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Monday, May 07, 2007

Life without the Rocket

In a sports story that has dominated the headlines all over the country, except for my local newspaper that ran with NASCAR, (Yes, I am in a cultural wasteland.)Roger Clemens signed a deal with the Devil once again. I would have said he sold his soul, but I don't think you can sell it twice can you? Or maybe Roger's journey is kind of like that Simpson's episode where Homer sells his soul for a doughnut, but doesn't quite finish it. Thus not finishing the deal with the Devil. He just put the forbidden doughnut in his "fridge" surrounded by post-it notes saying, "Do Not Eat!" Though temptation was still there and Homer ate the doughnut while sleep walking. Homer would then be put on trial by the Devil, who happened to be Ned Flanders(Okily Dokily?). Homer's trial would be heard by a group of his peers, "The Jury of the Damned." Those jurors included: John Wilkes Booth, Benedict Arnold, Richard Nixon (who was still alive at the time), and the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers front line.

Climatic television at it pinnacle!

Roger did not sell his soul the first time around with the Yankees. He actually saved face by becoming a "family man" and going home to Houston. Sure he only showed up when he wanted to, but Rocket's decision to play not just for the money but to be home more gave us hope in Roger. However when the Rocket signed the dotted line on Sunday, he finished what he started and ate the last morsel of the forbidden doughnut!

He will now be judged by baseball's jury of the damned. The jury includes:

Victor Conte, owner of BALCO who has single handily screwed up baseball. Do you think Conte knew as a child that he would be Major League Baseball's Anti-Christ? You would figure that Victor would use some of the products himself, right?
I think Joe Pesci or even Danny DeVito would destroy him in a street fight. Heck throw in Verne Troyer too. Whoa, this sounds like the making of a Fox Special, "Celebrity 'Small People' Royal Rumble." The only problem would be instead of elimination by being thrown OVER the top rope, you would have to be thrown UNDER the bottom rope. Man, I need to pitch this idea somewhere! We could have interference by Gary Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis. Mugsy Bogues and Spud Webb could be a tag team. Ok ... I gotta move on here, I'm getting a headache!

Steve Bartman, infamous Cubs fan who may have cost the Cubs the National League title. Of course Cub fans will blame Bartman for their collapse and dropping 2 straight games to the eventual Champion Florida Marlins. Other fans were reaching for the ball too. Anyone will say, "Oh man, I would've gotten out of the way! What a jerk!" Just shut up! If a ball were coming into the first row of the stands 96% of fans would want that ball and try to catch it. 2% would be too drunk to notice. 1% would be that person who really doesn't like baseball or understand it; they just got the ticket "for the experience," and the final 1% would be those idiots who leave their seats [DURING THE GAME] to go use the bathroom. Stop blaming Bartman!

The "Chicago White Trash" combo, William Ligue Jr and his 15 year old,"Redneck Jr." jumped KC Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa at a White Sox game in 2002. Ok, covered in tats, drunk, no shirt,a mullet, and wearing black denim jeans, Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! (notice the punch that is about to be landed on this guy. I remember seeing this on SportsCenter, I think he got spiked too!)

The next juror is former Yankee Third basemen Aaron Boone. You know I am sure he is great guy who loves his family, but I'm not a fan. In 2003, he took an extra inning knuckleball deep in to the New York night, propelling the "Pinstripes" to the World Series. A pain that would haunt me until the Sox would avenge this defeat in 4 straight ALCS games the following season. He's a juror because I am a bitter, bitter man!

And the foreman of this "Jury of the Damned" is "The Boss," George Steinbrenner. Do I dislike him because he owns the Yankees? Sure! But unlike most Boston fans, this is not my main reason for not liking the good ol' George. It is well known that despite numerous injuries to their pitching staff, the Yankees are not off to a very "Yankeesque" start. But after the Yankees dropped yet another series, at home, to the Boston Red Sox, George was quoted as saying that perhaps a change needed to be made. That change was Manager Joe Torre. Now, I am not saying that Torre is the World's Greatest Manager, anyone can win with a 200 million dollar payroll, but someone needs to keep all of the egos in check. Torre is that guy. The Yankees love to play for him and he loves to manage his club. The idea the Steinbrenner would even leak firing Torre is why regular people, who know baseball, hate the Yankees.

Ok, let's talk about Roger ....

You know, when I arrived at work today, I was waiting for it. I was expecting one my friends to approach me and say, "So, uh what do you think about Clemens?" And, of course, it happened. As my friend asked the question, I saw it in his eyes. I saw the anticipation, he was waiting for just that right moment when I would noticeably squirm and try to make up an excuse as to why I wasn't mad that Clemens signed in New York. He wanted to see me fall to my knees, lay in fetal position and cry, "Why Rocket, WHY????" And like clockwork, that time came.

As a baseball fan, I wanted Clemens to wear his old #21 and retire where he should have spent his entire career, Beantown baby .. YEAH BEANTOWN! As a Red Sox fan, I wanted Roger Clemens to take his spot on the greatest pitching staff in the history of mankind! Imagine a rotation of Clemens, Schilling, Beckett, Dice K and Jon Lester. Protected by a bullpen of Wakefield, Taverez, Donnelly, Romero, Timlin, Chad Cordero (There is NO WAY he is staying in DC) and the best closer in baseball, Jonathan Papelbon. Wow. But, that's not what happened. So what do we do? We keep winning games, we take 2 out of 3 from New York every time and we stay healthy!

The oft outspoken Curt Schilling said, ""It would have been nice to have him, but we didn't need him. We don't need him." From the eyes of a Generic General Manager [me] standpoint, I am glad we didn't get him. A prorated salary of 4.5 Mil a month is freaking crazy! That basically means $10,000 per pitch, $5000 per bullpen session, and $1000 per use of the restroom. Besides, currently the Red Sox starters rank 2nd in the AL in ERA and the bullpen is 2nd as well. And I am going to predict this right now, the Red Sox will make a move in July/August if the pitching becomes thin. Maybe they will add Chad Cordero or maybe a number of potential free agents.

I just hope all of the Yankee fans out there realize that Roger Clemens is not your Savior. Even though he has this "Hero Complex" thing going on he cannot do it alone.The Yankees Big 3 outfielders [Damon,Matsui,Abreu] are batting a combined .258 and the way things are going now, your bullpen will have no gas left in the tank come July 1. Furthermore Yankee fans, please don't whine and cry about your injury problems, the AL East Pennant was going to fly in Boston after last season until injuries got in the way! So Yankee fans you can cry loud enough for the world to hear. You can write a song about it a la Justin Timberlake when Brit was cheating on him ... we don't care. Because you are Timberlake and we are the dude Brittany is seeing on the side.

As for you Rocket, we'll see how you do in your first start, Saturday June 2 at Fenway Park against Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox. However, if I were Francona and Theo, I would start Jon Lester. Because a comeback from cancer rather than being a comeback drama queen is far more impressive!

You stay classy Sportsblender,


Dorf said...

I remember living in New Hampshire in 1991 and all of New England had this strange "savior" complex with this young and promising pitcher... what was his name? THE ROCKET?

Everyone was saying how that was the year of the Sox... and who won that year (by my prediction by the way) but my old man's Minnesota Twins.

Here's a fun fact for you: my dad (from Thief River Falls, MN) threw the opening pitch of the opening day of that 1991 season. True story, I'll tell you about it someday.

Anonymous said...

Awesome read man!