During the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, Roger Clemens made the dramatic announcement from George Steinbrenner’s luxury box that he will rejoin the Yanks for the remainder of the 2007 season. Clemens made his announcement right after Kate Smith’s rendition of "God Bless America," and the Yankee faithful erupted in one of the loudest cheers ever heard in the House the Ruth Built.
This announcement took everyone by surprise. From the guys in the booth to the Yankees sitting in the dugout, to the fans in the stands, everyone looked and sounded surprised. Now all the Yanks have to do is hold the fort for the next month or so until Clemens – arguably the greatest pitcher in the history of modern baseball – can get himself ready to join the rotation.
As opposed to last year’s almost daily Clemens Watch, the result of this year’s Clemens sweepstakes was sprung on the unsuspecting sports world, including his friends. According to Clemens, even his best friend Andy Pettitte didn’t know about the Rocket’s decision. As a matter of fact, during the Yankee broadcast, Yank pitching coach Ron Guidry walked over to Pettitte and asked him if he knew anything about Clemens’ decision. Pettitte could be seen answering in the negative.
Clemens said that he was getting regular calls from Derek Jeter, Pettitte and other Yanks, and so when his agent told him that he had a deal in place, Roger decided that he was ready to get back to work in New York. The Rocket said that he is ready to shoulder the responsibility that comes from being a Yankee, and that even though the tug from Boston was very strong; he felt that he belonged back in the Bronx.
The hard-throwing right-hander said he had no hesitation in joining the Yanks despite the hard times that they’ve endured during the first few weeks of the 2007, and that he was looking forward to joining some old friends and playing for Joe Torre.
The Rocket said that he thinks he can be ready to go by the end of May. For all of you schedule watchers out there, the Yanks play the Red Sox on June 1.