The Yanks sign Roger Clemens. The move to make. Not much choice really. His agents were in Boston last week. And the Yankees seem to be responding well to the knowledge that John Wayne will soon arrive with fresh horses.
But this move also reads as a sort of Mao-negation of seasons 2004 - 2006. We didn't give up Pettitte - so we didn't give up Clemens - who never retired. (Wait a minute, that's true!). We never tried to replace Pettitte with Vasquez, and then didn't try to replace Clemens and Pettitte by trading Vasquez for the Unit and adding Brown. On top of that, just for the record, Jeff Weaver didn't happen to us either. Or Pavano. Or Jared Wright. Or Esteban Loiza after trading Contreras to the Pale Hose of Chicago to realize his full potential. Or. Or. Or.
Perhaps the Yankees will go full-on-Stalin, Josef and just cut the era of the Unit from the books. Re-call all the yearbooks and scorecards of 04-06! Annul certain names and faces from Yankee eternity. Say 2007 is 2003 and we're back at Clemens, Pettitte and Mussina up front. (With only one '07 add-on: Chien-Ming Wang on the tip of the tip of the top. WANG ON TOP!)
Of course the Clemens signing could sure look dumb if Rajah pops a mammy. I'm 3 years younger than he is and I've got at least 5 body mammy's just waiting to pop-out. They've popped before. They'll pop again. I'm not Clemens, don't have access to my own gym, training team or dietary supplements (more on that later), but that Clydesdale has lots of surface area and bulk - plenty of spots to puh-woing: 'Crap! I'm 45!'
So maybe this should be the moment for all Yankees to say uncle, admit that it's good to re-load, less valid to nullify the real?
But it's certainly tempting to revise with magical thinking.
Given the option, I would have stopped the clock when Scott Brosius tied 2001 World Series game 5 by homering off the same Byung-Hyun Kim who gave up Tino's game evener of game 4.
Keep the clock on Brosius-time. Then no game 7 loss. No Giambi signing. No required overstock of first basemen to compensate for the Giambi signing.
And: IF we had lived in the Brosius time-freeze, we could have skipped those orange alerts built to buttress the faux run-up to a real War.
No 'Shock and Awe.'
No 'Mission Accomplished' carrier-deck BBQ.
No Abu Ghraib afterhours club.
No re-election (h-cup!) re-coup 2004.
Down with the corporate monolithe!
I'm frothing again.
And you may not care for my politics.
All part of the dangers of revising history to suit personal tastes.
But the elephant in the room that really goes un-recognized is this: the luck well runs dry. And the baseball gods decide they really owe a solid to The Milwaukee Brewers.
Yankee fans have had luck and then some in the Torre/Jeter years.
The cycle really began when Rivera found that cut-fastball (Don't worry, he'll find it again.)
And Doc Gooden climbed out of the gutter long enough to jump-start the dynasty with a no-hitter - and stayed off the coke just long enough for David Cone's arm to be re-attached before Doc's fell off.
And Darryl Strawberry still had some sweet, sweet, suh-weet swings.
And the ump didn't notice that the kid in the stands (Jeffrey Maier) used his glove to shovel Jeter's long fly into an ALCS game-tying homer.
And Knoblach never had his throwing yips in a big moment.
And El Duque's boat stayed afloat.
And Jeremy Giambi didn't slide in 2001 because only Jeter would have been THERE to relay the throw because it's not in any playbook.
And that Diamondbacks closer threw the exact same pitch at the exact same moment two nights in a row.
And just when you thought the Arizona dry-heat had sucked the last wet out of Mo's Dynasty... there was...
Aaron Boone 2003. (Special thanks to Grady Little.)
And that's only a sampling of the good fortune the New York Americans have had.
Luck runs in cycles. And the lemons made juice overtime - perhaps as cosmic compensation to NYers for the events we call "THE events?" Yes, luck is a product of design. But best-laid designs do go Mercury retrograde. Then the all-star starters tweak hamstrings (thanks to a trainer short on Major-league quals?). And none of the saviors save - what if there isn't even one semi-savior in the whole Carl Pavano bunch.
The factor that really might empty the Yank luck-tank?
What if Jason Grimsley was right and Clemens and Pettitte are juicy-juiced?
*****Just just just and one more thing just just Just*****
Curt Schilling said: "He [Bonds] admitted he used steroids. There's no gray area. He [Bonds] admitted cheating on his wife, cheating on taxes and cheating on the game."
All good – except for the 'no gray area' part.
And the wife-cheating part - it's not germane.
It's that right wing thing where personal stuff gets hipocritically tagged on the professional misconduct radar screen. Murky territory.
Clinton got a hummer from Monica. And Bush the elder got airlifted out of a limo he was 'sharing' with his long-time mistress when Reagan got shot. Neither event was relevant to policy making. Which one was the greater security risk is debatable.
And Barry cheating on his wife doesn't have much to do with cheating to get to Aaron's magic 755. (Funny how time burnishes the olden with golden. I remember everyone said Hank's milestone # wouldn't resonate like Babe's 714. It does now.)
Not to say cheating is good. It isn't. And his cheating is certainly another symptom of his general badness. And I suppose that's Schill's truth.
But j'accusers always have their own issues - self-righteousness at the very least. That's really high on my list of evils. And the Limbaugh Schill wasn't so bold with the mouth under oath at last year's congressional hearings. He looked like one of those chubby, wheezing tobacco execs claiming they weren't aware that smoking kills.
Now, if the real John Law wants to get Barry on partner abuse, that it's own very different story. I have close to zero-tolerance for that kind of behavior – particularly from rich guys with 'roid rage.