The Rocket

May 15, 2007 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Well, it’s been more than a week since the “big” announcement at “The Stadium.” Most of the dust has settled, and everyone in Beantown and Houston has started to come to terms with reality: Roger is a Yankee (again). This is a good thing for the Sox. It is yet another example of how Roger simply does not have the ability to follow through on what he or his agents say. Haven’t we heard since last winter that Roger was only considering Boston, NY, or Houston as a landing place if he elected to pitch this year? Furthermore, weren’t the first 6 weeks of the season audition time for those three clubs? He says he wants to win another World Series. Obviously the Yankees have the best chance to do that this year. The 28 million pro rata wasn’t a factor; he’s all about winning.

Sox fans already experienced a variation of this theme way back in the winter of 1996. After four consecutive mediocre (by his previous standards) seasons, he claimed he wanted to stay in Boston and would only move to a club with a chance to realize his dream of a World Series championship. That time lowly Toronto was his choice. Roger is motivated by two things: 1) to the be the best pitcher in history and 2) his paycheck. Both reasons are legitimate. It’s just a shame he can’t admit the second one.

His work ethic is legendary. He is a great pitcher, but his presence in this year’s cohesive Sox clubhouse brings way too much baggage. Do you think Josh Beckett could learn something about his craft from Roger? You bet he could, but that wouldn’t happen since he likely wouldn’t be with the team when he wasn’t on the mound. Everyone would giddily climb aboard if we were talking about Clemens circa 1990. We’re not.

Here is a breakdown of the Rocket’s career:

IP/GSWHIPK/BBERA
Pre NYY7.291.143.122.95
NYY6.391.312.583.99
HOU6.421.072.972.40
20065.961.043.522.30

Two things jump out here: 1) the statistically worst years of his career were logged in New York, and 2) he is now a 6 inning per start pitcher. He is almost 45 years old. He is pitching in an American League stacked with great offenses.

The greatest pitcher of all time? I’ll give him the regular season, but Schilling and Beckett have already done it in October. It’s a shame Roger won’t get another chance, but at least he’s got the cash for some good seats.

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