This weekend, Sunday, 6 May 2007, during the 7th inning of the Yankees home game to be exact, King Clemens held court and chose his bride–The New York Yankees.
In true drama queen fashion, or to use the words of John Lopez of the Houston Chronicle and 790 The Sports Animal, "Pope Roger The 22nd" pronounced his choice of team for 2007 from the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium in front of a crowd of over 55,000 people. Good for him!
He’s got his buddy Andy already there and other friends in Jeter, Rivera and Giambi.
So, what does this return to the Yankees mean for Astros fans? Not counting the lies Roger and his agents told, not much. The Astros starting rotation isn’t in shambles like the Yankees rotation is. Oswalt is Oswalt and the kids Wandy, Albers and Sampson are doing just fine. Even the bullpen isn’t an issue. Lidge is doing great in his new 6th inning role and Wheeler hasn’t blown a save yet, which is more than one can say about Mariano Rivera.
What do you mean by lies you ask? Try this on for size: The Hendricks brothers told both the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros that Roger wouldn’t be ready to even start real negotiations with anyone until 15 May 2007. Yet, on 6 May 2007, Roger announced from Steinbrenner’s box that he would be a Yankee because he loved New York, the Yankees and their committment to getting a World Series Ring. Umm, reality check Roger–The Red Sox are leading your precious Yankees by SIX FULL GAMES right now…THEY don’t have M.A.S.H. rejects for THEIR starting rotation and they don’t have a closer that has an ERA of over 8 either!
The Hendricks Brothers told the media that the Astros and the Red Sox didn’t want Roger to pitch until late June or early July and that was the reason for Clemens choosing the Yankees, who said he could play in May. RIGHT…Anyone who believes that bunch of cockamany can buy that ocean front property I have for sale in Arizona! I know Randy Johnson’s realtor–he’ll give you a great price I promise!
Both the Astros and Red Sox management report that Randy Hendricks told them Roger wouldn’t even THINK about making a decision before 15 May 2007. The last time the Astros spoke to Randy Hendricks was 2 weeks ago and those were very preliminary discussions. No real contract details were exchanged because the Astros thought Clemens wasn’t even ready to talk to them yet. Rumors were bandied about by the Hendricks Brothers that Houston refused to give Roger his "Freedom Clause". Drayton McLane, the Astros owner said on Tuesday, 8 May that they never got to that stage of discussions. There were no "negotiations" with Roger’s agents at all.
The Red Sox organization talked to the Hendricks Brothers last week. They reportedly offered $18 million per year, pro-rated for Roger’s services. They never heard from the Hendricks Brothers again until the deal with the Yankees was already done. Then, to add insult to injury, the Hendricks Brothers and Roger Clemens publicly stated that Roger wanted to get another World Series Ring and that is why he signed with the Yankees.
Any fan of baseball knows that the Red Sox have the best shot at getting a ring this year from the three teams competing for his services. The Astros have not been scoring runs–a problem that’s plagued them for the last 3 years and no one can blame Clemens for being hesitant to sign because of lack of run support by the Astros. But, whoever thinks that the Yankees have a better chance at winning the World Series than the Boston Red Sox, who currently lead ROGER AND ANDY’S YANKEES BY A FULL 6 GAMES is either a Clemens/Pettitte/Hendricks family member or "a mo.ron" to quote Lance Berkman.
The Yankees have gone through 10 different starters because of injuries to the entire rotation save Pettitte. Their $46 MILLION man, Kei Igawa has been sent disgracefully to AAA. Their bullpen consists of rejects from other teams like Mike Myers of the Red Sox, Kyle Farnsworth (Farnsworth=Game Tying HR to Brad Ausmus, NLDS 2005) and the 2007 version of Brad Lidge 2006 in Mariano Rivera (ERA of 8.44).
Sure, Roger, that bullpen is going to hold and save games for you when you leave after 5 innings…who are you trying to fool? We all know that last year you couldn’t go more than 5 or 6 innings and you couldn’t even get through 3 1/2 months without falling apart in September–remember you had a delayed and a missed start in Sept 06? What makes you think you’ll be able to pitch an extra month being a year older than you were last year?
And don’t even talk about the playoffs. We know how your body didn’t hold up in Game 7 against the Cardinals in 2004 or Game 1 against the White Sox in 2005. The cold gets to you and time gets to you…what makes you think this year with the Yankees will be any different than previous Octobers with the Astros?
So the King has chosen his Bride. What will the King do when his Beautiful Princess turns out to be an ugly toad?