The date was May 6, 2007 and the location was The Bronx, New York City, New York State, United States of America. And in particular, the scene in the Bronx was Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth Built. A momentous event occurred on this day, as the great Roger Clemens announced that he was returning to from like his fourteenth retirement to play once again with the New York Yankees. At the time, the Yankees were in the midst of a mediocre start. They were 13-15 at the moment Clemens made that announcement during the seventh inning stretch of that particular game. However, Clemens presence paid immediate dividends as the Yankees went on to victory that day. True, the Yankees were already ahead at the point when Clemens made the announcement 3-0, and the Mariners only had six more outs with which to work, but the bottom line is that the Yankees scored two more runs and they won the game 5-0. Red Sox look out!
And now we are thirty days removed from that monumental day - that day when the Yankees' very own knight in shining armor (along the lines of the soon to be knighted David Beckham) rode in to save the season. And what a turn around it has been! The Yankees have been an unstoppable juggernaut since then. They've steamrolled opponent after opponent. Roger Clemens has been virtually unhittable, shutting down every single American League lineup he has faced. This sort of surge by the great Yankees has certainly justified the unbelievable amout of television coverage that ESPN has dedicated to The Rocket's return. Print those playoff and World Series tickets right now!
Wow! Forgive me please. I momentarily slipped off into delusional, psychadelic, hyper-euphoric, crazy-person Yankee fan fantasy land. For a good example of what this sounds like, listen here. But if you have been watching the ESPN family of networks since Clemens's grand announcement you probably won't have had to listen to that link. ESPN's slavish devotion to all things Yankees since Clemens made that announcement has been downright sickening. It's like, "Oh my gosh! Roger Clemens is starting in a single A baseball game! We simply have to dedicate a channel to covering this, or maybe two channels!"
Since the conclusion of games on May 6, the Yankees are 10-16. They are currently tied for last place in their division. That Clemens addition has surely been a shot in the arm to boost this team! Clemens has started precisely zero major league games. But does that stop ESPN from broadcasting games featuring the crappy Yankees and other teams that are mediocre at best? Of course not! Just last night ESPN showed a game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox. Going into the game, the White Sox were 25-27 and the Yankees were 24-30. The White Sox won the game of course. Now granted, perhaps ESPN might have been justified in showing the game if Roger Clemens started as was originally planned but Clemens had to pull out of the game with a "fatigued right groin." So wouldn't it have been wise because of Clemens's fatigued right groin for the people at ESPN to say, "Holy crap! Clemens is not starting because of a fatigued right groin! Maybe we should show another game rather than this one which features two crappy teams. We'll just plan to broadcast Clemens's actual first start after he recovers from his fatigued right groin."? I think that this would have been the way to go.
But hats off to the Yankees and their fans (and ESPN as well)! The Yankees are 12.5 games out of first place, but never fear, they have a forty-four year old pitcher who is currently injured with a fatigued right groin who is certain to lead them to glory!