This is what the New York Post wrote as their headline when Roger Clemens decided to Unretire, and go to Houston back in January, 04:
Funny how time makes people forget the past....
I, too, once loved this guy. Who wouldn't? He's a hall of fame lock-in. Dominated for many many years. But he isn't the same guy from 5-10 years ago, sorry to say. He is being painted as the savior that will bring the Championship back to the Bronx, but in my opinion, it doesnt add up.
My take on all of this is this: My feeling is that Rocket may be an improvement to the Yankee staff, but he isn't the solution. Rocket is One less reason for Torre to bring up the next pitcher de jour from AA and AAA. We all remember how horrible it was, 2nd half last year when it seemed everyone was either hurt, or had heart issues, or cancer on the Red Sox. We had to do that, and we got creamed.
But look at the facts...
1. Rocket averaged fewer than six innings per start in '06. Remember that this is while pitching against National League teams, without a DH. The Yankees are having a big problem right now with starters having depth, and relief pitchers blowing leads and saves. Getting a star who won't get them to the end, is not the answer. Having 5-6 good innings, and handing the torch over to someone else isn't being a savior. They haven't solved anything this way. Just spent $4.5 million a month to get to the 5-6 inning every 5th day. So what? What will that equate to... 10 wins, maybe?
2. ERA will not be in the 2.3 ish range that it was in Houston. His time in Houston against NL teams it averaged 2.38. But look at this average ERA during the 5 yrs in NY: 4.014. And add 4-8 more years of wear and tear on his body since those last NY numbers.
It does not bother me that we didn't get him. I dont think he and Schill would have been able to share the leadership role well together, and the clubhouse chemistry would not be the same. Mostly, though I think the Yankees are foolish to spend that amount of money for a 44 year old guy. Didn't they just cut ties with another aging superstar in the big Unit Johnson? He was supposed to be a hero, too. Look where it got him, on the DL and right outta da Bronx. Kudos to Clemens for milking them for all that he got. I read that if he pitches the same # of pitches as his did last year, it means he will make $8888 per pitch. Ridiculous.
Life is good on our side of the fence. The grass is not always greener on the other side, as much as they would like us to think it is.
As of Sunday, we have the second-best overall staff ERA in the American League at 3.34, with its relievers ranked first (2.28) and its starters third (3.78). We are currently 6 games up on the Yankees, and 7.5 on Toronto.
I'll stay over here, thanks. Good luck tonite, Beckett, here's to #7.