I read an article on Randy Johnson today, talking about now that the Unit is back in Arizona, everything is OK with him again. Forget the fact he's 43 years old and coming off back surgery. That creaky arm and suddenly hittable slider? Don't worry about it. He's grouchier than the Grinch and makes Albert Belle look like the President of the Glee Club, but it's all good: he's going home.
Down in the heart of Texas, another aging player seems to think he's Ponce de Leo'n and has found the fountain of youth: Sammy Sosa is going back home to the team who drafted him, the Texas Rangers. Sammy's bat speed resembled Morgan Freeman driving Miss Daisy in 2005. Do the Rangers actually believe that after a year away from big league pitching that all of a sudden it's gonna turn into 1998 again? Of course Tom Hicks is the man who gave Slappy that $250 million dollar deal, signed Chan Ho Park of all people to a huge deal, and still thinks you can win championships with big bats and mediocre, at best, pitching. So there you go.
Then there is the Rocket. Roger recently stated that the odds of him playing this year were 80/20, the big number representing the odds against it. Somehow, I doubt it. His agent says the three teams in the mix are the Astros, Yankees, and of course, Red Sox. To say Clemens exit from Boston was not pleasant is the equivalent of saying Slappy is a self absorbed, I want everyone to love me, prima donna. It just doesn't do it justice. Good news is all the major players from that time are gone: Dan Duqette, The Yawkey Trust, and while Dan Shaughnessy is still somehow employed, even that won't prevent Clemens from coming back. At least I think it won't. Bringing his career full circle, back to where he started and being The Sundance Kid to Schilling's Butch Cassidy has got a certain dramatic feel to it that Roger has got to love.
Can he really go back though? Can any of us? I wish I could go back and break up with my "first love" who went on a mission trip of all things and messed around with some long hair, then came back and broke up with me. Or I could go back to when I was 13 and my buddy and I put a hole in the wall of the church foyer pretending to championship wrestle. OR, I wish I could take back every stupid thing I've ever said to Angie. Point is, I can't. And while Roger, Sammy, and the Unit can go back in one sense, they can't REALLY go back.
I hope Randy realizes that while Brandon Webb is a very good pitcher, he ain't Schilling and it's not 2001 again. Surely Sammy knows that 60+ bombs and cheers for running out to the outfield are WAY back in his rear view mirror. Somehow, I don't see Michael Young and Mark Texiera letting Sosa blast his salsa music in the clubhouse happen either. Roger, well, he may be the exception to the rule. If he came back to Boston, instead of New York, he'd return a hero. The past? Forgotten by most. Rogaaah would be home.
My gut tells me Clemens re-signs with Houston. My head tells me he takes George's millions and gets the band back together with Andy Petitte. My heart? It says Roger comes back to Boston for one last run at glory. A true Texan, I gotta believe The Rocket wants to go out in a blaze of glory, trading fastballs and quotes to the media with Schilling all the way to the end. The only negative I see in this? Josh Beckett might spontaneously com bust if Schilling AND Clemens were both yapping in his ear every night.
Will it happen? I doubt it. Think about this though: Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon, Matsuzake, Wake, AND Clemens to choose from come October?
Admit it: it got your heart pumping, right?