Saturday, February 11, 2006

Food for Nonsense

A slow news week creates lots of dead air time. So the Red Sox decided to fill that void by proclaiming their eternal devotion to Roger Clemens, and initiated an effort to return the Rocket to his ancestral baseball home.

First, let's review Clemens' substantial baseball resume'. He is ninth all-time in wins, has 7 Cy Young awards, an MVP, is fifth among active pitchers in ERA, first among active players in strikeouts and second on the All-time list. He is a consensus first ballot Hall of Famer. But you knew all that.

What you need explained is why Roger Clemens must return to the Red Sox? The pundits and fans insist that it completes a baseball life cycle and provides symmetry to the Universe. Somehow, it undoes his bitter departure and provides closure to the Duquette era. It allows him to be the elder statesman of a pitching staff replete with Clemens admirers, Schilling and Beckett, and provides another mentor for Jonathan Papelbon.

Please explain to me what returning to Boston does for Clemens. Clemens doesn't need Boston fans approbation to validate his greatness or complete his career. He can get his number retired in Fenway eventually if he wants, and one has to wonder whether he even wants his cap in Cooperstown to read 'B'. He certainly doesn't need the money, however absurd it gets, because he can get that wherever he signs. He doesn't need whatever grief he inevitably gets when he inadvertently or intentionally snubs a local scribe. He doesn't need the commute to Houston. We've already been through the moving closer to home routine before when he chose Toronto. He doesn't need the cold weather of a Boston April, and he can't pitch in Houston until May anyway. Does he want to go back to the Series? He got there plenty after leaving the Sox.

What certifiable benefits accrue to Clemens by returning to Boston. As far as I can tell, there aren't many. It reunites him with friends Al Nipper, John Flaherty, and Tim Wakefield. Unless his cell phone has broken, he can call any of them any time, and I'm sure that he'd rather spend his time with his wife and sons anyway. All of which is much easier if he remains in Texas. So, call me a killjoy, but I can't see how Roger coming back here does diddly-poo for Roger. And I can't see how a Hall of Famer who has always done what is best for Roger Clemens changes now.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The front office would like Roger to sell more tickets.... errr, wait a minute, Fenway is sold out for 2006. Maybe there are some surplus #21 jerseys they found at Twins....

Obviously it is a story, a PR move. It sells the Red Sox outside of the New England area, their goal is to make the Sox "America's Team".

From a story point of view, it is a good move.

As far as being a mentor, how can he be a mentor when the Sox will allow him to commute from Texas?????

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