OK, so the $28.5million question has been answered. Roger Clemens has signed with the Yankees, and expects to start in late May. This is a foolish decision, not only for Clemens, but the Yankees as well.
Let me state upfront that I am a certified Yankee hater. Always have been, always will be. Even so, the Yankee organization has made some bad decisions, mainly to keep the NYC sports writers “happy.” This season was lost before it began. The Yanks got old in a hurry, and just can’t stay healthy enough to compete in the rough and tumble AL East.
I thought Brian Cashman had started to make the right moves when he traded Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, and didn’t give into Bernie Williams. Unfortunately for the organization, it stopped there. The Yanks would have been better served by tanking this season, and get younger players, and more talent in their minor leagues. Instead, they signed Pettitte (35 with arm issues), and didn’t address their bullpen issues (Mike Myers?), or the fact that Mariano Rivera is 37, and has lost some of his movement on the cut fastball. Now they’ve signed the 44 year old Clemens to a ridiculous contract, attempting I presume to “salvage” the season.
What the Yanks should have done is dumped all their old players who still had value. They could have gotten good value for the likes of Rivera and Mussina, and position players like Giambi and Damon. Yes, this season would have been bad for them, but in two to three years, the influx of talent, and some solid drafting, would have reproduced what the Yankees achieved in the early 90’s. They would have had a young team, with some veteran leadership (like Jeter and Matsui), set up to dominate for 8-10 years. Instead, they’ve gone back to the overspending band-aid approach. Which, in all honesty, is fine with me.
Back to Clemens. This is a decision made on the basis of money and statistical accumulations. All this choice shows is how greedy Randy Hendricks and Clemens are, and that Clemens is only playing to keep adding to his statistical totals. Greed and ego drove this decision, and I see no other reason. If Clemens really wanted to win, he should have signed with Boston. Houston just wasn’t going to give Clemens enough wins to justify his going back. Ego and greed, who says it’s only the providence of corporate America?
Edit: I got Clemens’ agent wrong. I thought it was the blood sucking demon spawn of the Baseball world, Scott Boras. The correct agent is Randy Hendricks, a sort of Mephistopholes-lite of the Baseball world.