When it comes to the baseball world, few things make me happier than proving others wrong (wait, let's be honest - my love of being right extends far beyond just baseball), and this beautiful team has been most kind to the Yankees Chick over the past month or so. Obviously the fact that they have catapulted themselves right up into the post-season race in both the wildcard and the division, putting quite the kink in the joy of all the self-important gloating Red Sawx fans, has been a source of some keen enjoyment on my part, but I also feel the unmatchable glee of "I Told You So" syndrome every time The Rocket pitches. There were naysayers aplenty when his return to the Yanks was announced from cynics on the Yanks' side and from the peanut gallery (AKA those other 29 teams); despite the complete lack of evidence of the old-age slowdown most elderly pitchers exhibit, his advanced age was taken by many to be a sure sign that he would not be the contributer this team so desperately needed. Most thought that his age might finally catch up to him, or that he would only be able to pitch 4 or 5 innings at best (even I feared that aspect, I will admit), or that his diva-esque demands might alienate him from the rest of the crew or breed animosity in some way, rendering his signing relatively pointless.
Alas, the haters were wrong yet again. After 13 starts he's struck out 57 while walking just 19 (and plunking a few, totally deservedly), making him one of the steadiest of all the Yankees pitchers this year. Had it been any other old dude, I would have had little faith myself, but folks, it's the ROCKET. He's been employed as an "Official Old Man River Pitcher" for several years now - no one should be surprised by his ability to keep on rolling this year. As for his special treatment, I have not seen the Yankees make any policy exceptions for Grandpa Clemens or expect any less from him than from any other pitcher since the moment he signed. He is on the road trips, shows up on days he doesn't pitch, and has seemingly gone out of his way to help the youngsters with their pitching, too. Is he a Cy Young candidate? No. But with the help he's provided at the mound and in spirit, certainly he deserves some sort of distinguishing "Senior Citizen Hero" accolade.
Labels: happy time