Back to the Bronx
Clemens just could be savior Yanks desperately need
Posted: Sunday May 6, 2007 5:34PM; Updated: Sunday May 6, 2007 6:51PM
With one quick record-setting stroke of the pen, and one big announcement on the big screen above Yankee Stadium by Roger Clemens, the Yankees moved back into the ballgame Sunday. This is the best $28 million they ever spent (and actually since the salary's pro-rated over the entire season, it'll only cost them between $18-19 million).
Clemens' pay will work out to about $1 million per start, and believe me, no one with the Yankees, least of all George Steinbrenner, is complaining. Considering their current need, that is what's known as a bargain.
SI.com has learned that Clemens' deal will set a record for a pitcher or any other player on a per-game basis. And at this point, the Yankees had no choice but to pay up.
The Yankees were desperate for anyone who could start, and by signing Clemens, they have landed one of the best five starting pitchers of all time. So for one day, at least, no one was thinking about hamstring pulls, the first performance enhancement coach or -- yeesh -- Carl Pavano.
Without Clemens, they were sunk. Without Clemens, baseball's most expensive team had two gaping holes in its rotation.
With him, they have a chance. Their rotation, which now includes Clemens, plus his buddy Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang, suddenly looks formidable.
The Yankees expect Clemens to continue working out, to make a few minor-league starts and then to join them around June 1. But he has already given them additional hope with his stirring announcement Sunday, done from the owners' box during the seventh-inning stretch in the Yankees' victory over Seattle. The crowd went wild, understanding that perhaps their floundering season may be saved.
Things around the storied team were decidedly negative in recent days with the Yanks falling into last place and suffering an unfortunate series of injuries that depleted their rotation, exhausted their bullpen and depressed their fans. Once he arrives, Clemens, who turns 45 this year, should provide relief to everyone on their staff.
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