Clemens: Can You Go Back (and forth)?

Some quick thoughts on Clemens as a Yankee (again): he's undoubtedly the greatest regular season pictcher in baseball history (give me Gibson or Schilling in game seven), and the Yankee rotation needs a player to solidify that rotation. Roger's conditioning is unparalleled, he will be in shape and should remain injury free.

I don't think he will be the force he was in the national league--between the DH, the monster AL East lineups, and his increasing years, we can probably expect an increasing E.R.A.. Here's my prediction: 11-5, 3.98 E.R.A.

Here's my other prediction: his "I-only-have-to-show-up-the-days-I-pitch" clause will be a media nightmare. That might fly in Houston, but it won't in New York. It wouldn't in Boston or Phily, either. It might in Chicago. In these baseball worshipping cities, everything is analyzed under a microscope. And the first time the Yanks lose four in a row, here's the media backlash: why pay 106 dollars per MINUTE for a pitcher who isn't there to lead? The first extra inning game where Roger isn't available "just-in-case." The first time he gets racked around for a couple of runs in the first inning.... you get the point. In NY, as in Boston, there has to be a reason everytime you lose. 150 million (Boston) and 215 million (Yanks w/Clemens) dollar payrolls don't just lose. They lose for a reason. Roger's absence will become first a backpage and then a frontpage reason, whether it is or not.

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