Friday, April 13, 2007

The Clemens Debate

I don't know about you, but I am getting a bit sick of hearing about Roger Clemens every week.

You cannot listen to Sports radio for longer than half an hour, before someone calls in to give their opinion on his immediate future. At least once per week, there is some small newspaper or web article, talking about how he has been asked for the Umpteenth time, if he is staying in Houston, or going back East after the All-Star break.

At this point in the season, there is absolutely nothing to talk about regarding this issue. Everyone knows no decision will be made for another 3 months, and the situation is exactly as it was for the last 6 months...

A. He throws practice pitches with the Astros
B. He still plays a lot of golf
C. He tells the media he hasn't made up his mind... Houston, NY, or Boston, or nothing
D. His decision may depend on how these teams are doing, are they in contention, etc.

Why is this such big news every week?

Hey, don't get me wrong, I loved Roger in Boston. Like everyone else in the Nation, it KILLED me when he left Toronto for the Yankees, and ended up with not one but TWO World Series rings. Who wouldn't want the Rocket, his accomplishments speak for themselves:

7 Cy Youngs (2 more than any other pitcher)
2 Pitching Triple Crowns
11 time All Star, 1 time All Star MVP ('86)

There is certainly a lot to love about the guy. I stood in line like everyone else at the Crystal Mall, back in high school, to get his autograph on my Rookie Card. Stood in line for 6 hours, the guy even put his arm around me. I thought I went to heaven, dead at 17 of pure joy.

But c'mon, enough is enough.

Yes, it would be a great end to his story, to come here and finish where he started.
Heck, I'd feel a lot better with him instead of Tavares in the starting rotation, that's for sure.

Knowing that there is possibility that he still has some effectiveness left, the rivalry in me wants to make sure he doesn't end up on that other team in contention, the Yankees. So I'd take him for that reason alone, to make sure he Yankees don't get him. But we all need to remember a few things:

1. Roger will be 45 in August. I only like that he is almost 45, because as long as he still plays, there is still someone older than I am out on the field. (I'm vain like that, I guess!) But being 45 years old, we have to be prepared that the Roger from 1986 is not the Roger that we will likely see in 2007. Look at poor Curt Schilling and his first outing this year. Curt got eaten alive, had one bad day, and some people were already willing to ship him off to the horse's glue farm.

2. Roger will be a diva, and a bit self centered too, and that won't help team chemistry. Everything about his contract will likely be for his best interests only. I think there are enough distractions down Yawkee Way, with all the Japanese media, translaters, and the whole Manny being Manny stuff. I am afraid that adding Roger's requirements will hurt the team's focus, not help it.

I think we all get hung up on what Roger once was, and all the accolades and accomplishments on his resume. We forget the reality that he will be 45.

Roger reminds me of an old boyfriend. When you sit and reminisce about him, you remember the laughs, the good times, the sweet gestures.
But then you go to your class reunion and see him again. That's when you remember why you broke up in the first place.

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