Wanted: Highest paid pitcher in history
Roger Clemens recently alienated baseball fans in both Houston and Boston by signing a one-year, $28 million contract with the New York Yankees.
The 44-year-old ace pitcher had been courted by the Astros and Red Sox, but as was expected, the Yankees managed to shell out more than enough money than either team and bought Clemens.
In defense of George Steinbrenner, the 76-year-old team owner, the contract was pro-rated to only about $18 million, because Clemens only intends to play for four months this season.
$18 million for four months of work.
It really does not get much better than that. Now there is no denying that Clemens is one of the greatest players to ever take the mound. But, as everyone is asking, is he really worth more per month than any other player has ever made? Obviously he is, at least to Steinbrenner and the New York fans.
It doesn’t even matter whether the aging owner was more worried about keeping Clemens from pitching for the Red Sox (and thus against the Yankees) or if he really did feel the need for an $18 million boost to the team’s performance.
This only reminds us of something we have known for years – that the Yankees have never had a problem with paying any cost to field the best team money can buy.
Breaking records and no one cares to watch
As of May 8, the Giants’ Barry Bonds was only 10 home runs short of breaking Hank Aaron’s 30-year-old record of 755 career home runs. There is no doubt that he will break the famous record this season, and it seems that the public could not care less.
Before Aaron broke the previous career record, it was held by the near-mythical Babe Ruth. Obviously, this is not a milestone to be taken lightly.
And the only mention of this has been buried in stories of Mets pitcher Tom Glavine nearing the 300-win mark or Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling tearing into Bonds during a Boston radio interview.
Is this Bonds’ steroid debacle coming back to haunt him?
Even though he never actually admitted to using “performance enhancing supplements”, there’s not much question about whether he did or not.
Bonds’ achievements are said to require an asterisk, to note that he was on steroids when he broke Roger Maris’ single season home run record – and the general consensus is that this record should have the subtext, too.
Maybe it is as simple as the American public is jaded by steroid speculation towards today’s power hitters like Bonds, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa (who has recently had medical records requested by investigators regarding his purported steroid use.)
Nevertheless, when the only news to come out of baseball concerns another of Steinbrenner’s extravagant purchases and not a momentous record-breaking, baseball has bigger problems than steroids.