Rocket re-enters rivalry

Rocket Roger Clemens will not pitch for the Red Sox again. That has become blatantly clear the last two years. If Clemens truly wanted the Hollywood ending the way so many Sox fans did, he would have come back in either of the last two years when he had the freedom to make that choice. But in both cases, Clemens decided to pitch with Andy Pettitte.

He is maybe the greatest pitcher of all-time when you put the whole body of work in perspective. Therefore, Clemens more than has the right to make his own choices. Maybe he felt bad that Joe Torre — a man he respects deeply — is on such thin ice. Maybe the bond he built while winning championships with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Pettitte is something that he missed terribly.

Still, it’s a shame because the addition of Clemens could have made this one of the best Red Sox teams ever. A rotation of Schilling, Beckett, Clemens, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and perhaps Lester? That would have been something. I think he makes the Yankees better, but I think his impact would have been felt even more in Boston where he could have made an upper echelon team a juggernaut.

Full disclosure here: When i was in my youth, well before my days as a sportswriter, there were two athletes who stood above all others on my pedastal. One was Larry Bird. The other was the Rocket. So yeah, it would have been a cool thing to cover him on a daily basis. But it ain’t gonna happen.

And like Schilling said today, you still have to like this Red Sox team. The Red Sox-Yankees has somehow added more juice as you just know the Fenway faitfhul is absolutely going to lay into Clemens with the boos when he comes back to Boston at some point this year.

Clemens wanted to pitch four months. The Red Sox only wanted to pay him for three. At the price-tag he is reeling in, I can see their reservation about paying that freight. One injury to Roger and it would suddenly become a real bad move cost-wise.

Can Clemens be as dominant in the American League East as he was for the Astros the last three years? I have serious doubts. Let’s not forget that in 2003, the last season Clemens pitched in New York, the Red Sox thumped him on quite a few occasions that year.

So Clemens definitely brings a lot more intrigue to the AL East race. But i don’t think he switches the balance of power as dramatically as Jonathan Papelbon did the day he returned as closer.

One thing is for sure. The 2007 baseball season got a lot more interesting today in both Boston and New York. Clemens is one of those athletes who just captures your interest.

Stay tuned.

Ian.

85 Comments

I just read this report and thought you guys might be interested:

“Since the 2000 season Clemens has averaged 15 wins on about 32 starts per year (not counting last year’s weird “I’ll only play home games” fiasco in Houston). Assuming the Rocket can stay healthy and start every fifth game from today until the end of the regular season, he

would get in about 26 starts, in Houston that would be worth 12 wins but I’m guessing with the Bronx bats behind him that gets him a few more, maybe 16.

That brings us back to the 5th starters, combined these 5 guys have a record of 4-4 (no better or worse than the rest of their staff). By

the end of the season they might have accounted for 10 wins. So adding Clemens to the Yankees staff would result in perhaps 6 more wins in the regular season than if things were to have stayed as they have been and assuming that Roger can stay healthy all season long.”

Now obviously Clemens isn’t going to start pitching tomorrow, so you factor out a month from those figures and are left with roughly 20 starts and we’ll give him a generous 14 victories. And yes, I’m well aware this is a perfect example of Sox fans convincing themselves that it’s not a huge deal that Clemens went to NY, but even without this justification I am not too worried. In fact I am pumped for the first time the Rocket steps onto the mound at Fenway, faces Manny after the 2003 ALCS incident, etc. He definitely adds another level of intensity to this rivalry, but it is also really satisfying to consider that the Yankees just shelled out another $22 million to get themselves an additional 4-5 victories.

But who knows, maybe in the end that is all that will separate the AL East champion from the rest of the pack.

The one thing that amuses me is that Yankee fans can no longer hang their hats on the fact that this Yankee team sports a much lower payroll than years past because after this giant acquistion they are pushing $200 million.

that is 195+18.5 = 213.5 mil by the way and +4 mil if u add the luxory tax.

That’s not my point. Now every Sox victory over the yanks feels so much better.

Barring any injury the rotation & bullpen is set for the Sox. The offense just needs a little tweaking. Todd Helton any one. Do u guys think Theo will make some trades soon or before the trade deadline to make the offense better. I am not concerned abt the offense our offense is pretty good(5 th in the league is not bad)…but we can defintely improve.

Let’s wait and see how Clemens pans out…Maybe he will 20 games or maybe he will get hurt on the 1st pitch he throws in majors and never throws a pitch again.

Curt Shilling has 2 world series rings and so does Clemens. Now that is extra motivation for Curt win one more than Clemens. This can only make Curt that much more motivated and hungry for 3rd title.

how did the “power” shift to the Red Sox side when Papelbon became the closer? Face it, you guys are 5.5 games ahead because the Yankees have had injuries. 10 starting pitchers through the first 30 games. A major league record.

When everyone is healthy and back, our rotation looks like this: Clemens, Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Hughes. That rotation is the best in baseball, sorry Red Sox fan, but that rotation is better than the Sox rotation. Lets break it down. Staff Ace: Clemens vs. Schilling. Schilling is good, but Yankees always hit him hard. Quite frankly theres no debate here, I rather have who many people consider the best pitcher in the history of baseball, who has been the bast pitcher in the baseball the last 2 years he’s pitched.. then Schilling, a borderline HOF’er– if he is one at all. 2) Wang vs. Beckett. Beckett is having an amazing year. But alas, lets not forget he started off 2006 really well too. Beckett is what Beckett is. He’s a .500 pitcher who’ll have a 4.5-4.7 ERA when everything is said and done. You can mark my words. Wang is a 19 game winner who was just 5 outs away from pitching a perfect game. Sorry, but I’ll take Wang over Beckett. 3) Pettitte vs. Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka isn’t exactly turning out to be Pedro Martinez-esque. When the Sox got Matsuzaka, I had concerns because of the way he pitches. He pitches 95-97 high in the zone in a league where normal pitchers top out at 85-88. In this league pitching high in the zone is a recipe for disaster. To compound that problem, Matsuzaka isn’t throwing 95-97, he’s throwing 91-93. Pettitte is pettitte, a proven big game pitcher who is effective against the rest of the AL East. Dice-K may be 2-0 against the Yankees but the Yankees had him all figured out. His stats vs. the Yankees: game one- 6 innings, four runs allowed, game 2- 7 innings, 6 runs allowed. Not exactly Pedro Matinez-eque, as I mentioned. 4) Wakefield vs. Mussina. Again theres no debate here. Wakefield is off to a great start, and he’s a good pitcher. Mussina is a borderline HOF’er, very much similiar to Schilling. Theres simply no question Mussina is a better pitcher than Wakefield. 5) Tavaras/Lestor vs. Hughes – Lestor is a complete unknown, but theres simply no way he can be better than Hughes. Hughes is the top pitching prospect in baseball who almost had a PERFECT GAME in his second big league start. Alex Rodriguez who faced him in the spring said Hughes is freak of nature.

