something to be denied. The Yankees ARE desperate. Extremely desperate. Desperate for pitching. In the “Who’s Less Desperate” standings, the Sox are way ahead. The idea isn’t to avoid making moves out of desparation, it’s to avoid making STUPID moves out of desperation, and I don’t think this move (or the Hughes callup) fall into the latter category.
    Posted by: tom yf | Monday, May 07, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Andrews May 7, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • People can underrate Clemens, but the fact of the matter is that he has been – without question – the best pitcher in the National League the past 3 years.
    Even last year, his ERA+ was 194. That’s 40 better than Cy Young Brandon Webb.
    Sure, he had defensive deity Adam Everett behind him, but he was also playing in a hitter’s paradise more than half the time.
    I really don’t think his decline from moving back to the AL will be so precipitous. If that were the case, we should predict a 4.50 ERA from aces like Roy Oswalt and Chris Carpenter (pre-DL) in the AL. But we don’t, because their just good.
    On another note, it’s interesting to see the effect Clemens has had on several top pitchers in the last decade or two. When Curt Schilling was in the Sox organization and having trouble, Clemens spake the Word to him. Pettitte, when he was with the Yankees, took it to the next level. Roy Halladay has always said how much Clemens helped him become the ace he is today. Roy Oswalt as well. He was with Chris Carpenter for two years in Toronto. Whatever. Now, is this just the fact that Clemens has just been around so many good pitchers, or could it be something more?
    Clemens on the Yankees is more than just Clemens pitching every 5 days. It’s Roger Clemens, first-ballot HOFer, mentoring not only Wang, who idolizes him, and Hughes, who everyone has said is a miniature version of him, but him actually going to the minors on his off-days, just like he did in Houston, and working with all those young guys Cashman covets more than anything. When he gave Clemens $28 million, it wasn’t just for his playing time.

    Andrew May 7, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • well paul, my perceptions are not skewed…i’m old enough to remember when clemens left the sox, and i know how it was…dookett was a [expeletive deleted], and roger thumbed his nose at the organization, catching you fans in the crossfire…dookett is gone, so clemens is the easier target…so i didn’t conveniently forget, you apparently weren’t old enough to forget…your hypocrisy [fan base] is not alleged…it’s well documented…if a sox goes to the yankees they are booed…period…that’s ok…just stop denying it and be honest about it, that’s all…
    nate, the roger move is a short term quick fix that doesn’t jeopardize the future of the young guys…2 of the starting prospects were injured making a deal like this necessary, and none were traded in the process, right?…
    sf rod, typical bitter sox bridesmaid response…you’re better than that buddy…

    dc May 7, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • The facts are getting out there.
    The Red Sox and Astros didn’t have a chance to top NYY bid. Cash made the offer, then demanded an answer. Boston and Houston were left out of the loop.
    That’s why Clemens/Hendricks bros. moved up the timetable by a month – because NYY forced them to.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 5:00 pm
  • So I guess Cashman really did outplay everyone’s hand.
    Where are you getting these facts, Bill?

    Andrew May 7, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • “But, wait a minute: didn’t the sox offer Jaret 18 mil?”

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • “your hypocrisy [fan base] is not alleged…it’s well documented…if a sox goes to the yankees they are booed…period…that’s ok…just stop denying it and be honest about it, that’s all…”
    how is that hypocritical? it seems entirely consistent to me.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • …you’re better than that buddy…
    dc, the irony of you closing your comment with this kind of admonishment is staggering, considering that just above that you accuse an entire fan base of being hypocrites and then call sf rod a “typical bitter sox bridesmaid”.
    Or is more of the trademarked “dc humor” that sometimes shoots over my head? Help me out here, please?

    SF May 7, 2007, 5:06 pm
  • Buster Olney.
    And I wouldn’t say “outplay” so much as I’d say, “Made his own rules.”
    He a shrewd businessman, that Cash.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Here’s another straw man, attacking Cashman for going against his claim that the Yanks are trying to get younger and cheaper. That doesn’t mean everyone on the staff above a certain age and salary threshold gets designated for assignment Nate, it means that if it makes sense for the team, guys like Clemens and Pettitte might be offered one year deals with more per-year dough, rather than wrapping up resources in similar players in some long term way. I can’t believe I had to explain that.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • consistently hypocritical, tyrel…
    come on sf…you know when i say “you sf’s” or “fan base”, that doesn’t mean all…haven’t we killed the “generalization” lecture already?…and yes, you caught me, some of it is in jest…you know i love some sf’s, some in fact are…ugh…family members…but rod’s comments were bitterly jealous…

    dc May 7, 2007, 5:15 pm
  • Clemens isn’t taking any youngster’s spot in the rotation, so how is his acquisition going against the youth movement? It’s not.
    On the other hand, it certainly exposes the fallacy of the “cheaper” team that the Yankees were becoming — with the luxury tax the Yankees are back to a $225M payroll this year. And there’s still a trading deadline looming!
    No judgment rendered, don’t misinterpret this.

