Posts Tagged ‘Roger Clemens’

No, Roger Clemens is not in George Steinbrenner’s box. This time, 50-year old Roger Clemens will be making a start for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. The start is scheduled for Saturday, August 25th. Clemens claims that he’s playing again to stay in shape, but you never know.

Here are a few possible reasons for this “comeback”:

1) Delaying the Hall of Fame vote:If he plays one major league game then his hall of fame vote will be delayed by five years. Delaying the vote for five years may be enough time for voter’s minds to change about Roger.

2) Proving his Innocence: Roger might figure that if he can show that he can play at 50, presumably without PEDs then why is it so difficult to believe that he played at such a high level during his career? If Roger can still get batters out at 50, then could he be innocent?

3) Staying in Shape: Who wouldn’t want to keep in shape by playing a kids game? When you are arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all-time you have a ball diamond at your disposal instead of a treadmill in your basement.

What do you guys think?

David J. Phillip/AP

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From Craig Calcaterra (Via Hardball Talk):

A source close to Andy Pettitte tells me that there is a “very strong possibility” that Pettitte is going to pitch in 2011.  He is doing his usual preseason workouts and has had no physical issues thus far.

Moreover, the source tells me that Pettitte’s hesitation to confirm that he is coming back for the upcoming season is in no way connected to the Roger Clemens trial, which was something that many had speculated about.

I always had the feeling Andy would return to the Yankees at some point this year. I’m well aware of his dedication to his family, but the man is 38 years old and still has stuff left in the tank. It would be a different story if he was well into his 40’s and wasn’t pitching very well. The guy has plenty of years after his playing career to spend time with his family. When all of his buddies are down in Tampa getting ready for the season…don’t you think Andy is going to want to come back? For the last 20 years, pitching for the New York Yankees organization (and the Astros) is all he’s ever known. It’s not easy for these players to just give up the game.

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31 days until pitchers and catchers report, and Andy Pettitte has yet to decide whether he wants to pitch in 2011. He announced he may sort of, maybe, pitch for half of 2011. In my humble effort to help the Yankees’3rd winningest pitcher of all-time make up his mind, I offer 5 reasons he should schedule a presser and announce he’s retiring.
  1. We’re all expecting it, anyway. By now, most of the drama is out of the situation. If were trying to let all of Yankees fans down easy, you’ve pretty much accomplished that. All winter, we’ve been deluged with reports that you’re leaning towards retirement, that you’ve told Brian Cashman to proceed as if you won’t be back, that you told Mark Teixeira you doubt you’re coming back for 2011. By now, this is beginning to feel more like we’re being teased than primed for a triumphant return.
  2. If last year showed us anything, it’s that injuries are catching up to you. Yes, you had a great first half. An All-Star caliber first half. Then, your 38 year old quad blew out and when we saw you again in late September, you weren’t the same pitcher anymore. Why should anyone think a 39 year old quad will hold up any better?
  3. You’ve had a great career – go out on top! We all have memories of our sports heroes playing when they should have been home, feet up, enjoying a cold beer. Willie Mays stumbling around in center field for the Mets. Mickey Mantle reduced to playing first base. Most recently, Brett Favre not even being healthy enough to put on his uniform for his last two games. Better to go out on a high note, a la Mike Mussina and Ted Williams.
  4. It’s time to let the Yankees move on. Even thought the front office keeps telling us they’re going on as if you’ve already retired, it sure doesn’t look like it to those of us shivering through the winter. The team came into the offseason needing another starter, a set-up man, and bench depth. So far, they’ve only added an injury plagued catcher and a pitcher who hasn’t fired a ML fastball in anger in four years. Until you tell them you’re not coming back, they’ll probably continue to walk around as if trying for a part in Zombieland.
  5. 2011 is going to be stressful enough. Let’s face it: 2011 is going to be a year for seclusion, when possible. Besides all of the retirement talk you’re starting the year off with, you have that pesky Roger Clemens trial coming up in July. Do you really want to deal with the whole steroids issue in what would be your final season? Nah, of course you don’t. Better to have our final image of you being one of gutting it out on the mound in another classic playoff performance.

So, there you have it. Just let me know when to call the press and have them assemble on your front lawn. Heck, you can even wear your pj’s for the event.

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According to Brian Cashman, Andy Pettitte will not be playing baseball at the start of the 2011 baseball season. That is not to say he won’t be playing at all.

“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011,” Cashman said Wednesday at the baseball owners’ quarterly meetings in Arizona. “If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”

“Andy’s been very communicative on these issues and right now he’s not in play, and if he does decide to play he’ll play for us,” Cashman said. “He’s a Yankee from start to finish.”