So, to counter your point, how exactly does the balance shift in the AL with Papelbon as the closer? As I recall, the Yankees don’t have that bad a closer themselves.

What DOES shift the balance however is the Yankees lineup, which as usual, has scored the most runs in baseball, even with a depleted lineup on many games. The Sox have a good lineup, but it’s no where near that of the 2007 Yankees, or for that matter, the 2005 Red Sox.

Yankees are better in simply, every category. The bullpen is struggling, but if you look closely, you’ll see why there are stuggling. The injuries to the starting staff have forced rookies to start, and guys like Igawa, who really, need a year of AAA to get things straight. They have been forced to pitch, and they have gone 5 innings. The bullpen is having to pitch a lot of innings, which has over taxed them. This does not continue to happen when Clemens, Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, and Hughes are leading the rotation.

Oh and, the Yankees are now just shedding off the injury bug. Every team has an injury bug, a time when injuries really force a team to dig deep. You rememeber in 2006 the Yankees had it, when they lost Sheff and Matsui. In 2005 when all those pitchers went down. In 2006 the Sox had it at the absolute bad time. In august. The Yankees just had theirs now, and that’s not to say those pitchers will not be injured, they can, but history says otherwise. So, this 5.5 game lead you have, please remember to factor in that so far the Sox have been almost 100% injury free, with the exception of Timlin. You can bet that doesnt happen all year long.

bklynz: I’d like to comment on your comparisons here. First of all, Clemens vs. Schilling: we can agree that Clemens is probably the best pitcher in the history of the game, but he’s 44 years old (45 in August). No matter how well he’s pitched the last couple years, there’s a pretty significant chance of him breaking down. Think about it, he’s been a power pitcher for over 20 years! Also, when you move from the NL to the AL, you generally need to add at least 1.00 to the ERA. Using his ERA from 2006, that gives him a 3.30. Good, but hardly unhittable. And about Clemens being “the best pitcher in baseball the last 2 years he’s pitched…” If he’s been the best in baseball the last 2 years, why was the last cy young he won 3 years ago? Last year he didn’t even get any points in the voting!
Wang vs. Beckett: I doubt that Beckett will pitch the entire season as well as he’s pitching right now, but Wang really isn’t anything all that special. Yes, he won 19 games last year, but do you honestly think he would have been able to do that on any other team? Oh and by the way, Wang’s career ERA is only 0.02 lower than Beckett’s.

Pettitte vs. Matsuzaka: You’re correct in general in what you say about Dice-K, but let’s look at Pettitte for a minute. Yes, he has been a good pitcher over his career and has won games, but he tends to have a high ERA for a good pitcher (through 2006, 11 years in the Majors and only 2 years with an ERA under 3.80)

Mussina vs. Wakefield: You’re right on this one, hard to argue Wakefield being better overall than Mussina.

Lester vs. Hughes: I don’t know anything about Hughes, but I know that Lester is very good, so I wouldn’t be so quck to dismiss him.

Closer: Let me just say that Rivera is without a doubt one of the best closers in baseball history. But look at his performance so far this year. We’re only a month into the season and he’s already blown 2 saves out of 5 chances. Last year he only blew 3 saves all year. In 2004 and 2005 he blew a total of 8 saves (4 each year). I know it’s only been a month, but he hasn’t looked like himself.

Lineup: Can’t really argue this, Yankees lineup is definitely better overall.

So in general, I think you’re underestimating Boston pitching a bit in your analysis. I guess only time will tell which rotation is really better…

While I think zachary’s math is correct, I think it also points out something to ponder, those 5 victories may well take the number needed to win the division from 95 to 100. While I recognize that the Sox are on pace right now for 108 wins, that is a tough pace to keep up.

The pitching staff comparisons Yankee fans make bore me. Why would a guy with any sense of baseball history pass up a chance to surpass one of Cy Young’s records? (most career wins for a Red Sox pitcher) I can only think of 2 reasons: 1. incredible devotion to another team or a friend, or 2. money greed.

Being charitable to the Rocket would allow one to focus on the former, but then how do you explain his leaving the Yankees when he did, particularly when they had already lost Pettite? I keep remembering back to when the Rocket left the Sox for the Blue Jays, professing that it was not about money, but rather about going to a team with a chance to win. Yet, in each of the years he pitched well for them, the Jays finished below the Red Sox. So, either Roger is wedded emotionally to Pettite or he is a greedy sob. You decide.

I’d also like to think that the Sox drew the line below where the Rocket’s salary demand was, making his (its not about the money) choice easier. I can understand spending vast sums of money on a young pitcher who you think will help your ballclub for the foressable future, but its another to give a significant portion of that amount to a middle-aged guy to pitch for you for one Summer? How much are 5 victories worth, right zachary?

The things that should not be overlooked in all of this are the statements that the Yankees’ conduct makes about the current Sox team. Why were Jeter, et al. calling the Rocket up and begging him to rejoin the Yankees? Because they recognized that, even with Wang, Pettite, Mussina, Hughes, Grandma Moses and whoever, and even with A-Rod on fire for the month of April, they didn’t have the horses to take out the Sox. Don’t let that statement be lost on you.

I agree with Schilling. Roger would have been nice to have, but there is a team assembled to take it all the way again, and a spirit that has not been present since 2004 (I still have this image of CoCo going over the bullpen fence trying to haul in the A-Rod home run). Anyway, who would Roger replace in the rotation: Schilling, come on, the man has more heart and more desire to perform well for the Sox (despite the Sox deferring contract extension talks) than anyone imaginable.

