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Don't Mess With the Rocket (Or He Will Eat Your Firstborn)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
roger clemens yearbookIt's nice that the Yankees can afford the same photographers that my high school hired to take our yearbook photos

As some of you faithful Yankees Chick supporters are aware (and I love all 3 of you), I make a weekly appearance on Free the Fan's Sunday evening radio show, chatting Yanks and subjecting myself to the harassment of a Mets-loving host and belligerent callers. During the most recent show, one particularly irate listener called in and took issue with the signing of Roger Clemens and what he will or will not be able to do for the team. This delightfully bitter gentleman argued that the the addition of the Rocket couldn't possibly save the Yanks, and could end up doing more harm than good, either by creating dissension in the clubhouse because of his "I'm better than all of you, haha!" contract or by exhausting the bullpen if he can only go 5 innings each start.

Blatant anti-Yankees acerbity aside, this man actually did raise some interesting points. I have made no secret of the fact that I too find Clemens' contract demands to be ridiculous, and while I suppose he has "earned" the right to respect with his 78 years of civil service, the special treatment certainly could be grating to his teammates. The possibility of him further exhausting the bullpen is a bit frightening as well; there is only so much our friend Dr. Proctor can do before he ends up buckling under the stress and exhaustion and hangs himself in the bullpen.

The caller's overall negativity regarding the Rocket signing was unwarranted, though. For starters, I don't think anyone - from Steinbrenner on down to us fans - believes that any one person, Rocket included, can be the savior of the team. Still, signing Clemens was a good move by the team on several levels: he will add an essentially fail-proof arm to our rotation (as long as he doesn't get in a car with Pavano), the signing prevented Clemens from going to the Red Sox and potentially causing even more losses for the Yanks, and the move confirmed to the fans and the public that the front office was not giving up on the team and was willing to make some moves to stay competitive. As for him upsetting the team with his extra days off and shortened season, I say "too bad for them". With the losses aplenty the team has been suffering of late, I highly doubt Jeter and the gang are going to be crying over Clemens being treated like a diva. Unlike certain other aging amazing pitchers (I'm looking at you, Mullet-Man), at the very least Clemens doesn't seem to have the type of grumbly attitude that puts a serious damper on the clubhouse.

In short, only time will tell if Clemens can help the Yankees improve their ever-worsening record, just like only time will tell if Pavano is a human or a simply a cyborg on a sabotage mission from Boston.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, May 16, 2007  
  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger Yeah Him said…

    The real question with the Rocket is when will Kirk Radomski say his name to George Mitchell?


  • At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Matt said…

    Here's my thing - let's say Roger comes in, pitches well, and gives you 10 wins. If you ask me, that's best case scenario - I'm expecting more like 7 or 8. Let's say your average #5 man, over the same timespan, would give you 7 or 8. Was it really worth giving up $21m for those 2 or 3 wins? It's kinda crazy...it's not like you're buying a guy who is gonna affect the game day in and day out...just once every 5 days or so.


  • At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I completely agree with what Matt said. I can see spending $28 million on a guy who will take the field everyday for the remainder of the 162 games played, but to pay that for Clemens is, well, absurd. Matt rightfully suggested that Clemens can provide anywhere between 7-10 wins. Is each win worth a minimum of $2.8 million? I don't think so.

  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a Yankee fan I don't necessarily agree with signing Clemens. But I also feel that he will be more valuable than you are assuming. Predicting how many wins he gets isn't really an accurate way of evaluating his potential worth. You have to look at his overall performance. Now, we can't possibly guess how he will play with 100% accuracy. But we can probably assume that he'll be at least above average (high 3 to low 4 ERA) and give us about 5 or 6 innings per game for a little over 20 games. That's significantly better than any 5th starter will give us, and probably makes him a #3 starter (behind Wang and Pettitte). Its probably expensive for a #3 starter, but not quite as absurd as some people think.

  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger Mantlemurcer said…

    Met fans need to rid themselves of their inferiority complex. They should be worried about their team winning not other teams losing.

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    In response to annonymous - I don't think you'll see an ERA in the 3's. Yes, he had a solid ERA in the NL's weakest division. But look at his ERA the last go-around with your Yanks. Mid-4's, if I'm not mistaken. And the division has only got better, as has most of the AL. I'd say his ERA will be somewhere in the 4.25 - 4.50 range, which is somehow respectable nowadays. I remember in the 80s when anything above a 4 was weak, haha!

  • At 2:49 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    The league has only gotten better?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?

    -shakes head- The uneducated anger me. As well as Red Sox fans...I wonder if there is a connection...

    Last time I checked, Baltimore was a playoff team when Clemens came to the Yankees, and ever since he left, not counting Toranto OWNING the sox last season (Haha, Sox got beaten buy there own game...triple the payroll, get higher in the standings [see 2004 crap-sox*]), the standings have been Yankees, Sox, and who-cares-they-aren't-the-Yankees-or-Sox. the only team that has improved enough to warrant any observation is the Red Sox, who's sudden rise came after blowing 200 mil in the off season(coincidence?)...I can tell you this much, you don't get into the playoffs...Screw it, the World Series, you can kiss your smart ass little GM goodbye.

    As for Clemens ....Wait...Over 40....Cy young Caliber....coming from a crappy team...... Well lets just thank whoever above its not Randy Johnson. Sure he's 45 and its a little creepy that he is stalking Mr. Pettitte, but he still had an amaaaazing ERA last season with no run support, and I don't buy the "He is only pitching 5 or 6 innings a game" crap either. What is more important is A. He is in the AL, taking the double switch out of the equation and will make it easier to let him go more innings. B. He is in the AL...No batting for the 45 year old. C. Number of pitches in a game are more important than innings pitched. Last year, Clemens threw over 100 pitches in nine starts, and threw under 85 in only four starts. I highly doubt he will throw less than 85 in any of his starts in NY, because the stress of batting will be off his shoulders.

    Maybe the most important factor of all is not the money, wins, maybe, JUST MAYBE, not even a World Series (I said maybe lets not get our panties in a ripple). Lets think about this: Clemens, more experience in the Majors than almost anyone else, will be pitching next to Yankees prospect Phil Hughes. The knowledge Clemens could give Hughes, or any of the other prospects, is invaluable. Clemens could even teach Hughes how to throw Mr. Splitty, think that'll be worth the 25 mil?

    So lets hit up a list once more:

    1. Cy Young caliber pitcher.
    2. Gave the Yankees the Ace they were missing.
    3. Instruction he can give to young talent.
    4. The Red Sox didn't get him.

    For a pro-rated 25 mil (That the Yankees shoulda spend in the off season, but I guess they thought one look at Ted Lilly was more than enough), the Yankees could have really lucked out, and it could pay dividends for years to come.

    * For the '04 Sox, they had one man on the team from their farm system, Trot Nixon (...woo), so those Sox who keep bitchin that the Yankees buy the series, lets not forget that the Yankees still have four guys from the '00 WS team, who also came from their farm system. So when we beat your ass again this year Sox fans, take your "You can buy the WS" theory n shove it. That goes for you too Theo.

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger YankeesChick said…

    brian = my new idol.

    you're awesome!!! :)

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