    SF May 7, 2007, 5:17 pm
  • Andrew,
    Just saying. He’s happy about this now, and kudos to Steve for manning up to this post yesterday, but there’s some pretty solid evidence that last season was less productive then that 194 ERA+ might indicate. This would also suggest that not only does Roger have to adjust to a tougher league, but also to an inferior defense.
    Oh look, the old “Red Sox fans are hypocrites for booing former Sox who play for the Yankees” garbage. That’s always fun and entirely pointless.

    desturbd1 May 7, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • “if a sox goes to the yankees they are booed…”
    and if a soldier switches sides during a battle he is shot. that isn’t hypocritical, my friend. loyalty is a two-way street.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • nate, the roger move is a short term quick fix that doesn’t jeopardize the future of the young guys…2 of the starting prospects were injured making a deal like this necessary, and none were traded in the process, right?…
    A $28 mil quick fix? Yikes.
    The idea isn’t to avoid making moves out of desparation, it’s to avoid making STUPID moves out of desperation
    Stupid move? That remains to be seen. Stupid $$$? Oh yes.

    Nate=Soxfan May 7, 2007, 5:23 pm
  • This just in, from Rotoworld:
    “Yankees optioned LHP Kei Igawa to Single-A Tampa.
    The Roger Clemens signing hasn’t stopped the Yankees from changing the plans around on a daily basis. Now Darrell Rasner is going to remain the rotation.”
    LOHUD says AAA Scranton. The official website doesn’t say anything.

    desturbd1 May 7, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • SF, you have to admit though that a lot of that payroll reflects an old mode of Yankees spending. No recent moves run contrary to the goal of becoming cheaper in the long term. Factor in the contracts that come off the books at the end of this year, and the team’s across the board philosophy of waiting on extensions, and I think we’re seeing the seeds of a new type of Yankees team that won’t be fully realized for another five or so years. In the meantime, they’re using their financial might to bridge the gap with Rocket/Pettite/Abreu type players.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • If I remember correctly, when Roger was “retiring” in ’03, during the ALCS he received a rousing standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful.
    But let’s just ignore that inconvenient truth, shall we?

    SF May 7, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • Bill,
    I think the Jaret comment was referring to the fact that someone up thread (sf rod?) said Yanks paid $18mil for another Jaret Wright.

    yankeemonkey May 7, 2007, 5:28 pm
  • Nate, it’s not stupid because the gamble itself is worthwhile; you pay for the gamble, not the results. As for the money being stupid, that’s pretty much an opinion. One that I agree with? Sure. I think that money should have been spent on sending all the left shoes in the world into an orbit around Saturn. I guess the Yankees thought that was stupid, so they spent it on paying a guy to throw a ball every so often for a few months.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • In the meantime, they’re using their financial might to bridge the gap with Rocket/Pettite/Abreu type players.
    I understand what you are saying, but I also think this above comment might indicate a common strategy from year to year, so I don’t really see a payroll contraction coming, like some popular sentiment seems to imply. The Yankees (and the Sox) will probably employ this “stopgap” spending policy on an annual basis, so at what point does it stop being a “bridge the gap” policy and become “standard” policy?

    SF May 7, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • nice try tyrel…we ain’t fightin’ a war here…it’s hypocritical because before you got here, the sf’s on this site tried to convince me that they don’t boo the guys that leave their team…you are being honest…

    dc May 7, 2007, 5:36 pm
  • you pay for the gamble, not the results
    May I use that the next time a YF brings up Matz’ contract?
    I think that money should have been spent on sending all the left shoes in the world into an orbit around Saturn.

