Sunday, May 6, 2007
Today, the New York Yankees announced they had agreed to terms with Roger Clemens. They announced the signing in a really cool way too - Clemens spoke to the fans in attendance following today's 7th inning stretch. This way the fans knew before the media and even Clemens' new teammates did. Clemens signed a $28 million dollar contract - a $6 million raise over his $22 million contract last year with the Houston Astros - that will be prorated over the 4 months Clemens will pitch. In all, Clemens will take home about $18.5 million.
The move is smart on both parts. The Yankees pitching staff has been decimated by injuries. Jeff Karstens is out for the year after being hit in the leg with a line drive, Carl Pavano is also probably done for the season with a forearm injury, Mike Musssina just returned from the DL with a hamstring injury, Chien-Ming Wang missed nearly the entire first month of the season with a hamstring injury, and Philip Hughes went down in the middle of pitching a no-hitter. The Yankees have already used 10 starting pitchers and its only the first week of May! They need reliable, healthy pitching bad.
For Clemens part, he said at a press conference this afternoon that the Yankees offer something "they only know how to do here" - win championships. the Yankees also offered him $10 million more than did the Red Sox and a chance to pitch sooner.
I was lucky enough to see Clemens in what was supposed to be his retirement year, 2003 with the Yankees, and again in 2004 when after he signed with the Astros and they came to Milwaukee. Here's hoping that I get one more chance to see the Rocket in Yankee Stadium on July 8th.