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Yankees and 'Rocket' setting poor example
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On Sunday, Roger Clemens announced from the owner's box at Yankee Stadium in a game against the Seattle Mariners that he has rejoined the Yankees.

You would have thought it was the Messiah Himself the way fans reacted to the announcement.

Let's get one thing straight: Clemens is not your typical teammate; he's a hired gun, at best, called upon to give the Yankees a chance to be a legitimate contender in October. Based on his contract, Clemens will not have to travel with the team when he is not scheduled to pitch. (The same deal applied when Clemens pitched for the Houston Astros from 2004-06.) This means that in between starts he can fly back home to Texas - approximately 1,600 miles away - and watch his team on his plasma high-definition television while sipping iced tea.

But a real teammate wouldn't accept the most money on his team ($28 million prorated salary, which is essentially $18 million, or $4.5 million per month), repeatedly say 'it's not about the money' and then abandon his fellow teammates for one quarter of the season - that's just disrespectful and downright selfish. In fact, veterans such as David Wells and Greg Maddux have already expressed their concerns and problems they have with it.

"The Rocket" is currently on track to debut in the majors sometime in early June, or possibly at the end of this month. But do the Yankees actually think this 44-year-old man (45 in August) can resurrect their lousy pitching staff, especially when he isn't even going to be with the team when he isn't pitching? Clemens is a No. 3 starter at best, and that's not really saying much when you consider New York's pitching rotation.

Last year, Clemens was 7-6 with the Houston Astros and had a 2.30 earned run average. But those are National League figures, a league in which the designated hitter is non-existent. Although Clemens has obviously pitched in the American League before, the last time was in '03. It should be interesting to watch players such as David Ortiz, Travis Hafner and Jose Vidro matchup against No. 22.

Really, is it too much to ask of Mr. Clemens to stay with the team until the end of the season? Even though he has won seven Cy Young awards, two world championship rings and has nothing left to prove, not even Michael Jordan - winner of five regular season MVPs, six Finals MVPs and six championships - had this much pull during his final years in the NBA, and Jordan is arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Imagine all the useful knowledge New York's pitching staff could learn from one of the all-time greats. Young hurlers such as Chien-Ming Wang and Matt DeSalvo could pick the brain of one of the toughest competitors in baseball - at least Clemens was in his prime. And yes, the pitching staff needs all the advice they can get, especially if they want to win the pennant. Entering today, they had already used 10 different starters this season.

And what kind of message is Clemens sending to all of the aspiring young pitchers out there? Yes, I'm talking about all of the little ones - the youngsters who idolize this future Hall-of-Famer yet are too young to even wear metal spikes.

I'm neither a Yankees nor a Red Sox fan, but I do enjoy watching them compete on the field, especially when matched up against each other. (Although ESPN should focus less on those two teams and start paying more attention to the rest of the 28 teams in the league. But that's a different story altogether.)

If you ask me, Clemens looked completely out of shape Sunday evening in his nice, polished suit as he announced that he was returning to the Bronx. He looked overweight and bigger than I have ever seen him in a baseball park. At the time, I remember wondering if New Era made a cap big enough to fit his head, and I'm not talking about his inflated ego which has caused his cranium to expand even more after signing this preposterous deal.

It wasn't too long ago when Clemens was being accused of taking steroids. What happened to all of those accusations and accusers, and why have they suddenly disappeared? Yet, the press is still all over Barry Bonds, especially as we near Hank Aaron's home run record. I have a hunch once Clemens takes the hill that the past will resurface, which he'll have to deal with just as Bonds does every single day.

At any rate, one thing is certain: the Yankees want to win and are extremely desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The acquisition of Roger Clemens is proof of that no matter what is at stake, including the integrity of the game.