• Rocket Stay Home

    Posted by on May 13th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    Jon Heyman has a piece out today on the possible return of Roger Clemens to the Yankees this season.

    This is not the first time this theory has come up in the past month or so. For certain, if it were to happen, it would be costly. Clemens makes $3 mill per month. And, if he’s traded, he gets a $3 mill ‘pain and suffering’ bonus. Furthermore, on the Yankee-side, there would be the Steinbrenner, er, I mean, Luxury Tax impact. That’s a lotta cheddar for a rental.

    And, there’s the issue here of what prospect do you offer back to the Astros for Rent-A-Rocket? Cano? Wang? Duncan? Melky C? I’ve never had an issue with giving up kids for a player – because, unless you can hit the ground running in NYC like a Jeter, Mo, or Donnie, chances are the Yankees cannot tolerate the typical rookie-to-player learning curve. But, that’s OK if you get someone who’s going to be around for a few years. Not OK if it’s someone who’s going to be here just for a few months.

    Personally, the whole “I’m retiring/I’m coming back” thing in 2003 totally turned me off Clemens and allowed me to remove my Yankees-blinders when looking at him. Thus, I see him now for what he is: An all-about-me player. Because of this, I’d rather lose without him than win with him.

    Lastly, who says Clemens would be any good for the Yankees? Look, behind the numbers and honestly, at what he did when he was here.

    In 1999, he was a below average pitcher. He did rebound in 2000 and 2001 to pitch very effectively. However, in 2002, he was just a league average pitcher. And, in 2003 (his ‘going into retirement’ season) he was slightly above average – but, nowhere near where he was in 2000 or 2001.

    Some might say “Whoa there pard! He won 77 games in da’stripes over 5 years. That’s some’tin.” But, to that, I would say “Based on the quality of his pitching performance metrics, Clemens should have won about 63 games in his 5 years in New York – which is around 13 wins per year and a lot less than the 77 games he was credited with winning.”

    Clemens was good when he was in New York. But, he was not the head-and-shoulders above everyone else pitching god of the Yankees team. He was just about the same as Mussina and Pettitte.

    At this stage of the game, in terms of pitching behind Unit, and all things considered, I’ll take my chances with Moose, Pavano, Wang, and pray for rain.

    Let Roger stay home this summer, watch his kids games, drive his Hummer, and rub his puppy Pettitte’s belly when he rolls over for him. We’ll just figure out a way to win without him – if it’s up to me.

    Comments on Rocket Stay Home

    1. May 13th, 2005 | 10:28 am

      Coincidently?, in today’s Globe (click on my name for the link), Dan Shauhgnessy extolled the virtues of the Sox getting Clemens back. (Can you say two columnists looking for a an article and headline that would sell papers on a slow off-day?)

      I don’t think there’s a chance Drayton McLane will trade Clemens, no matter how bad the Astros do. He’s a HUGE draw for them, and I imagine it would really tick their fans off if he was traded. Since they’re likely entering a rebuilding period, I would expect they would avoid angering their fans.

      I don’t think the Yanks have anything the Astros would want, and I doubt the Sox would trade any of their prospect gems. I’d love to see someone with more knowledge of the two farms systems analyze this one, though.

    2. May 13th, 2005 | 11:02 am

      Thanks for the link Shaun.
      FWIW, I think the Sox have some chips to deal – if they were willing.

      Schilling, Wells, and Rocket in the same clubhouse. The post-game buffet will never survive.

    3. Jason O.
      May 13th, 2005 | 11:45 am

      LOL buffet comment.

      As time has gone by, Clemens has done three things very well:

      1) Strike out hitters
      2) Minimize walks
      3) Minimize HRs surrendered

      Get him on the staff.

    4. May 13th, 2005 | 12:11 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, by the end of this season, a case could be made that Roger Clemens is the greatest pitcher of all-time in the modern era (post-1900) of baseball history. As of this moment, I would content that he’s in the top three.

      But, that said, at this stage of his career, given the water under the bridge with respect to his last exit, and the cost of bringing him here……well, I would hope that they would pass.

    5. JohnnyC
      May 13th, 2005 | 12:55 pm

      Clemens has told Houston management he would only go to the Yankees. The Red Sox have no shot nor would they really want him back, regardless of what the mis-informed Shaughnessy thinks. And, yes, Houston would trade him if they could…$9 million is $9 million. Also, with Pettitte’s tab in 2006 slated for $17.5 million, Houston might very well offer both to the Yankees. Failing that, Pettitte to the Red Sox is a possibility. 2004, simply put, was the Astros year and they crapped out. It’s rebuilding time again.

    6. JohnnyC
      May 13th, 2005 | 12:59 pm

      Sorry about that. I usually don’t submit anything in triplicate. Darn computers!

    7. May 13th, 2005 | 1:00 pm

      No sweat – I can clean out the dupes and trips. Just glad that you’re posting.

    8. Jen
      May 13th, 2005 | 2:16 pm

      Am I crazy or did I read something after Pettitte signed with Houston saying that the Sox offered him a deal for more money but he couldn’t play for Boston after being with the Yankees so long?

    9. May 13th, 2005 | 2:36 pm

      I seem to recall reading him saying that he couldn’t do that (go to Boston) to his friends.

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