This doesn’t come as a shock, because it was already stated that Andy was behind schedule with his pre-season preperations. If Andy chooses to return, it could be a mid-season return like Roger Clemens did a few years back. This is not exactly the type of news fans want to hear right now, as Sergio Mitre and Ivana Nova currently anchor the back end of the roation.

Update: 9:53PM ET: (Via The LoHud Yankees Blog):

Just got off the phone with Brian Cashman who said The Daily News story about Andy Pettitte’s decision is not accurate.” It’s a misunderstanding,” Cashman said.

This was Cashman’s quote, as relayed by The Daily News: “I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011.”

Cashman said you could basically substitute the word “pitch” for the word “start.” What Cashman meant was, at this stage, Pettitte is choosing not to pitch in 2011, but the Yankees are — as they’ve been all winter — waiting for Pettitte to let them know something official. He’s leaning toward retirement, and he’ll let them know if that situation changes.

“Nothing new or different,” Cashman said. “Exactly what I’ve been saying for the past month or two months.”

So much for that….

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New York Yankees Starting Pitcher Phil Hughes Participates

Game #6 of the American League Champipnship Series is upon us. The Yankees face elimination once again, as they send Phil Hughes to the mound in Arlington, Texas. Hughes owns a a record of (W-L, 6-1) with a 3.75 ERA in 8 starts on five days rest this season. Back in 2007, Phil Hughes relieved Roger Clemens in Game #3 of the ALDS, and tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings to keep the Yankees alive. He was smacked around like he was tossing batting practice in his last start, so it’s hard to pitcture him doing any worse. This will be the most important start of Phil’s career, and he may never get another chance like this.

Dave Eiland’s Game Plan:

  1. Establish the Fastball on both sides of the plate
  2. Introduce the Curveball early
  3. Use the Changeup

Feel free to say a prayer…

“Our father who art in the Bronx, Baseball be thy name..Thy will be done…The Playoffs won……On the field, as well as in the bullpen…Give us this day our bat & glove, and forgive us for our errors, as we forgive those who homer against us. Lead us not into defeat, but help us beat the Rangers. In the name of the fans, Mr Steinbrenner and in the name of the Yankees. Amen” – The Lord’s Prayer

“Do not be afraid of the Rangers. The Yankees, your God, who are going before you, will fight for you, as they did for you in Minnesota, before your very eyes, and in the Bronx.” – Your Friend, Moses

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Roger Clemens joined Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni on The Big Show this past Friday. He was doing it to support the WEEI Jimmy Fund radio-telethon. He made his first public comments since being indicted. During the interview, Roger was asked about his relationship with Andy Pettitte, and this is what he had to say:

Roger, you and Andy Pettitte, you guys still talk, and the friendship is still where it was?

“We don’t — there’s been, uh, my boys went out to a game, uh, quite a bit — but we don’t.”

The rest of the interview can be seen here. (more…)

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Via The New York Times:

A federal grand jury has indicted Roger Clemens on charges of making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The 19-page indictment charges Clemens with three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in connection with his February 2008 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. According to the United States attorney’s office, Clemens faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, but under the current sentencing guidelines, a conviction would likely bring 15-21 months.

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I thought I would wrap up Spring Training before the game starts tonight. Here are some things you might have missed:

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In part two of our look back at Brian Cashman’s track record since gaining autonomy over baseball operations, we take a look at what has happened under his hand between October 2006 and October 2007. Part one can be read here.

Signings and Re-Signings

Mike Mussina resigned for 2 years/$23 million.

Signed Kei Igawa for 5 years/$20 million (Plus a $26 million posting fee)

Signed Andy Pettitte to a 1 year/$16 million deal with a 2008 player option

Signed Roger Clemens to a 1 year/$17.4 millon deal

Trades (more…)

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…in short: yes.

However, no team in MLB history has ever had three pitchers strike out more than 200 or more batters in one season. Since 1961, there have been 35 instances of two pitchers on a team striking out 200 or more pitchers in one season and only 10 instances since 1990. The last time the Yankees came close was in 2001 when Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens both had 200+ strikeouts while Andy Pettitte contributed 164.

