Well, well, well, if it isn’t Roger Clemens to the rescue. Come on, tell me you saw this one coming. Wherever Andy Pettitte is, Roger is sure to follow. Pettitte to Houston, there was Roger.
What does this now mean for the American League East. Last year, Clemens was 7-6 in 19 starts for the Houston Astros with at 2.30 earn run average. That’s impressive alone, but throw in the fact that he was 43 years old, and it makes it look even more impressive. It seems that Clemens and Barry Bonds have been able to ignore the dates on their birth certificates.
The Yankees will have started at least 10 different pitchers before Clemens makes his debut. They are currently under .500 and 5.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. This is the Bombers last shot at getting into the race before they fade fast.
When they get healthy, their rotation could feature, Clemens, Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, and Chien-Ming Wang. That looks impressive on paper, but this game isn’t played on paper. The Yankees are old, and this will probably be the year that their strangle hold on the American League East ends.
That, of course, leads me to my beloved Orioles. Our line-up is anemic. Yes, good names, but again, this game isn’t played on paper. We are in desperate need of a “true” middle of the order guy. This was my message before they ever threw a pitch. When 85 wins were being predicted by e-mailers and callers, I did not believe it because I couldn’t figure out how that was going to happen.
Before you “boo” Aubrey Huff, realize that he isn’t a number four hitter. He’s a good signing, if you had a line-up that could use him properly. He’s a classic number five or even six hitter. Yes, it does make a difference. The problem is, we have a couple guys who are number six and seven hitters, and we are relying on them to be big run producers. Once again, we need guys to have career years for us to contend. The problem, for the third consecutive year is, we’re allowing others to profit in what is becoming a “watered down” American League East.