Roger picks up win # 299 at the expense of the Red Sox. Even though he left the game in a 2-2 tie, the Yankees went ahead immediately after he left and Roger gets the victory. This sets the stage for a monumental showdown with next Monday night in Yankee stadium for # 300. Steven Krasner focuses on the game and not Clemens in his wrapup of the evening. Jeff Horrigan has the Sox looking for positives after dropping the game and series to Clemens and the Yankees. David Heuschkel’s game story is all about Roger. Bob Hohler picks out the key moments that led to the victory for Clemens. Michael Silverman says Tim Wakefield was determined not to be the loser last night, but fell short anyway. Paul Harber says last night was just an old fashioned pitchers duel. Bill Reynolds says Joe Torre is at his best when dealing with adversity. Lenny Megliola says Roger will not even consider the idea of missing his start on Monday, no matter how bad his hand is. Mark Murphy says only a broken bone will prevent him from starting. Gordon Edes looks at how Clemens earned that win last night. Alex Speier says it wasn’t vintage Roger, but enough to get the job done. Shira Springer says the early runs the Sox were able to get on Nomar’s home run just weren’t enough. Silverman says Pedro could be out anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks… Dan Ventura looks at the relief provided the Yankees by Mariano Rivera. Getting out of the eighth without throwing a pitch is a neat trick. Don Amore says that Rivera is worried about his old running mate, Ramiro Mendoza. Notes that his body language on the mound is just not positive. Glenn Ordway said yesterday afternoon that Mendoza might not be “tough” enough to play in Boston. Frank Dell’Apa looks at Damian Jackson feeling contrite after being picked off by Rivera. They were ready to unleash the venom on Jackson on the Globe SportsPlus last night, but John Valentin was able to keep the hounds at bay somewhat noting that no matter what, sometimes these things happen. Hohler also looks at the baptism by fire of Rudy Seanez as a Red Sox. Dell’Apa reports on Bucky Dent’s view from the Monster. Harber looks at Bruce Chen, a day removed from his surprise start. Edes says that Brandon Lyon is a salvage job by Theo that would make Dan Duquette proud…and that’s a compliment. Hohler’s notebook says that Pedro could return to face the Yankees next week, though likely not against Roger on Monday. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jackson dealing with the pickoff last night. McAdam’s notebook reaffirms that Pedro is at best iffy for Memorial Day. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Nomar giving the Sox the early edge last night.
Karen Guregian says the Sox are on the verge of being a trivial pursuit answer. Steve Buckley’s pay column focuses on the fact that the Sox cleverly trotted composer John Williams out for the first pitch to give them an excuse to play the Evil Empire theme, composed by Williams. Dan Shaughnessy calls that move a “stroke of genius” by the Sox. Dan revels in the history from last night Dent, Curt Gowdy, The Yankees, Roger. I think we’ve read the word “twilight” this week more than any other. That, and how durable and a “work horse” Clemens has been. Before the game last night, Shaughnessy was on the NESN pre-game show. He did a segment by himself in which he stood in front of the Wall and defended Roger against all those critics who accused him of mailing it in for his last four years here. The irony of that was delicious. He almost scolded those ones who would knock Roger. Well, what was Shaughnessy thinking when Roger left town? Let’s take a little trip in the BSMW time machine…consider:
But on this day of new beginnings and inestimable wealth, there was no glory, no grace in either Toronto or Boston. Clemens bolted Boston and he spit on Fenway on his way out the door.
Let the record show that The Rocket is 34 years old and went 40-39 over the last four (injury-filled) seasons while earning $20 million. Despite those numbers, he's now the highest-paid pitcher in baseball (Atlanta's John Smoltz got $31 million for four years).
That’s from the Globe of 12/14/1996. So lets see, Shaughnessy points out the 40-39 record and even adds the jab that those seasons were injury filled. He also says Clemens “spit on Fenway” on the way out the door. This is the same guy who is now lionizing The Rocket and jabbing Dan Duquette for letting him go. Was there criticism of Duquette in that article? Very little. Just some grumbling by Clemens, and that some other players are wanting to leave the Sox at that time as well. Shaughnessy concludes the article though, with this:
He didn't take any lumps yesterday. He took $31.1 million. And he dumped all over the Boston Red Sox, who were good to him for 13 big league seasons.
So the Sox (Duquette) were good to Roger, eh? I love revisionist history. These guys love to tear guys down while they’re here, chase them out of town, (the article has quotes from Clemens’ agents about negative press coverage being a factor in Roger’s leaving) and then later hold them up as gods that the Sox were stupid to let go. Same thing will happen with Nomar. Michael Gee in his pay column takes on this notion that Roger is a healthy workhorse while Pedro is a fragile prima donna. He compares the injury histories of the two, and concludes:
Funny how images change. When Clemens was hurt in the '90s in Boston, he was blasted as an out-of-shape prima donna at perpetual risk of ending his career with his next pitch. Two teams and three Cy Young Awards later, Clemens is a universal symbol of athletic discipline and toughness, qualities he always had.
Martinez has come back from all of his injuries, too. But when Pedro gets hurt, there's a hue and cry that he's a prima donna with an arm made of cracked crystal.
Sean McAdam looks at Roger after the win last night, who says if he had Rivera as a teammate earlier in his career, he’d already be at 300. Roger is also bringing in plenty of former Sox teammates to cheer for him next Monday in New York. Great, so we get to see Bruce Hurst, Rich Gedman, etc, sitting in the crowd with Yankee caps on cheering for the Bombers.
Apparently this morning John Dennis acknowledged his bad source from yesterday which told him the Celtics were trying to get rid of Jim O’Brien. Mark Murphy reports on the extension given to the Celtics head coach. Shira Springer has details from the coach on his reaction to the new deal and what he sees looking forward. Christopher Price also looks at the new deal. Peter May says O’Brien deserves this new deal. He also says his offensive coaching and development of young players could use improvement. Where have we heard that before? Murphy adds that Rick Pitino might’ve ended up saving this franchise after all. Lenny Megliola also looks at O’Brien’s loyalty to Pitino. Springer adds a brief bit in which Ainge is intrigued by BC’s Troy Bell, who worked out for the team on Tuesday.
Michael Felger reports that the Patriots are close to signing former Jet and Dolphin Dedric Ward.
Kevin Paul Dupont weighs in on Annika Sorenstam, blasting those who are making a huge deal of the gender issue.
In the Unsilent Majority, Luke Meredith looks at the NBA lottery, Joe Thornton’s arrest, Cade McNown and other items.
ABC has Nets/Pistons at 8:30. The draft Lottery is right before the game at 8:00. ESPN Classic continues its Red Sox/Yankees week, with Mike Mussina’s near perfect game in 2001 being shown today at 5:00. Go ahead, cheer for Carl Everett when he gets a hit with two out in the ninth inning.