Yankee fans can say what they want about Wang, I think that Beckett has finally learned how good his non-fastball pitches can be, is trusting them and is in for a wonderful year. Perhaps he won’t win the 30 his numbers project right now, but 20 is certainly within reach. Moreover, you had to love his performance against the Yanks at Fenway. He did have an early hiccup that would have caused the Yanks to break the game wide open last year. Instead, he settled right down and threw goose eggs at them.

Wake? If Tito asked him to go to the bullpen, he’d do it without batting an eyelash (he did it before and remember the results!!) However, the man is the heart and sole of the team, the longest continuous member of the team, and off to the start of a pretty good season. I think he makes a nice change of pace to the other power pitchers, and his pitching as a starter insures rest for Tek. Tavares or Lester — Would the Rocket really pitch better than Julian did last Saturday, losing to Santana? I think Julian’s got more good games in him like that. With Lester as an alternative, you add a southpaw to the rotation to face the predominantly lefthanded line-ups around baseball.

Which leaves Dice-k. I don’t think we have yet seen what he will be over the Summer. The Sox have made a major investment in him, and need to see it through. Maybe Theo saw it the same way, and told the Rocket the Sox wanted him, but wanted him to pitch out of the bullpen? I can only imagine what Roger’s answer to that might have been.

The one concern is to get the hitting more timely. When the Yanks lost those 3 straight at Fenway, the Sox should have blown them out with all of the baserunners we had.

If the Yanks develop better pitching, the scoring opportunities will be reduced, and the Sox will have to take better advantage of them when they arise. Does that mean adding a bat, or does that mean our current bats have to be more focused on performing in the clutch.

Besides the spirit, the other thing I like about the team this year is the depth they didn’t seem to have last year when the injuries came. The Yanks have had a few injuries and have collapsed. We already have 2 pitchers down (counting Clement) and they keep right on going. Besides these 6 starters, the Sox have others who appear poised to pitch in (no pun intended). It remains to be seen how well Hansack would perform as a starter. I know this will sound like out of left field, but Runelvys Hernandez is mowing ‘em down down in Pawtucket. Maybe what the Sox management saw in him which caused them to pick him up for a song could really come true. Remember back to the Yankee Summer of Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small? Could lightning strike for the Sox if they needed it.

Beyond that, you have Alex Cora doing an outstanding job filling in, Mirabelli looks prepared to take over this year were Tek to hurt himself, we still are waiting to see what Wily Mo will be, and then there’s Jacoby Ellsbury who keeps working his way toward the bigs.

No doubt, the Sox are in this race to stay. That’s why the Yanks were camped on the Rocket’s phone line, rather than winning April ballgames.

While it would have been cool to see Clemens back on the Sox, I really don’t care. The rotation is still strong from top to bottom and the BP is pitching great. Why spend 18 mil on another pitcher when we are already stocked and deep? Although having Clemens in our already lethal rotation would probably make it one of the best in history, instead use that money to land another monster bat, or reignite the trade talks for Helton. Adding one more dangerous bat would make our offense that much closer to that of the Yankees. Add to that our (still) superior pitching staff and it would just make the Sox that much better than the Yankees.

Im disappointed in the rocket’s decision, it will be hard to cheer his victories as he might continue to move up the all-time ladder. I guess the only thing left is to show him he picked the wrong team, and go out and win the ws.
As far as what bklynz had to say about the starters I only have one thing to say to that….Is there a glue factory somewhere in your vicinity? When I look up and down that starters list I see one name who hasnt spent a LARGE amount of time on the dl, and thats the oldest one. I still dont beleive totaly in Wang, and the core of the balance are most likely past prime! I guess time will tell, but im certainly not nervous. Good luck Roger, you might need it.

LETS REMEMBER,CLEMENS IS 44 GOING ON 45.I DON’T THINK HE’S GOING TO BE AS EFFECTIVE HAS HE HAS BEEN IN THE PAST.WHAT IF RIVERA CONTINUES TO SCUFFLE,DO YOU MAKE ROGER THE CLOSER !!

I am not going to comment further on bklynz horrific rant which is such a stereotypical Yankee fan’s perspective that I almost wonder if it was a joke. I love how he all but throned Philip Hughes the Cy Young winner for the next decade when a.) he’s had 2 starts and b.) it’s hard to win games when you’re on the DL.

But what I am curious about is where we would put Todd Helton since everybody seems so intent on getting him? I know he’s a 1B and could probably DH in the AL, but I feel like those two positions are pretty solidly filled right now. Youk is one of the Sox rare home-grown talents and I really don’t think it would be fair to banish him to a season of filling in for the already-dependable Mike Lowell for the rare off-day. Plus, between his OBP and ability to hit literally anywhere in the lineup, why mess with a good thing? As for putting Helton in the DH slot…well, I think we all know that wouldn’t be too smart.

What I’m saying is I really don’t think the Sox need one more big bat. 1-6 is solid, Varitek’s presence in the lineup is superceded by his value behind the plate, Coco is coming along with timely hits, and as of now the newly hot Dustin Pedroia and consistent Alex Cora serve as solid 9-hitters who can work the bat and do the little things which we see the Sox adopting this year (hit and run, sacrafice bunt, etc.)

Also, I’m wondering who the Rockies would ask for if this trade was brought back to the table? I know in the offseason that Hansen, Delcarmen, and some other prospects were being tossed around but the Sox weren’t listening. Personally I’m thrilled that we are finally taking the time to let our farm system flourish because the rewards are much more satisfying (see: Papelbon).

First: Clemens might be the best pitcher in baseball history, but my feeling is that he will hurt the Yankees more than help this year. He’s got great stuff, but he’s a 5-6 inning pitcher at best now, and he’s going to kill a bullpen that’s going to be worn out by the time he gets here.

Second: This aint the NL with spacious parks where pitchers don’t hit. This is the AL East where five pretty good teams are going to beat the **** out of each other all year. It won’t be as easy as it has the last two years for the Rocket.