    Nate=Soxfan May 7, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • bitter….maybe…but not about my best record in the american league sox. jealous…..nope.
    how will this signing effect the yanks bullpen, another area of yankee desperation? in a jaret wright like fashion. you get 6 innings from him. thats in the NL central where they give you a free out every 8 at bats. it just seems to me like it’s another jaret 5 2/3’s every fifth day.

    sf rod May 7, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • i also think this is a blatant slap to the face of mo and posada who have acted like gentleman while the yanks refuse to get their deals done. but that’s just me, neither bitter or jealous.

    sf rod May 7, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • I think if the two teams have to spend big on stopgaps every year, it’s an indictment of their player development strategies. Still, it may not be avoidable for stretches of time due to various circumstances, and I think the whole reason behind lowering payroll is to have the financial flexibility to make these exact types of moves anyway. You would just rather be making them on top of a minimal core payroll, so you can spend available monies on research and development, scouting, drafting, etc.

    tom yf May 7, 2007, 6:14 pm
  • Yeah, Paul – the Sox have what it takes in what fantasy world to trade for Harden?
    Name three impact mL’ers – cause that’s what it would take.
    And Tom – don’t forget that they’re drafting and signing amateurs to take the place of vets.
    Between Wang, Hughes, Clippard, Rasner, and Karstens, Dorf – they have a starting rotation in the new stadium in which none are even close to free agency.
    And they’ve got three to five bullpen arms too (Britton, Whelan, Claggett, etc).
    Tabata takes over in RF and Melky is 25 by 2009.
    That means they just have to replace 1B and C in the next two years.
    Then they have the checkbook whenever they need it.
    I feel very good about the future. The new stadium I feel less good about.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 6:15 pm
  • Right SF – While Jorge was laughing with glee in the dugout.
    Unlike the Sox, the Yanks will do whatever it takes to sign Jorge and Mo when the time is right. They’ll make that clear from the very beginning and they’ll get it done.
    You know – Like Pettitte and Moose this past winter.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 6:18 pm
  • “when the time is right….You know – Like Pettitte…”

    sf rod May 7, 2007, 6:37 pm
  • “nice try tyrel…we ain’t fightin’ a war here…”
    Obviously it’s not war. And obviously I’m not advocating the shooting of my childhood hero (or at least I hope it’s obvious). I used the war analogy to illustrate a point about the limits of loyalty. Once a brother-in-arms has ceased to fight with you and starts fighting against you, it is not hypocritical to turn your gun on him.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 6:58 pm
  • I think this move happened the only way it could’ve gone down. Clemens has some pretty deep seeded hatred for the way he left Boston, new regime or not, or he just could not be happy about playing in front of Sox fans again. He used them for leverage to squeeze more cash from George, who eagerly threw it at him. I watched him in Boston through his whole career, and watched it all unravel when he left. But there is no love there. He’s gone, and has gone out of his way to voice his continued displeasure with the Sox organization from 11 years ago, no less. He sure hasn’t gotten better than his mediocre showing the last time he was in the AL East, and he’s sure isn’t worth the money they are throwing at him, no matter how you spin it.. The Boston clubhouse already has Schilling for a distraction, and now the MFY have a counterpoint to it. Yeah, he’s a gamer, but he’s gotta prove he still has it.
    So good for the Yanks to sign him. Makes for better baseball. Did the $18mil cover the cost of the white horse he’s bringing too?

