A friend and former professional sportswriter sent me this email today about Jayson Stark's Clemens/Red Sox piece
:Have you read Jayson Stark's idiotic article about the rumored Clemens-to-Boston trade? He seems to think Drayton McLane is some kind of monstrous asshole for refusing to deal the best pitcher on his team. Stark's main point of contention seems to be that Clemens, a man earning some fairly immodest fraction of a billion dollars to play baseball for three months at a park down the street from his house, deserves better than the disastrous possibility of having to play his final game in Pittsburgh. Nevermind that Clemens has launched a new farewell tour in each of the last three seasons, suckering sportswriters into singing his praises, over and over, on the mistaken assumption that each October will be, finally, the last of his career. It feels like a decade ago that he conned Red Sox fans into giving him that syrupy standing ovation at Fenway Park. And now, since McLane isn't willing to send Clemens back to Boston for a bucket of baseballs and salary relief*, because he believes his Astros can bounce back and contend in the NL Central, which wouldn't exactly be miraculous, considering they've rebounded from poor starts to make the playoffs two years in a row (including a trip to the 2005 World Series) thanks in no small part to the Rocket's services on the mound, and considering the division leaders are lumbering along with a rotation that includes the overrated Mark Mulder, the below-average Jeff Suppan, and the absolutely awful Jason Marquis, not to mention the wild-card leaders, who just dealt two middle-of-the-order hitters basically straight-up for Gary Majewski (who himself is getting lit up, by the way, in Cincinnati, delightfully), Jayson Stark has the unbelievable gall to argue that McLane isn't "doing the right thing?" Isn't an owner's first priority to field a competitive baseball team for the home fans? Shouldn't we celebrate the fact that McLane didn't just dump his highest-paid player and scratch $7 million off the books to spend on a new Gulfstream? Has Jayson Stark even been to PNC Park? I haven't, but Jesus Christ, how bad can it be? They did just host, oh I don't know, the Midsummer F-ing Classic.
*assuming Clemens plans to retire -- which seems to be his stated position, however disingenuous -- a team that acquired him would not (unless I'm mistaken) have received draft-pick compensation after his departure at the end of the season (unlike a potential free agent), meaning the return on the Rocket, talent-wise, in any trade, given his enormous 2006 salary, likely would have been negligible
Well put. Also, I read a bit of the LA Times Sports section today. Stay tuned for my thoughts. (Hint: Bill Plaschke is involved.)
Labels: jayson stark, roger clemens