Third: Clemens has put himself above the game. He doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else, and gets a pro-rated $28 million for doing it. Like with all team sports, there is a thing called chemistry, and the Sox have it right now. Hey, the Yankees have had injuries, but it you really look at it, outside a few guys swinging the bat and the pitching, the Sox have played like ****, and they are still winning. They are making a bunch of errors, and leaving runners on base by the truckload. The one thing they don’t need is a side-show disruption like Clemens. We have Manny being Manny, that’s good enough, and he’s starting to swing the bat pretty well.

bklynz – I won’t go into all the arguments of matching off pitchers, but I will pull you up on something you are definitely wrong about. Your quote:

“Hughes is the top pitching prospect in baseball who almost had a PERFECT GAME in his second big league start.”

No he didn’t. He threw 6 and a 1/3 innings of no hit ball but he walked three, meaning it wasn’t by any means perfect. Further, do you know how many pitchers take no hitters into the sixth, seventh, or eighth, and then lose them? It gets progressively more difficult, as hitters adjust to the pitcher the second, third and fourth time of seeing him. Further, 6 and a third innings is two thirds of a game, definitely not even close to being “almost a perfect game” (sic – no hitter). It was impressive what he did, and he is going to be a top pitcher, but that doesn’t make your statement any less wrong.

Yankeev – from the last post, for what it’s worth I also believe Wang is legit. Talk of him getting solved this year is more based on hopeful conjecture than any reality.

Is there any way Clemens could just come out and say he chose his team based on the money? Why else would he ask the Sox to make an offer earlier on this week?

One thing that really sticks out to me is that Jeter had called Clemens before the signing and tried to convince the Rocket to come to the Yankees. On the other side, nobody on the Red Sox (team, office, etc.) so much as picked up the phone to do this. What does that tell you? The Red Sox actually are happy with where their team is right now. And I know that every player interviewed has expressed that and it might seem like they are making the best out of a situation, but the fact that the Sox did not express urgency has got to make you feel good as a fan.

We, better than anybody else, know the importance of team chemistry and right now things seem to be clicking. We have leaders (Varitek, Schilling, Lowell), role players (Cora, Tavarez), and seemingly larger-than-life guys (Ortiz, Dice-K). So far, so good I’d say.

Wow, bklynz, what a great way to pollute a Sox blog.
Brilliant post, by the way.

Yanks being better in every category including the pen. Very smart and savvy.

“Yankees are better in simply, every category.”

Well, there is that category of Won-Loss record. But hey, who’s counting, right?

Yankees fans can rejoice all they want, but the bottom line is that it is not the late 90s,, it’s 2007. Pettitte, Mussina and Clemens were great even as recent as five years ago, but that is not a factor today. The bottom line is that Boston has more depth in the rotation and the bullpen. If a starter or two misses time due to injury, capable arms are their to fill in. That is not the case for the Yankees. Boston has a 5.5-game lead, and they will keep it with solid pitching. Let the Yankees fans have their fun right now. I like the Sox chances, myself.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

The Texas Con-man Strikes again. Good luck $lemens. You are going to need it…

Zachary, if the Sox acquire Helton, likely Lowell and Tavarez would be part of the deal. The trade that was discussed in spring training included Lowell, Tavarez, Hansen and Delcarmen. I like the idea of Helton in Boston, but I think they should trade just one, and not two prospects. The reason Colorado is considering a trade of Helton is his $16.6 million salary. Boston would be doing the Rockies a favor by taking at least half of that salary of their hands, so one prospect, and not two, should suffice.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

You said it, Rob. And the win-loss category is the one that counts in the end.

Clemens is nothing but a mercenary-he’ll probably end up causing more problems to a team that already pretty twisted, with his special privileges. So what do we care if he’s back on the Yankees-just another reason to hate him all over again.

And Pedroia-he’s looking better and better. Tito is giving him time which is good. He’s managing, as opposed to just reacting to the day-to-day stuff.

GO SOX!

I think we should be realistic about Pedroia and not get caught up the hype of his miniature hot streak. As long as he can keep his average respectable and play adequate defense, I will be happy since Cora will always be there in case things get out of hand. With that said, I’m happy to see him picking it up because that .180 average he was sporting as a 2B playing in two-thirds of the games was not too comforting.

And Jeff, I remember seeing that trade and thinking it was pretty ridiculous that the Rockies wanted 2 of our top prospects, a Gold Glove caliber 3B (as well as Tavarez) ON TOP of us taking Helton’s salary off of their hands. I remember reading that his salary is responsible for a hefty percentage of Colorado’s team salary, not sure of the exact number.

I personally would not be comfortable with losing Lowell. He seems to have enjoyed an offensive resurgance in Boston after that one off year in Florida, uses the Monster as well as any right-handed hitter, and I don’t care if you point to the amount of errors he’s made this year, he is still Top 3 defensively.

I don’t want to see Lowell traded either. There is no reason to make that trade when the Sox are 5th in the league in hitting and haven’t even hit their stride yet. Lowell is a strength rather than a weakness in this lineup and has shown he’s one of the leaders of this team. Why the majority of RSN is so willing to get a rid of a good thing, just to get something that might or might not be better is just greedy. It is not a stretch to say that Lowell could have 25HRs and 50 doubles this year, what more can you ask? Just because the Yanks had to make a big move to save their ineffective rotation, doesn’t mean we need to answer by fixing whats not even broken.

Subject: Todd Helton

Its an interesting dilemma. Helton is 34, Lowell is 33, Epstein is looking for another RBI guy since the problem throughout the season so far is scoring the runs that get on base.

As of now their respective stats are:

Helton: .394 2 hrs. 22 rbi. in 30 games.

Lowell: .294 4hrs. 21 rbi. in 29 games

As you can see the stas aren’t toatlly different except the .100 point difference in the averages. I’m also not sure how Helton would handle the Boston pressure because he has been in Colorado for so long.

As for Tavarez he has pitched well this season in the starters role. If he is a long relief pitcher he might excell their, Kyle Synder is sometimes erratic. Unsure about him.

Also if 3rd base lives up to its name as the “hot corner” Youk’s production could decrease if he stationed there.

As for Hansen and Delcarmen being in the mix here are their current minor leage stats:

Hansen: G:8 L:1 ERA:7.20

SV: 2 IP: 10.0 H: 15

ER: 8 BB:9 SO: 12

However he is averaging a strikeout per inning.

Delcamen: G: 10 W: 1 L: 2

ERA: 7.24 IP: 13.2

H: 20 ER: 11 BB: 9

SO: 20

Delcarmens stats look close to Hansen’s.

