Roger Clemens announced today that he has signed a $28 million (prorated, of course) deal with the New York Yankees. Considering Andy Pettitte left for the Yankees in the off-season (ending his rehab assignment with the Houston club), it’s really no surprise that Clemens would follow suit.
Apparently Clemens was able to secure the same freedom of travel that Houston afforded him. Clemens will not travel with the club if he is not scheduled to pitch. Of course, considering that Pettitte has already had to pitch in relief twice for the Yankees, it’s possible they will always “need” him.
Clemens has always been a hired gun, and has never been bashful about his desire to pitch for a club that had a chance at winning a championship. The real question here is why Clemens believes the Yankees have a better chance than the Astros, or better yet, the Red Sox. Perhaps the Red Sox were not willing to afford him the leniency to not travel with the team. Considering some of the personalities involved, that’s a real possibility.
Finally, how does this affect Clemens’ relationship with the city of Houston. Personally, I think it’s devastating. Fans tend to fall in love with the home town hero, and leaving the team (especially a team that has sacrificed financially for you in the past) voluntarily is a slap in the face. This is especially true in a city like Houston, who has become used to folks like Biggio and Bagwell hanging around.
Just some thoughts on the matter.