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50,000+ fans were on hand to welcome Roger Clemens back to the Bronx today. The Hall-of-Famer will probably join the Yanks rotation in late May or the first week of June.

When Phil Hughes returns from his strained hamstring, the Yankee rotation will be Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, Mussina, Hughes. Sorry, Sox fans, but that blows your rotation out of the water. It isn’t even close.

The Yanks paid through the nose to bring Clemens back, $28M for about 1/3 of the year, but in the long term they didn’t give up anything. No prospects will be shipped away to add a front of the rotation stud. You can’t argue with that, you just can’t.

Any nay-saying is nothing more than bitterness and jealousy, and it’s probably flowing south from Boston.

I heard the news as I was driving to a hike in NJ from the lovely mouth of Suzyn Waldman. It took a second to make sense out of Waldman’s hysterics, and the crowd chanting the background, but then I was on the phone with my brother in seconds celebrating. This is huge news for the Yankees, and also huge news for the greedy owners who insist on keeping their payrolls below the $40M level. The Yankee welfare checks to the “small market” teams will balloon next year. Hey, it’s only money, and this team is now a legit world series contender.

Piazza0506One other small point. If the Sox starting pitchers try to play beanball with the Yanks the next time the teams meet later this month, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. Clemens is not afraid to hit guys, in fact, I think he actually enjoys it. If you don’t believe me, ask Mike Piazza. Piazza absolutely owned Clemens before the at bat pictured at the right. That shifted the psychological balance, and really, Piazza was never the same. I’m not condoning hitting someone in the head, just saying that in this case, it was extremely effective. The point being, don’t get too comfortable up there Manny and Ortiz, because there’s someone in pinstripes who will have no problem making you move your feet.

Yes, I’m giddy.

Update: For a perfect example of the bitter Sox fan reaction, check out this post. Ah, fuming Boston-ites lashing out at the Yankees, using nothing but nonsense as their ammunition. Feels just like 2003 again.

by Brian on May 6 2007
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