    ToddSF May 7, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • Pettitte 1.0 was all Boss – which is why he came back at significantly less money for Cashman.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 7:03 pm
  • I love how in one post Jim accuses Paul of fantasy and then projects a entire roster (minus C and 1B) of homegrown Yankee talent.
    “Wang, Hughes, Clippard, Rasner, and Karstens, Dorf”
    I’ll give you Wang and Hughes. Those other guys will be forgotten by 2009, a la Brandon Claussen and Brad Halsey.
    “Britton, Whelan, Claggett, etc.”
    Britton who and who? Will Mo still be the closer?
    “Tabata takes over in RF and Melky is 25 by 2009.”
    Tabata could be good. Melky is a perfectly adequate 4th OF. I’d be shocked if Damon isn’t completely broken down by 2009.
    “they just have to replace 1B and C”
    My hunch is that by 2009, the Yankee brass will have realized that DJ is enough of a defensive liabilty as to warrant a shift to OF. I actually think he’d be an excellent OF. There’s no shame in an aging SS to move to the OF. Especially a SS with Jeter’s complexion. Think Robin Yount, minus the mullet and with a $20 million grin.
    And what about Arod? That is the $200 million question.
    In my humble opinion, in the next 2-3 years, they’ll be looking outside the organization for a new C, 1B, SS/LF, 3B, DH, 3/5ths of the rotation, and 4-5/7ths of the bullpen. It’s not insurmountable, especially with the Yanks resources. But I just don’t see it being a homegrown transition.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 7:05 pm
  • Sorry Tyrel –
    You’re wrong on Clippard. And Rasner and Karstens are already 4’s or 5’s. Meanwhile, DeSalvo is holding his own right now. The point is: The Yanks won’t need to sign anyone – big difference.
    Melky is easily a fine CF – better than Crisp at the same age, that’s for damn sure. If he shows any power in the next four years, he’s a fine addition.
    And sure, Jeter could move to the OF. Damon could move to 1B. Etc. The point again: Big signings will be the exception, not the rule.
    Arod is staying – guaranteed.
    LF – They still have Matsui in 2009. Last year of his contract.
    SS – Maybe. Cano could go to 3B and Arod could back to SS.
    3b – Nope – Arod retires with the Yanks.
    DH – Whoever Melky’s subs for.
    Rotation – One slot
    Bullpen – Meh. They got Bruney for free. Britton is 25. Mo has already stated he wants to open the new stadium. At least half of the bullpen will be homegrown talent.
    C – It was an afterthought, but they have a 21 yo in High-A (Cervelli) and they just signed an 18 yo (Jesus Montero). That still may be addressed from within whenever Jorge finally shows he’s done. That might not be until 2009 at this rate (160 OPS+).
    The point is: Relative to the past Yankee MO, this team is already getting younger and cheaper (Wang, Hughes, Rasner, Cano, Melky). That’s bad news for the rest of baseball.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 8:07 pm
  • Meanwhile, Tyrel, all I asked was who do you trade for Harden? No doubt it starts with Lester and Jacoby and then name one more.
    Since that’s the vast majority of the Sox top prospects, I just don’t see how they’d do it. And Beane doesn’t give discounts.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • sorry rod, but you’re bitter and jealous…what you missed was the fact that both posada and mo were happy about the prospect of being reunited with roger…in fact roger specifically mentioned that he’s happy to be back with the best closer in the history of baseball…

    dc May 7, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • tyrel, you missed my point…i said that before you got here, some of your sox friends said that they don’t boo or otherwise disrespect sox players who leave and join another team [including the yankees]…i called out that hypocrisy…you may be immune, if so, congratulations…

    dc May 7, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • And good to see I didn’t miss much this afternoon.
    The vocal SF’s here think:
    The money is funny and that Roger is old.
    Great analysis.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 8:19 pm
  • Yeah, Roger did say that about Mo! I forgot. Pretty sweet.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 8:20 pm
  • Great piece, SF. One of the most original takes I’ve read today.

    Jay Jaffe May 7, 2007, 8:24 pm
  • exactly jim…to sum it up, roger sucks, he’s too old, and the yanks just wasted a bunch more money…you didn’t miss anything…just the usual…

    dc May 7, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Thanks, Jay.

    SF May 7, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Jim
    Clay Buchholz.
    You know, the guy who will by 2009 have everybody saying “Phil Who?”
    I will be ecstatic if the Yankees 2009 rotation is Wang, Hughes, Clippard, Karstens and Rasner/DeSalvo. Ec-f’n-static. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I will do is open the morning paper to the baseball standings and laugh aloud at the 4/5th place Yankees. Because that rotation right there is lousy. That’s Blue Jay-esque, at best.
    I don’t see Damon as a 1b. Too awkward. But, again, as a SF, I’d love to see him there.
    Matsui will be DH.
    We’ll see on Arod. I wouldn’t be surprised by anything with him. I think it comes down to how things play out this season down the stretch and into the playoffs. If he slumps as the Yanks fall out of it, he’s gone. Wait – that should be a capitalized. GONE. But even if things work out for him, he still opts out. Mr. Inevitable. And Moreno will match the Yanks’ offer dollar-for-dollar. No doubt. And you know as well as I, that somewhere in the back of Arod’s mind, he’s thinking about laying on the beach in SoCal the morning before a night game, working on his tan, and no one even noticing.
    You know, Jim, the more I think of it the more I’m really liking the look of your homegrown 2009 Yankees.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 8:55 pm
  • Sorry for the misunderstanding dc. I thought you were calling all SFs hypocrites for booing former Sox players who come back in pinstripes.

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 8:59 pm
  • Oh and Jim, for the record, I don’t want Harden, for what he’d cost. I think I said it earlier, he’s a huge injury risk. There was an article somewhere recently that suggested Buchholz and WMP could get it done – maybe Rotoworld?

    Tyrel SF May 7, 2007, 9:01 pm
  • Nick-YF: You need to go back and work on your reading comprehension.
    The point of posting the headlines (from the News and the Post, not just the Post as you incorrectly stated) was declared already, to wit:
    “It isn’t only SFs who think this deal smacks of a little desperation and a little more money than sense in the Yankee organization.”
    Say what you want about the NYDN and NYP, they are YFs’ hometown papers. So Yankee homers should stop acting like it’s only the (supposed) jealousy of Sox fans that motivates anyone to make such observations about this move.

