June 29, 2007


Bad investments: Clemens headlines list of high-priced busts of 2007 (John Donovan, June 29, 2007, Sports Illustrated)

If you saw Roger Clemens pitch against the Orioles on Wednesday, you saw him stink up the joint. He wasn't completely, absolutely, without redemption terrible -- is he ever? -- but he certainly wasn't Clemensesque, allowing four runs in six innings while striking out none. The last time the Rocket failed to strike out a batter in a start was June 14, 2000, when he left the game after one inning.

So Clemens being Zitoesque in his last start got me to thinking: Is he the worst use of megadollars in baseball this year? Is anything else even close? I mean, we knew that Clemens would have to be unbelievable to make this half-year, pro-rated $28 million crapshoot defensible. (Not that the Yankees, who manufacture their own money, are heading into foreclosure anytime soon.) Instead, the Rocket is 1-3 with a 5.32 ERA, the Yankees are 1-4 in his five appearances (he came out of the bullpen once) and the team is worse off now than it was before he signed. The Yankees are 11 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. They were 10 1/2 back the night before Rocket's first game three weeks ago. Difference maker? The guy hasn't made a dent.

...Roger wasn't signed to make a difference on the field but on the back page of the tabloids and on NYC talk radio. Waving the white flag in April with the Mets in 1st would have been a marketing catastrophe as they head into what looks likely to be a down cycle of several years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 29, 2007 6:53 PM

Roger was signed to keep him away from the pitching poor Sawx, who don't have the Yanks' system to fall back on -- witness all the desperation in Sawx nation this past week as thousands of guys named Sully called in to sportstalk radio across New England pleading for Burhle. Not gonna happen. Instead, as Schilling cools his heels on the dl, Tavarez founders, Gabbard walks everyone and his grandma, and Lester struggles to make it out of the first innning in AAA, a nation turns its eyes to Buchholz to save the day -- but he won't be ready.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 29, 2007 9:16 PM

Buehrle needs to pitch in the NL to be successful, which is why the Sox didn't even make on offer. They have so much depth they only wanted Roger after the break, for kind of a farewell tour. They realized there was no chance of him pitching wel in the AL.

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2007 12:01 AM