Just giving the stats its the oraganizations decision to make whatever choice is best for the team.

I’m happy about Dustin too. In the last few games he’s gone 6 for 9 with 2 rbi 2 runs 2 BB while raising his average from .180 to .239, awesome.

I agree, helton’s bat could be cool, but hes not exactly another manny, giving up a great 3b, 2 top prostepcts and a, despite what you guys say, valuble pitcher in tavarez, plus that cash, is rediculous.

Lowell is just after Chavez and Blalock defensively, that’s true. But you have to give something good to get something good. Helton at first and Youk at third beat Youk at 1st and Lowell at 3rd if you consider the hitting factor as well, even if Lowell is hitting well so far.

But i’m with you about the prospects. I often said on Jeff’s blog that the Sox should give them Hansen OR Delcarmen, not AND Delcarmen.

Maybe that’s possible, now that Tavarez seems to be on a roll.

Wow, i was replying to zachary.
But my post still makes sense for you too xxsupreme !!!

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http://www.pawsox.com/team/

You guys shouldn’t be giving up on Pedroia yet. Cano was terrible for us when he first came up, wasn’t fielding well or hitting well but the Yankees stuck with him and he ended up being a mjor contributor. As far as Clemens, I don’t see how you guys can complain about the Yankees paying one of the best, if not the best pitcher of all time a prorated $28 million when the Sox handed out over $100 million for a guy who had never thrown a pitch in the major leagues.
It’ll be an interesting summer ahead. Hopefully we’ll see a Clemens-Schilling and/or a Wang-Beckett matchup(battle of the aces).

Good point about Youk’s production if he’s moved to 3rd, rsjones.
I should’ve thought of it. But he is a natural 3rd baseman, so who knows, maybe he could develop into Gold Glove material himself !

btide, about the Dice-K salary.
There’s a 51.something M to the Seibu Lions ( or something like that ), his team in Japan .

Then there’s a 52 millions ….. for 6 years ! That makes 8.7M/year.

But you’re right about Pedroia. We have to be patient.

Rsox, I understand about the posting fee but my point was that there was over $100 million leaving the Red Sox organization to bring in that player, even if Matsuzaka never sees that $51.1 million

O.K., i hear you. My post was more about the 6 year deal vs 1 year. Not to mention that he’s 27, not 44.

Don’t get me wrong, Clemens is worth more than a lot of pitchers out there, he adds value to about any staff. It’s just that ….. 28 M for 3 months ?!?

This is my problem with Clemens:

> 28 million over 3 months

> 9.33 million per month

> 2,332,500 per week

> 333,214.28 per day

> 13,883 per hour

> 213 per minute

> 3.85 per second

These number are absolutly ridculous, it is an unfair fact of life that aheletes get paid this kind of salary. What makes it worse is that it is over 3 months.

Make it 4 months. My bad.
June, July, August and September. He’ll be there early June. I was counting from July on.

But it still makes a zillion $/hour wage !!!

Hey its okay, the other calculations show my point.

Just read on Sox and Pinstripes that it’s a prorated 28 millions, not a full 28 M. Didn’t know that.

It means that he will be paid for the time he plays, based on a 28 M/season salary. Vince said the Yanks will pay him 18.5 millions. Well, that is still a lot of money.

Sure is.

I’d like to change the subject here, if I may. I was thinking the other day that the Sox have one of the best records in baseball with: 1. Pedroia in a season long slump, 2. Coco not hitting well yet, 3. Manny not hitting, 4. Lowell making almost as many errors in the first month as he did all last year, 5. Tek not hitting, 6. Lugo struggling, 7. Drew cooled off after a quick start, 8. Tavarez as 5th starter getting hit hard in his first starts, 9. All those runners left on base.
Point is, this team is so good they’re not even playing well and they are in first. What will they do when the boys start hitting? It’s gonna look good for RSN!

It is prorated 28 mil…which comes to 18.5 Mil…but with luxory tax calculation it comes to 26 mil for 4 month. If clemens pitches 26 games and say 100 pitches per game each pitch that Clemens throws is going to cost $10,000. And in addition he doesn’t have to stay with the team when he deosn’t pitch. So he is with the team only once in every 5 days. So, all that talk abt him mentoring young pitchers is BULL.

And as David Wells commented Clemens staying with the team only when he pitches will hurt the team and it hurts the chemistry.

Im getting tired of all the Pedroia talk about Cora being the regular. Cora isnt regular material, and lets give Pedroia a fair shake. He has been getting hits lately and has always being hitting the ball hard. If were going to grow homegrown talent from within we need to stick to our guns for longer then 20-30 games. I’m more concerned about getting willy-mo more at bats, after he played a few games he was starting to come together nicely. Too bad we can’t use a rover in the outfield…lol, I like Crisp’s defense and speed, maybe Drew needs a few days off?

I agree about Pedroia. If the Sox were 3 games under .500 and trailing in the AL East, maybe Tito could push the panic button and go to Cora. But as mentioned by arnie, we are winning with a lot of things not going right for us.

Pedroia seems to be coming along slowly but surely, and has anybody complained about his defense? 2 errors in 84 chances is fine by me. If things start to unwravel, it’s nice to have Cora as a back-up plan, but as of now, I suggest everybody get over it because it’s not gonna happen.

Back to Clemens, one of things the Yankees promised him was that they wanted him as soon as possible (whereas the Sox and Astros wanted him to start around the same date as last year). This sets the stage for a possible Rocket return to Fenway in the early June series.

How sweet would that be if we could make him throw 100 pitches in 4 innings? I keep reading that he is a 6 inning pitcher but that was in the NL Central. In the AL, lineups are obviously deeper and he’s not gonna get the 8-9 hitters to roll over a weak grounder like he would in the NL.

Then again, Clemens completely revamped his training regiment once he signed with Toronto way back when (after Boston’s front office deemed him “in the twilight of his career”) so don’t be surprised to see him step it up another notch and burn the Sox again.

One point that is being glossed over a bit. Signing Clemens to a large contract would have limited the ability for Theo to make trades/take on larger contracts when the Sox need to. Face it the Sox are heads above the rest of the league salary-wise but still under George’s Bottomless Pockets. We have a solid farm system and a few tradable ML bargaining chips so I think we are set to make some moves if necessary…….

