Failure to Launch

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Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Thus, the struggling New York Yankees saw fit to shoehorn an impromptu press release into their Sunday afternoon drubbing of the Seattle Mariners  – announcing the signing of Roger Clemens to the squad.

Yesterday afternoon, the Rocket declared he’d be there to save the day by month-end – a full month sooner than most prognosticators had picked – and on a team that the same wags claimed would be his third choice. Conventional wisdom claimed he’d either go to Boston to ink the final chapter in his fairy tale career or remain in Houston to be near his friends and family. Of course, the last time Clemens opted to play closer to home, he ended up an expatriate. Hey, his career ERA may be stellar but his command of the GPS is a wee bit lacking.

Anyway, if you ask me, the Yanks overpaid in a knee-jerk reaction to slap a Band-Aid on the blistering boo-boo New York has found itself nursing with much of its starting rotation collecting disability. I know Roger was at the game yesterday, soaking in the fan adulation at the news from his sweet perch in King George’s castle. I wonder if the Boss gave Rocket a tour of his own personal Panic Room, as well.

Now, I’m sure some will argue that my snark attack comes across as sour grapes, but things couldn’t be further from the truth.

The simple fact is…

We don’t want him.

We don’t need him.

We already have him.

Yup, we’ve already got a #21 only he wears #38 and likes spending off-days boosting his Level 49 Druid Mage. 

Curt Schilling is Roger Clemens. All right, in terms of total career stats, Clemens is the superior pitcher. Well, save those career numbers for Cooperstown. In the here and now, the only thing that matters is what you have done for us lately. At this stage in their careers, I argue that Schilling is Clemens’ equal if not a bit superior to the old dog.

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This recalls the argument I posted earlier this year when the Sox balked at signing Schill for one more season. Yes, I know, at Schilling’s advanced age it doesn’t make much business sense to drop massive coin on a guy who could break down any day now. That has been the Sox stance and I understand what they are saying, I just expect a little consistency in their communique.

Ya see, while they may not want to mortgage the future on Schill and would prefer to see how his season goes before making a commitment for the great beyond, I don’t understand why they are more than willing to back the Brinks truck up for Clemens. As John Shibley says on those Linux National ads, past results are not indicative of future earnings. Yet, the Sox have been more than willing to enter the sweepstakes to land the old man. The Sox official response to yesterday’s announcement was that they offered $18 million and had hoped to have more time to tweak their offer. That’s a lot of scratch for a Number 5 starter (OK – number 4 – I’m sure we would have slid Wake to the 5 hole).  That said, signing Schilling for $13 million is the biggest no brainer in the history of Earth.

Personally, I think that cash would be better served spent on youth while keeping a smaller stipend around to pay Schill for one more season. As we’ve seen already, the return on investment in our old man is pretty high. Granted, the Red Sox couldn’t have known that going into this season nor do we know if Schill will break down at some point over the course of this year but if you are going to gamble, focusing on Schill is the closest to playing with house money.

The point is, outside of the nostalgia value and baseball’s proclivity towards scribing a true Hollywood ending – a real life Natural – Clemens isn’t worth the cash.

So now he’s sleeping with the enemy. Big deal. I hope those Mike and the Mad Dog maniacs know, deep in their hearts, that they didn’t win a damned thing yesterday.

I’m not afraid of Clemens on the Yankees. I’ve seen the Sox tee off on him in his prime (remember the vaunted Pedro-Clemens ALCS match-up in 1998 which saw the Rocket run from the game in the 2nd inning). I’m sure our current pack of hit dogs would love to chomp on his tired bones. As would the rest of this feared division. Hell, Tampa Bay will probably get a few licks in (backed by the melodious sounds of that infamous Devil Rays season ticket holder chanting RAW-JAHHHH over and over again).  Hey, anyone looking for some last minute shopping suggestions for my forthcoming birthday, here’s an idea. Get me a YES Network subscription. I’d love to hear that blowhard give his all to Roger.

Well, I guess if someone has to have him, it might as well be the Yanks. For my money, this is as Win-Win as you can get. He’s not on our team and we get to teach King George to stop pouring cash into his money pit.

And then there is the intrinsic comedy value when Roger collapses on the mound and reaches for his Medic-Alert jewelry.

“Help, my velocity has fallen and it can’t get up.”

Comments now closed (4)

  • Ed, I am sooo glad the Sox didn’t get the “Texas Con Man”. Too bad Will McDonough is not around still he would have had a field day with this. Once again Roger went for the Money. Either that or he misses his butt boy Andy Pettite. I think they have a brokeback mound thing going! He will be an average pitcher with an era around 4.25 – 4.50. Toronto and Sox will hit him a lot more than the Pirates and Milwalkee brewers did the last three years. I mean the Cardinals were best team in that division and they won 87 games! Granted they got hot in the postseason and beat a young Detroit team, but even they backed into the postseason. Heck, Tampa will get to him as well. Plus the Angels and White Sox and Cleveland.
    He will be lucky to seven full inings three times and he will continue to wear out an already worn out bullpen, which will untimatly lead to their demise. It is going to be fun to watch. I remember when they were talking about this in 2004. I was glad we won without him. The Sox did what he couldn’t do in 86 and lead them thorough the playoffs.
    Good analogy about Shilling. He is the leader and takes the heat off of everyone else. When Dice K settles down our rotation is very good. Add Lester to it in June and it gets better. Why get a money grubbing aging pitcher who asks for and recieves special privileges. If he wants to spend time with his family he should have stayed in Houston or retired.
    Like Shill said, ” We don’t need him”.

  • Yankees paid 20 Million for a guy who will make 20 starts at most….

    I know they have money to waste but Roger is a waste of space….bring it on in Fenway June 1st Roger…