Monday, May 07, 2007

Cookie of the Indeterminate Time Period

Congratulations to the Yankees for aquiring Roger Clemens and thereby securing this week's cookie. This isn't rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, this is installing a new Convention Center on the Titanic. The Yankees aren't going anywhere this year. It's true that Wang has looked pretty good this year and that in Hughes' single start he looked very promising, but their pitching is still a mess. One starter does not a rotation make.
In order for this deal to work out at all, Clemens must regain his top form, not get injured, and get some run support. While this last point is not under Clemens' control, it underscores the effect that one starter has in the regular season. If Clemens takes the mound and the hitters get shut down by Josh Beckett, then it might as well be me up there pitching. Under the most wildly optimistic scenario the Yankees win 5 games more than they would've won had they not made this deal.
Now, one might say, that the Yankees are really looking at the playoffs. I'll condede that a healthy Clemens is a very valuable resource in the playoffs(except when he tries to knock Cabrera away from the plate), but the Yankees are not winning the AL East this year, the Red Sox are too good. The Yankees will have to get very lucky to sneak in with the Wild Card. Perhaps if they did, they could go to war with a Clemens, Wang, Hughes, Mussina(?) rotation. They would still need to make a move to bolster the bullpen and Rivera isn't the three automatic outs that he once was.
I think the real motivation for this move was Brian Cashman's desire to keep his job. From his perspective this actually does make a lot of sense. It's not his money and the Yankees don't have to give up any prospects. On any other franchise that was in a similar situation, aside from the Red Sox, this deal would be completely irresponsible. The Yankees are paying more than half the entire Marlins 2007 payroll to one guy for half a season's work who only plays one out of every 5 games.


Matt said...

Man, you'll say absolutely anything to try and discredit the Yankees. Responding to your absurd, illogical, and factually incorrect assertions:

Clemens' ERA+ the last three seasons, with Houston:

2004: 145
2005: 225
2006: 197

Clearly, a pitcher that has been about 100% better than the rest of the league is going to do just fine adjusting to the AL.

Illogical point #2: The Yankees' Offense, which is first in the majors in Runs Scored, is not going to have trouble scoring runs against anyone, much less Josh Beckett. For example, on April 21 2007, the Yanks didn't lose because they scored 5 runs on Beckett in 6.2 innings. They lost because Darrel Rasner was pitching. Roger Clemens is a bit better than Darrel Rasner.

Factually Incorrect Point #3: You forgot about Andy Pettitte, who has an ERA+ of 138 this year so far, and has come out of the bullpen twice on his throw days to save the day. Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, Mussina, Hughes. I'd go to war with that.

But who am I to argue with someone who checks his facts so well before posting...

Anonymous said...

I think the real motivation for this move was Brian Cashman's desire to keep his job.

- Kim

Anonymous said...

hmm I thought I was able to comment to other comments on here. Maybe I'd need an account or something??

Matt - you're such a grumpy butt. Always gotta be... nevermind. I'll stop the fight before it begins.

- Kim