Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rocket Returns

May 10, 2007
By Anthony Tripicchio

What? Roger Clemens took the most money and signed with the Yankees? That’s about as shocking as Pacman Jones at a strip club.

Lets be serious, no one is surprised that Clemens went to the highest bidder. Sure, $4.5 million per month is asinine, but the Yankees are as desperate as they’ve been during the Joe Torre era. Suddenly, they’re also more compassionate towards Rocket’s family needs as well.

Pssst, Roger. No one cares if you go to Tibet in between starts, as long as you win games. There’s no need to play dumb at the press conference. You knew the clause was in the contract.

As I was saying, the Yankees need Clemens. Even with the top three starters Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, and Chien-Ming Wang all healthy, the backend of the rotation is in a constant state of flux. I think I’m next in line to be called up after either Darrell Rasner or Matt DeSalvo passes through the turnstile. And after the Red Sox smoked Roy Halladay last night, they now lead the Yanks by seven full games in mid May. There’s no need to panic yet, but it is cause for concern.

The Yankees need to realize that Clemens isn’t going to come in on his white horse and save the day, though. Granted, he’s one the best pitchers of all-time, but he’s also going to be 45-years-old in August. Judging by the theatrics of last Sunday, the Yankees might be disillusioned enough to think that Clemens can be their knight in shining armor.

I apologize Suzyn Waldman, but your enthusiasm for the moment he returned was borderline scary (here it is for you brave souls who haven't heard it: First, because I didn’t know a human could sound like that, and second because this guy is well past his prime.

Will he contribute? Yes, there’s no doubt that he will, but he won’t be close to the ace of the staff. This is a guy who averaged less than six innings per start last year in the NATIONAL LEAGUE. Throwing to Big Papi instead of the pitcher should jog Clemens’ memory about why his ERA was nearly a run lower after he left the Yankees for Houston in 2004 (3.91 in 03 to 2.98 in 04).

Even when he pitches well there will be nine outs or more left for the bullpen to secure the win. Mariano Rivera has struggled mightily thus far (1-3, 7.71 ERA), and the rest of the pen is begging for a breather. They won’t get it when Clemens is on the mound.

The Yankees are definitely improved with Clemens on the roster, but the team is in grave danger if he needs to be the hero. You can see him galloping in on his horse now, but his armor is faded.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just love that when you write, you bring this game to life and give it so much zip. You are a gifted writer, reporter. Keep the Trip Takes coming. I look forward to reding your next article.