  • CC Sabathia in the two years previous to signing with the Yankees struck out 209 and 251, while every year prior to 2007, the closest he came was 172. In 2009 CC struck out 197, so 200 for CC is certainly possible, but not a given.
  • AJ Burnett like CC, has previously only struck out 200+ batters twice in his career. Health concerns are always possible with AJ as are accuracy. In 2009, AJ struck out 195, so much like CC, it is possible, but not a given.
  • Javy Vazquez has the best track record when it comes to striking out 200 or more. In 12 professional seasons, Javy has struck out 200+ in 5 of those 12 seasons. The last three seasons Javy has put down 200 and two of those seasons he pitched for the White Sox. While Javy has more seasons with 200 or more strike outs than AJ and CC combined, he may be the ‘weak link’ considering his American League track record (4.50+ career ERA). However, he did show he could pitch in the American League when he posted a 3.74 ERA in 2007, so he shouldn’t be necessarily counted out.
  • While Joba or Phil Hughes could possibly post 200 K’s, I don’t think anyone is counting on it happening, especially if there is some turbulence for the starter in the 5th slot, which could prompt a change. Andy Pettitte has never struck out over 180 batters and considering he will be turning 38 this year, it is highly unlikely he will be posting his first 200 strikeout season.

Me, personally, I’d be happy with two pitchers coming close to 190 strikeouts, so if three of them get dangerously close to 200, I would be especially happy. However, I am not making unrealistic expectations that Javy, CC and AJ will all eclipse 200 strikeouts. Although, if they all do so, one could make a fairly confident bet that barring a catastrophic collapse by the offensive side of the house the Yankees could very well snatch championship 28.

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Do Yankee fans really care if the players on the diamond use steroids? I know a lot of you are going to say you do, but the players who have been caught seem to have been totally forgiven and everyone has moved on. Am I right?

Andy Pettitte admitted that he used HGH. Giambi admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs during his career. And Alex Rodriguez admitted to using banned substances from 2001 to 2003. Pettitte is still a fan favorite in New York and still remains a beloved Yankee. Giambi was loved by the media and was well liked by his teammates. A-Rod went from rock bottom to the top of the city in a year, and gained a lot more support from the fans after his unbelievable postseason. There’s also Roger Clemens, who we all know took banned substances but he just won’t admit it. I guess you can say he’s the only one we really haven’t forgiven because he hasn’t admitted it.

A lot of Yankee fans bring out the heat on other players for cheating the game, but when it comes to their own team..they defend them.


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Recently Dave Eiland was speaking about the competition for the Yankees 5th starter slot when he said this:

“We want 200 innings in all five of our guys,” Eiland said.

Now, upon reading this, his statement made me a little bit curious as to whether this has been done, so I turned to our trustworthy friends over at Baseball-Reference. Upon extensive searching on Baseball-Reference for teams with pitchers with equal or greater than 200 Innings Pitched and at least 20 Games Started only 15 instances of such were found. The last occurrence of this was in 1923 when the Yankees had the rotation of Joe Bush, Waite Hoyt, Sam Jones, Herb Pennock, and Bob Shawkey did this. The last Yankees team to come close to this was the rotation of Mike Mussina, David Wells, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Jeff Weaver in 2003. Weaver was 40.2 innings away from hitting the 200 IP mark.

For the Yankees to have all five of their starters to hit the magical mark of 200 IP there are a handful of things that have to happen in their favor.

  • If CC Sabathia pitches the same as last year, you can easily count him in for 200, however, it isn’t necessarily guaranteed.
  • AJ Burnett, while is no virtual lock to hit 200 innings, has proven if he is healthy, which is a big if, can hit 200 innings as he has the last two seasons.
  • While Andy Pettitte throughout his career could be penciled in for 200 innings usually, however he is turning 38 during this season. In 2009, he logged 194.1 innings and one has to wonder how many innings he has left on his left arm.
  • Javy Vazquez has pitched over 200 innings 9 out of the last 10 years, so theoretically he is a virtual lock. The only year he did not pitch 200 innings? 2004 with the Yankees when he logged 198 innings. During his time pitching in the American League, Javy has amassed an average ERA above 4.50.
  • Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes will have to up their game to reach 200 innings as neither of them have pitched this much in a single season. While Joba has been under the Joba rules, there is no telling how his arm will react when he hits 180, 190 or even 200 innings. Hughes on the other hand has not pitched more than 130 innings since 2006 in the minors when he pitched 146. If Hughes becomes the 5th starter it is unknown how his arm will react to the increase of innings.

So, while it is possible for each the Yankees starters to log 200 IP, it is highly unlikely. While I would like to see all five rotation spots hit 200 innings, truth be told, I can see 3 or 4 pitchers hit 200 innings. At this current time, I don’t have faith in Joba or Phil to be able to pitch 200 innings this year, maybe 170 or 180, but not 200.

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