BTW, I liked Johnny Damon when he was in Boston, but those nagging injuries are going to make his NY contract look like a mistake.

You’re right, camp. Actually, we talked about that a little since the announcement, here or on Jeff’s blog.

The player that seems to be targeted here and by the front office as well ( at least in spring training ) is Todd Helton, and his 16+ millions/year contract.

Like you said, hopefully they can use the money saved on Clemens to get some help later, maybe a big bat like Helton, if/when needed.

And one more thing abt Roger Clemens. His Arm is never an issue but his legs. So, strategy for Sox when facing Clemens—RUN ALL OVER THE BASES, BUNT AND MAKE CLEMENS FEILD THE BALL.

Clemens Prediction…

Dog days of Summer… Yankees on the road… Clemens on his lazyboy… Oversleeps and gets a wake-up call an hour before his start… Disoriented and confused, he mistakenly pops Viagra instead of Geritol and bolts to the stadium… 2 cups of coffee react with the Viagra to initiate one of those… “Side effects include 4 Hour Ere….”… Yankee management has to decide whether they throw him out there with a pup tent or eat the million… Clemens makes the decision easy when he pulls a hammy fitting his jock.

O.K. RSN, we’re back to action tonight. Clemens or not, we have to keep the Ws flowing in. Josh vs Victor Zambrano. On paper, that’s not even a matchup.

But hey, that’s the Jays.

Do i need to say more ? GO SOX !!!!

hahaha rayman, awesome.

1. You guys have the tools to play small ball, you still don’t, that will never happen against Clemens.

2. 25 million with luxery, 18.5 without. David wells is in no position to talk to anybody about their team habits. He was too drunk and out of shape to start a WORLD SERIES game, you will never see that from a militant workout guy like Clemens.

3. That whole only showing up for game day is ****. Clemens corrected it in his post game conference and said it was largely created by the national media and he wished that people would get it right. He said there will be times when he will go to see his son play but for the most part he will be there to tutor the other players and he enjoys doing it at that, so that comment is BULL.

and yes, point 2 is from pete abe’s blog.

Hey Vince, I was on my way back to the office after lunch today and I thought about you!: I saw a car with a Quinnipac College decal in the rear window… I wanted to pull the car over and say “hey do you know Vince, you know the Italian NY yankee fan??” (gee I guess there’s only about a million of those, huh?) Not really but I did wonder if the girl knew you. The world keeps getting smaller.
I hope that Josh just keeps his rythym and scratches another W into his glove.

Let’s Go REDSOX LET”S GO!!!!

I love the loyalty of Yankee fans. One minute they are in love with David Wells and the next he speaks his mind about their newest acquisition and all of the sudden he is the devil himself.

I’m not singling you out either Vince, all of my friends are Yankee fans and have similar comments about how Wells is a “fat drunk.” How easily you all forget that he was both fat and drunk when he threw that perfect game for the Yankees way back when.

And it’s not fair for Clemens to get special treatment when he plays for anyteam, especially the Yankees. He is a superstar on a team full of superstars. I can’t wait for the first time Pettitte asks if it’s okay he hops on Clemens’ plane to visit home for the weekend.

Forget about the Rocket, I know I’m being flip-floppy and contradicting myself. It over, the Sox didn’t get him. Pedroia is the regular, deal with it, what will all of you say after he has a good night. The point that Arnie made was good, that with some players not playing to their skill level, were still winning. Hope beckett can add 10 more K’s to his name.

DP’s on fire!! What a plus that would be if he can get going.

Since i’m not in the Pedroia’s haters corner, i’ll say that :

ATTABOY DUSTIN !

If he keeps this up that corner will get smaller and smaller

You bet. And the glove is hot, too. He’ll make some rookie mistakes, but it’s part of the learning curve. Confidence is the keyword here.

Haha, Zambrano is a joke, Home Run Derby came 2 months early.

Lol Tek hit it while I was writing, freaky…

Was Steve Phillips the Mets GM when they traded Kazmir for Zambrano?

Why do they score so many for Becks and then give Dice and Wake scraps

He also potentially screwed us out of a world series? Loyalty? You mean like boo’ing a guy who won three cy youngs on your team or a guy who brought a world championship to your franchise for the first time in 86 years? And if you have an issue because they both became Yankees, then let’s not forget where Wells went afterwards.

Ellen, Quinnipiac College? They must have graduated at least six years ago, it’s a university now…Which makes that sign even rarer because QU was a hole in the wall even in the northeast back then…..A girl?! Nice.

Yeah, italian yankees fans are about 50% of the school.

Yes, Alex, he was, hence why he’s not a GM anymore.

Hmm, if you’re referring to Pedro then check back to the ovation he got before he took the mound last year in the Mets-Sox game. Standing ovation. Of course then Fenway started chanting “Ped-ro!, Ped-ro!” after the Sox rocked him for about 3 innings. What are we supposed to do, hope he throws a no-hitter against us?

As for Damon, he repeatedly stated he would not go to the Yankees and then ended up following the money to New York. And for that he is a dirtbag.

Perhaps you forgot that Wells had no say in leaving New York. They shipped him off to Toronto along with Homer Bush and some other nobody. I distinctly remember outrage in the Bronx once the beloved Boomer was traded away. New York’s affinity for Clemens is not comparable to the love affair they had with David Wells.

With Clemens, it was/is more about professionalism and getting the job done. Clemens isn’t exactly oozing with charisma, whereas with Wells, he was charismatic and the people loved him for being a bigmouth. Now he says something anti-Yankee and everybody is up in arms.

As for Wells being on the Red Sox, he was never really embraced by the fans. Maybe because he was on the DL a lot, probably because he was once the face of the Yankees, and definitely because nobody forgot how he claimed he wanted to be the one to push the button if they ever blew up Fenway Park.

I was talking about Clemens and the “roger want a donut” comments at the 99 alcs, after, ironically he was shipped off to the Blue Jays, just like Wells, before ending up on the Yankees.

“With Clemens, it was/is more about professionalism and getting the job done.”

Yes, hence why we liked the Rocket, and have disliked Wells since the 2003 WS when he screwed us over.

“Now he says something anti-Yankee and everybody is up in arms.”