    Hudson May 7, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • Tyrel –
    What you don’t seem to understand is: The youngsters are the foundation while the vets will be what they park in the garage. If the kids don’t work out, they’ll always, always have the cash to fall back on. Still even if they ONLY two starting pitchers and three position players – That’s a dangerous Yankee organization.
    Buchholz – yes, legit. Still in the next two years, the Sox need two SPs, a full bullpen, LF, 3B, probably their sixth SS in six years, C, and 2B.
    I feel very good about the direction the Yankees are headed.

    jim - YF May 7, 2007, 9:14 pm
  • Tyrel, jim is right. All of the Yankees minor leaguers are destined for the Hall of Fame. Well, at least 3-4 All-Star starts each in their long, illustrious NYY careers. Jim has in-depth background and uncanny career projections on the minor-leaguers in every team’s farm system.
    In fact, everything jim has written on this site is dead-on accurate.
    The best thing about jim is that he posts such tremendous insight without baiting anyone.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 7, 2007, 11:24 pm
  • No baiting. Guys like jim and arny/amy are what give YFs a good name.

    QuoSF May 7, 2007, 11:43 pm
  • Speaking of prospects…Ellsbury went 2/4 today with 2 stolen bases and the team’s only RBI. He’s now been on base in every game this season between AA and AAA and hit in all but one, sporting a .438/.510/.596 line, with a 10/9 K/BB. He’s also 10 for 12 on the basepaths.
    Heh, still gotta keep repeating the mantra…It’s still early and Boston’s still winning ballgames. But ah, Coco’s got a bit of a fire beneath him.

    desturbd1 May 8, 2007, 12:13 am
  • I’m torn on Harden myself, but I can’t deny the prospect of a trade — assuming he’d cost “only” Buccholz and Wily Mo — is exciting.
    The Sox clearly decided they didn’t need Clemens’ services, for good reason. Because even if Tavarez flames out and Lester isn’t healthy enough, there’s still Hansack and Gabbard. Still, I wonder about those trade rumors. That would truly be taking the rivalry’s recent history of one-upsmanship to new levels.

    Paul SF May 8, 2007, 1:15 am
  • “I feel very good about the direction the Yankees are headed.”
    Me too. Bwahahahahahaha…
    “Still in the next two years, the Sox need two SPs, a full bullpen, LF, 3B, probably their sixth SS in six years, C, and 2B.”
    No way dude. The entire Pawsox team will be starting for the Sox, and we’ll use our excess talent to trade for Albert Pujols.

    Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 1:59 am
  • AND Miguel Cabrera, Tyrel. Don’t forget him.

    Paul SF May 8, 2007, 2:07 am
  • How could i forget Miguel, of course. I have him penciled in as our LF. I think Gabbard, Moss and Manfredjinsinjin should be enough to reel taht Marlin…

    Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 2:22 am
  • How could i forget Miguel, of course. I have him penciled in as our LF. I think Gabbard, Moss and Manfredjinsinjin should be enough to reel in taht Marlin…

    Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 2:22 am
  • doh, late night at the bah, i’m seeing double…

    Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 2:23 am
  • Paul, It’s going to cost more than Buccholz and Pena(!).
    Like I said, you’re living in fantasy.
    Why would anyone want Pena? He offers little more than that elusive “talent”.
    Whoops I forgot the Sox wanted him. Except Brandon is now pitching better than he did last year. And Wiffy Mo rides the bench.
    So Start with Buccholz and Lester at minimum, and no doubt Ellsbury’s name will come up.
    So no – Sox won’t be landing Harden. But keep dreaming. It’s good for the soul.

    jim - YF May 8, 2007, 5:19 am
  • And Cabrera is exactly the type the Yanks will have the cash and prospects to land, and outbid everyone else in the process. But keep laughing. Also good for the soul.

    jim - YF May 8, 2007, 5:28 am
  • It was Rotoworld, not Paul, who said that Billy Beane had inquired about Buchholz and WMP.
    “And Cabrera is exactly the type the Yanks”
    As was Guerrero.

    Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Paul repeated it. He’s fair game if he thinks that’s an acceptable exchange to Beane.
    Cashman got overuled by the Boss on Vlad. That’s not going to happen again. Though Cash still has room for improvement. But he’s also shown he’s capable of learning.

    jim - YF May 8, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • Tyrel SF May 8, 2007, 1:30 pm

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