08.05.07

Lupica : Clemens Is The New Carl Pavano

Posted in Baseball at 11:39 am by

I think we can safely assume the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica hasn’t been giggling over the new Roger Clemens dropped-call commercial from AT&T Wireless. Whitlock’s former sparring partner insists, “The Yankees better make the playoffs and Clemens better pitch better the rest of the way, or you know what he is? He is more wasted pitching money. The way Igawa is. The way Carl Pavano was.”

By the time it was 8-0 Chicago the other day, Clemens was hearing boos from another great big summer crowd as he walked off the mound. So far he is something less than the beloved figure he was supposed to be in this Yankees comeback. These starts have been somewhat less than the Big Events they were supposed to be.

Then afterwards, you were exhausted hearing and reading about how soft some of the hits were, what rotten luck Clemens had gotten because of some shoddy fielding behind him, as if somehow his teammates should have carried him off the field after Joe Torre took the ball from him, as if somebody else had given up nine hits in less than two innings of work. The fans were a bit smarter than that. They knew what they had seen.

The Yankees didn’t spend high this week to go out and rent – or even buy – a top reliever like Eric Gagne, one who fits their current needs much better than he fits Boston’s. Why?

Because they have already rented the most expensive high-rent pitcher in the history of baseball: Clemens. They are paying him $1 million a start and so far they have gotten three wins out of him.

Kevin Brown was that guy and Javy Vazquez was that guy, so were Jose Contreras and Randy Johnson. Each one was going to be the big horse the Yankees could ride to No. 27.

They just weren’t here at a prorated salary of $28 million a year.

Or to put it another way, Mike Bascik and Brian Bannister have accomplished more in ’08 than The Rocket.

10 Responses to “Lupica : Clemens Is The New Carl Pavano”

  1. Mark Swiderski says:

    Lupica’s reflexive Yankee bashing is beyond tiresome. Money didn’t have anything to do with why the Yankees didn’t trade for Gagne. Cashman just wasn’t willing to get robbed for a 3 month rental (and that’s exactly what it would be; there’s no chance Gagne would sign an extension when he won’t close). The Rangers wanted Melky Cabrera and a A- pitching prospect for a guy who is just as likely to blow out his shoulder, elbow or back as he is to bolster someone’s pen.

    If the Yanks had landed him for what the Rangers wanted, Lupica would undoubtedly be railing against the Yankees’ continued insistence on mortgaging the future for big name pickups today …

  2. Rog says:

    OK, there’s a lot wrong with those statements. Melky Cabrera, despite the constant PR bullshit from Michael Kay, is NOT Mickey Mantle. Hell, he’s not even Mickey Hatcher. Please stop acting like he’s a good player…please? And Gagne could close next year for the Lamekees if Mariano (a free agent…you know what a free agent is, don’t you Markie???) isn’t brought back. You’d think that the corpse known as Bernie would know well enough to sign Mariano to an extension by know, but since he hasn’t, Gagne is as good as any guess to take the closer’s spot next year. And Lupica bashing Clemens is nothing more than refreshing to those of us who are tired of the YES PR machine telling us that Rocket Re-Launch is, like, totally awesome dude!!! He’s a fat loser and I’m glad someone else is saying that!

  3. Marc says:

    The only reason Melky is playing center is because the Red Sox were smart/lucky enough not to resign Johnny Damon to throw like a girl for a billion dollars a year. People who defend Melky as the long term CF solution are only slightly less delusional than people who think Miquel Cairo is the answer at first base.

    I still can’t get over the argument that Gagne was a worse option than Joba Chamberlain or any of the other super studs in the Yankees farm system. Phil Hughes had exactly 2/3rds of a game where he looked awesome.. against one of the worst offenses in baseball. If the Yankees really think they’ll be able to get by with Joba, Hughes, and a bunch of other rookies down the stretch and (possibly) in October, I would like some of whatever they’re smoking.

    All that said, how the hell are the Yankees only 1/2 game out of the Wild Card? Simply amazing that Detroit can’t beat anyone all of a sudden.

  4. matt says:

    marc,
    you realize that melky is only 22 years old, right? he’s not miguel cabrera, hanley ramirez, or jose reyes…but he’s far beyond a scrub. i know it’s weird to see the yankees building a team from within, but that’s what they’re looking to do by throwing melky, hughes, and chamberlain into the fire right now…not saying that it actually helps them now. regardless, i wish the astros wouldve taken that deal that would’ve sent wheeler or lidge to the yanks for him…but since they’re not allowed more than 2 regular players who are brown on the team at the same time, it didn’t happen.

    also, it’s about time that detroit’s luck ran out. that lineup and pitching staff has never seemed like a team that should play much above 500.

  5. Marc says:

    The Yankees can build from within all they want, but they (and their fans) also shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that Joba/Hughes/Kennedy/whatever the next 3 rookies are named are the equivalent of picking up Gagne. Gagne has faced major league hitters and, even with his injuries and slightly decreased velocity, has proven he can get out American league batters consistently in 2007. The AL West is a slight step above Trenton AA ball.

    The Astros didn’t need Melky; They had their own version that they traded for Jason Jennings (who might be the Astros best hitter). Oops.

    And yeah, Detroit shouldn’t have been running away with anything especially considering how godawful their bullpen is… but they’re also not a .100 team.

  6. matt says:

    do i get banned from the site if i point out that melky’s vorp is better than taveras? or carlos delgado? or vernon wells?

    he’s fucking roy hobbs.

    back to gagne…i’m more inclined to agree with mark with a k that there’s just as good of a chance that gagne’s arm would fall off on the mound as him returning to the guy that had like 80 saves in a row or whatever it was.

  7. Marc says:

    Every Mets fan knows that Delgado has been sucking it up this season.

    We’ll see how Gagne fares vs the Yankees rookie pitchers in the bullpen in a few weeks when the Yankees-Red Sox play their 6 games. I’m guessing the pressure doesn’t get to Gagne a bit and the same will not be said about Joba or whomever the Yankees put into the ‘pen.

  8. Mark Swiderski says:

    You know, I really hadn’t considered the “Clemens is a fat loser” angle. Thanks for that.

  9. Rog says:

    You’re welcome. It’s a good argument. Feel free to use it.

  10. Mark Swiderski says:

    Still lovin’ that Gagne trade, Rog? Still thinkin’ Melky “17 game hit streak” Cabrera is a stiff, Rog?

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