For those of you who’ve been out of the country or just out of touch with goings-on in the world of Major League Baseball, the best pitcher of my generation and one of the greatest of all time–Roger “the Rocket” Clemens–announced earlier this week that he was coming back to play the final 2/3 of the season with the New York Yankees(rather than Boston or Houston). This partial season stuff is nothing new. The last couple of years with the Astros he did this (without much run support unfortunately) to skip Spring Training and keep himself strong for the stretch run at the end of the season and the playoffs. When Roger made his surprise announcement from Steinbrenner’s box during the 7th inning stretch of a home game, the crowd went wild, as did some female Yankee announcer (? Waldman I think) on the radio whose rants bordered on hysteria. In fact, her hyperbole was rivaled perhaps only by original MTV-VJ Martha Quinn when she went ballistic as the reformed Led Zeppelin took the stage (with Phil Collins, poor guy, filling in for John Bonham) during Live Aid in the early/mid 1980s.
But I digress. Knowing the Yankees were strapped for starting pitching and falling further and further behind the hot-starting Boston Red Sox, the Rocket and his agent set up a nice little deal for themselves. Besides the perks and bennies such as being able to go home to Texas or just not be with the ballclub on days he’s not pitching, Clemens will earn a pro-rated $28 million dollar salary, or almost $19 million for 4+ months of work. With the Yankees 5-man pitching rotation (which has already seen nearly a dozen different players take a turn, most in the majors), that means the most starts Roger can have in a month would be 6–for approximately $4.75 mill! That’s almost $800 grand a start kids. Let’s hope he still has it, even in his mid-40s, and can help get them into the playoffs.
Clemens’ first start is rumored to be at Fenway in early June against the Red Sox–think that’ll get some ratings? Good stuff!