Friday, January 12, 2007

Homecomings

It was great to see Andy Pettitte slip on the pinstripes again, once and for all this time. I was happy about the signing when it happened, but the press conference was something special. The smile on Andy's face showed his relief and excitement in being a Yankee again. It was meant to be. Andy is a Yankee and always has been. Even during the time he wore the Houston uniform, it was kind of a photographic footnote to the career he had in the Bronx.

I think the same can be said about Randy Johnson, come to think of it. It may or may not have been a wise move to bring him to New York in the first place, but it certainly was the best thing for all parties to have him return to Arizona. Much like Andy Pettitte yesterday, Randy Johnson's homecoming was a lovefest of sorts. He grinned from ear to ear enough to worry me that his perpetually grumpy countenance would never return. The first time someone asks him how he's doing, that should all go back to normal. It was a good fit for Johnson and the Diamondbacks to be married all those years ago. He won an astounding 4 Cy Youngs in their old purple and teal uniform, and helped lead them to their only championship. Going back to end his career was classic storybook style.

The two returning pitchers had me thinking today. Everyone was talking Roger Clemens as soon as Pettitte was done with his photo ops. John Heyman even gave the odds of a Clemens return to the Bronx as 75% in his article. Cashman said that he'd put on the full court press when the time was right. The Rocket is set to launch in the Bronx for the last time, right? Another great story about an aging pitcher returning to his roots to finish a fantastic career. Not so fast. If the storybook ending is what's in store for these guys, shouldn't Rocket be going to Boston to make peace with his roots? That would be consistent with the other two tales. After all Boston is the place that Clemens needs closure with.

In the end, it's hard to imagine Clemens pitching in Houston in 2007. It could happen with all the perks, big money, and the chance to train with his son, but I would put my money on the greatest rivalry in sports for the end of Roger Clemens. The stage is to great and the money figures to be just as large.

I'm going to buck the trend, and say that he goes to Boston and enters the rotation. I'm going to go ahead and predict that the Red Sox' closer sometime midway through the year will be Jonathan Papelbon. The Sox will go with Clemens, Schilling, Matsuzaka, Beckett, and Wakefield and Papelbon will solve the big gaping problem that is the Boston 9th inning. When Clemens finally hangs it up, Papelbon will join the rotation again. You'll see the pug nosed kid say all the right things about helping the team in the role that is most needed, and deferring to the legend that is Roger Clemens. He'll genuflect at the alter of the Rocket and there will be a huge lovefest for him as he slips on the Red Sox colors and brings everything full circle. That's how the story would end if I were writing the script. Of course the Yankees would still win the division though.

2 comments:

Paul™ said...

Very good possibilities of your scenario, Mike.

Equally likely, I think, is the Sox are shopping Beckett, or will by the trade deadline July 31, as part of a package with prospects for a closer or a reliable starter. If they get a starter Papelbon goes back to the pen and Piniero is demoted.

singlessss said...

I have been saying for 3 months Clemens will join the Sox. He will go into the HOF as a Red Sox.. so this is closure in more then one way.

I think he would better LIKE to be a Yankee, but I think his sense of history and closure has him wearing red next year.