You’re right, we should adore him after being too out of shape to pitch in the most crucial game of the season, then criticizing a current player’s work ethic and making anti yankees comments.

Vince, I don’t know, maybe it did say University, I was just taken aback a little because I recognized the name, and had never seen it before other than in text from you.. The girl only looked to be about 22-23…
I’m really liking this game, Josh is really looking strong, and how bout the long balls!!!! Games like this are why we’ve hung in for so long… WE LOVE OUR SOX!!!, Right Nationers?????

We’ll see Hansack, folks. He’s warming up in the pen.
Unless Josh goes the distance. He’s at 89 pitches.

Although at 9-1, why take a chance ?

what happend to kevin was it the hbp ? i am watchign this game online and missed it ?

Yeah it’s the HBP. Just above the left knee. Hinske filled his spot.

Youkilis has a leg contusion. He is day to day. I imagine Hinske will start tomorrow and maybe even Thursday against Halladay.

Once again I ask, where are all the naysayers and detractors of Josh Beckett (many of which were in Red Sox Nation as well as Yankeeland)? Nowhere to be found, that’s where. Beckett is the real deal. He is a complete pitcher, and is arguably the most dominant starter in the major league right now. Lowell is hitting the ball well. Don’t hear anyone whining about the trade now.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

And at the same time the Marlins just optioned Anibal Sanchez (another piece of the trade) to AAA. So you’re right Jeff, all of the naysayers probably found a nice hiding spot somewhere spacious enough for them to fit their foot in their mouth.

How can you not love Beckett’s stuff? Even last year when he was pressing a bit, throwing fastball’s when everybody knew it was coming, etc. he still looked like he could dominate. This year we get to see the near-finished product and it’s resulted in 7-0 and an ERA hovering around the 2.50 mark.

Also great for Varitek go 4-4 and see his average jump into the .280’s. Lowell is really picking up some big RBI’s this season so far and has picked up the slack for Manny, although he looks to be coming along too with a 7-game hitting streak.

If Dice can throw a strong 7 IP tomorrow, all will be well in RSN. Hopefully Youk’s injury isn’t too serious because he’s been hitting the ball well lately too.

Nice win for Beckett\sox. He looked in complete control and happy and relaxed…nice to see. I hate those pseky Blue Jays, always play there best against the sox. Hopefully Dice-K can get back on track tomorrow as we finish with Halliday. He’s going to be pissed about his last start. Nice to see homers from pedroia and v-tek, tomorrow it will be manny and papi…I hope!

Real nice win for beckett. Thanks for the heads up about kevin i would hate to lose him and Eric is a good fill in i thought it was a hbp any way. Can’t wait for lester to get in their so we can have a young guy in the field and one in the rotation to help us in the future. As far as the rocket goes who cares we didn’t need him we should be happy a young guy gets some starts to get seasoned. Rocket was needed last year not now look for a 4.00 era or higher and 10-13 wins for 28 mill. Lets keep this ball rolling

12-6 is the RedSox record on the road..that is the 2nd best record on the road in majors trailing only Mets 12-5.

And 21-10 record through the first 31 games is the best ever for the sox to start the ever.

Yankeevmm – “Yes, hence why we liked the Rocket, and have disliked Wells since the 2003 WS when he screwed us over.”

This is not true. Wells was disliked when he went to Boston, the exact same way Damon was disliked when he went to New York.

See the quotes from a couple of links on his return:

“In Wells’ return to Yankee Stadium, the 41-year-old left-hander allowed five hits in seven shutout innings. It was his first start against his former team since signing with the Padres during the offseason, and the cheering crowd gave him a warm welcome.”

“It was touching, I got a little choked up,” Wells said. “I’ll always appreciate them — what they have done for me.”

and

“Wells received a nice ovation from the 52,754 in attendance when he took the mound in the bottom of the first.

“I’ll never forget it. You’re still loved by the fans, how could you not forget that?” Wells said. “It’s a special moment. To go out there and pitch that well in a place where people appreciate you, it even makes it that much more special. Today will be one of the best moments of my

Yankee Stadium career.”

Nice blog post Ian! :-)

Way to get all the Yankee fans out of the woodwork there (minus Vince of course cause he’s always around, hehe).

As for bklynz_shyne’s post, it’s a Yankee optimist post. A retort if you please:

1) While some points are valid, the one about Beckett is quite false if you ask me. A .500 pitcher? Anybody with that talent, with the right offense behind them, with the right type of coaching, will NOT be a .500 pitcher. Period. Obviously, the transition from the NL to AL is always there and will always be there since pitchers in the NL use far less breaking stuff than the AL (at least, so I have seen). This is why Pedro and Clemens both did quite well in their transition to the NL; they have the AL experience and know how to pitch very well. Plus, just simply looking at Beckett’s record is not an accurate picture of him as a pitcher. Look at the rest of his stats first, then make conclusions. As for Wang, he did great last season and he was almost perfect in a game this season. However, lets not forget he doesn’t have a long track record yet. Honestly, the jury is still out on him. While sinkerball pitchers can get beat up a lot, he’s got potential to be very good for a long time and I won’t deny that.

2) As for the comparison with Dice-K and Pettitte, there really was none made and there really can’t be one made. Dice-K is still an anomaly and his signing with the Red Sox was big news just like Clemens’ return to the Yankees. Dice-K also has a transition he needs to make from Japanese baseball to the MLB; not very easy as we all know. Not saying he has Pedro-esque stuff, but he’s got the potential and talent. Pettitte has the track record and experience so yes, he’s a great addition to the Yankee rotation.

3) Tavarez can’t be compared to Hughes simply because he’s not really a starter; he’s long/middle relief more than a starter. Hughes we all know has the talent and stuff to be excellent and while he WAS the top pitching prospect in baseball, Lester was up there as well. Saying Lester was a complete unknown is total ignorance on bklynz_shyne’s part; read up on the past prospect reports and you’ll see that he’s touted to do quite well. Plus he’s a lefty; that’s a commodity (especially when he’s good) that’s hard to find.

4) Wakefield vs. Mussina is an interesting comparison. Honestly, there’s not a huge difference. Mussina is only slightly better and as a personal preference, I’d take a knuckleball pitcher. It’s not clear that Mussina is the better pitcher; one has to look at the career stats to see that the pitchers aren’t too far off in stats.

5) Schilling and Clemens can’t even be compared. Clemens clearly has a better track record of better performance and not only that. Also, Clemens has had a longer career to add to that. Plus, look at the stats for both pitchers. Minus the whole W/L ratio where Clemens has the clear edge, the rest of the stats for both pitchers are similar.

6) A bullpen that gets taxed in the first month to two months of the season will not be doing so well late summer/early fall. Sure, getting a solid starting rotation later on will help, but what about the work already done. By the time the end of the season comes up, the Yankee bullpen will be exhausted.

So again, my previous point from previous posts comes up again: you cannot count the Yankees out. However, everything that will hopefully pan out in about a month or so won’t make them the clear favorite to win the division; it’ll go both ways and only a full season of baseball will determine who wins.

Anyway, as for today’s game, I’m super happy to have J.B. in my fantasy rotation. :-)

Great game and great pounding by Pedroia and Co. :-)

Giving up Nixon for Drew is turning out pretty poorly so far. Nixon at .325 with 15 RBIs in 24 games. Drew at .255 with 11 RBI in 29 games. Hope Drew wakes up soon.

Gotta look at it in the long run, Nixon spent parts of each of his last 3 seasons in Boston on the DL. I know Drew isn’t exactly the model of health himself but he’s an upgrade defensively, runs the bases better, and offers legitimate support in the 5-spot for Papi and Manny.

And thank you Brendan. I really don’t think Vince has a leg to stand on in this argument considering Wells’ legacy as a Yankee.

As for Red Sox fans booing Clemens, look at his stats in his last 4 years in Boston…actually don’t, I will provide them for you:

40-39, 3.85 ERA, 200 IP once in that span.

Then after he felt the Red Sox were disrespecting him, went to the Blue Jays and revamped his offseason program to produce these numbers:

41-13, 2.35 ERA, over 230 IP both seasons, 2 Cy Youngs.

On top of that, at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway, when being introduced for the All-Century team he wore a Yankees hat when he had been with them for a year.

I don’t feel like recounting the rest of why RSN isn’t crazy about Clemens like they were for Nomar or Pedro, but the same goes for Yankees, Blue Jays, and Astros fans. Clemens isn’t affiliated with any one team therefore no certain group of fans identify with him. The reason why he brought the house down during the 7th inning stretch of Sunday’s game was because Yankee fans saw hope in a pitching rotation which was an absolute joke beforehand.

trot nixon=cheap judy drew……scott boras is a bum who should be banned from baseball.

mark shapiro=realist.

Zachary, JD Drew does not “offer legitimate support in the 5-spot for Papi and Manny.” if he hits .255 with an RBI every 3 games (about his current pace). It was a risky move that will hopefully turn out well over the long run, but as of now, his stats don’t compare to Trot.

Don’t compare to Trot’s numbers right now? You’re right.

Then again, Nixon’s stats don’t hold water against Drew’s in the past 3 years. So unless Trot is going through some sort of resurgence at age 33 in Cleveland, this was the right move to make.

Everybody wanted to bury Pedroia early in the season and I’d say he’s picked it up in the past couple games, wouldn’t you? Bottom line is Drew is our 5-hitter so either deal with or start cheering for the Indians.

lol…Harsh but true and effectively ending the coversation. I agree 100% with Zach about giving Drew a bit of time. As well as the 3 years comparison and the Sox did do the right thing im sure. Not to knock Nixon, he’s redsox thru and thru and we all miss him. He wasn’t hitting in Boston towards the end like he’s lighting it up in Cleveland, plus the injury risk factor. I say Drew turns it around really soon. His last at bat last night he hit the ball pretty hard. Maybe thats a sign for tonight. If he does fail, then we still have willy-mo ready to go!

Zachary, I guess you’re not much of a Nixon fan, but there have been very FEW players who have played right field for the Sox better than Trot!!! And JD spent just as much time on the DL in the past 3 years as Trot has, in case nobody told you I’M THE Trot Nixon fan around here.
I know that Jeff, Vince, Jamie (btw WHERE IS Jamie??) and Rayman have been waiting for me to point out how well Trot is doing this year (I sneak over and watch him on the Indians Network). I know it won’t last forever, barring a REALLY REALLY good year, but he is doing SOOOOO much better than JUDY.

graffiti: Can I please rephrase your statement?? “Trot Nixon =cheap Judy Drew?? How about overpaid Judy Drew = under appreciated Trot Nixon!!?

How did my comments get so misconstrued? My point was Yankees fans reacted the exact same way Sox fans would with Wells. Someone was confused how we could hate the guy after loving him when he pitched for us. And then Brendan comes and says well we hated Wells once he signed with the Sox but not with the Padres…..DUHHHH. Yes, I’m glad we’re not in agreement.

Call it whatever you want, if it wasn’t the world series (it was for me) then it was signing with Boston. Maybe it was just a multitude of **** he has said that made no sense over the years or simply now, that he is making comments about now current yankees that he has no right to make, especially given his track record. Why is this still an argument, the fact I can pick from multiple situations to hate the guy after once admittedly loving him, means this is pretty cut and dry, isn’t it?

Hey Ellen! I can honestly say I have not paid attention to Nixon whatsoever, is he doing that well?

Nixon is doing quite well, Vince. Which is leading me to bite my tongue on J.D. at the moment.

Yet, calling him JUDY is pretty low. Keep in mind, he was doing quite well early on and nobody was saying anything. Now that he’s a slump, we’re all piling on him. Let’s lighten up people. Trot had a great several years with RSN and as such making a comparison to J.D. at all isn’t even fair. Give him a chance. If he completely bombs this year, then by all means we can start the doubting in full force.

I miss Trot as a fan and like my Pedro, I still wear his jersey and always will (hey come on, WS 2004). But mocking one of our own players who hasn’t been a jerk to us fans is a bit extreme. I’m with Zachary, he’s our 5 hitter now and we gotta support him.

Trot was NEVER under appreciated in Boston, we all know that well, but looking at J.D.’s entire contract, it was worth it. J.D. gets more money sure, but if he gets injured, his pay gets so-prorated it’s not even funny. Stat-wise they’re pretty close with J.D. getting a slight edge in speed.

So in terms of economics, it’s a risk yes, but risk that one would take.

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