Volume 92, Issue 42
Wednesday, November 18, 1998
Rocket Roger deserves more
Hey Roger Clemens get out!
On Monday night Clemens was unanimously named the American League Cy Young award winner for the fifth time in his career. The presentation of the award also marked the second time the flame-throwing right-hander obtained the dubious distinction while a Toronto Blue Jay.
The vote was never in question, as Clemens received all the first place votes from the writers for the second time in his career.
After starting the season off slow, Clemens blew away the American league in his last 22 starts. Compiling a perfect 15-0 record after June 3, Clemens was able to finish the year with the pitcher's version of the triple crown for the second straight year. He tied for the league lead in wins with 20, led the league with a 2.56 earned run average and had 271 strikeouts.
There is nothing left for Roger to do in Toronto.
Clemens has wasted two of his prime athletic years in hogtown. It seems that people are angered Clemens would even think about asking for a trade. If he seriously came out and asked for one who could blame him?
Clemens has been one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball for 15 seasons and when he announced on the web last week his disgust with the Blue Jay organization, it was warranted.
When he signed in 1996, Paul Beeston, the Blue Jay club president at the time, made a verbal agreement with Clemens, saying if he signed with the Jays, the organization would do all it could to make the club a contender.
If they couldn't follow through on their side of the deal they would try to trade Clemens to a contender or at least to a team closer to home. Clemens came through on his part of the deal. The Jays offered Clemens the world but what they have given him is worth about as much as a pitching rubber.
Although the fire which burns inside this man could wipe out Algonquin, even he would admit time is running out.
At 36, Clemens must cringe every time he looks down at the bare ring finger on his right hand, knowing it won't be long before it is time to write his Hall of Fame acceptance speech. He had a shot in 1986, but thanks to the famous Bill Buckner blunder (the Mookie Wilson grounder which went through the first baseman's five-hole) his hopes were dashed. Deep down Roger Clemens must be dying for another chance.
Sure Clemens can pretend publicly that he wants to stay a Jay and win in Toronto, but he knows it is not going to happen. He wants to go home to be closer to his family and have a real chance at a championship.
The Jays just don't have the guns to compete with the big time American League teams and they are are not doing anything fast to remedy the situation. The difference between the "haves" and "have nots" is clearly who is willing to put some money on the line.
The Jays' efforts towards outfielder Jose Canseco have proven that the team is not looking to improve. Gord Ash is looking a lot like scrooge this off-season and Clemens deserves to be angry.
Clemens should go to a team which appreciates his ability. The Jays have broken their promise and must at least give Clemens a chance at winning a title.
The world is all about looking out for number 1 and with Cy Young number five under the big Texan's belt, there is no doubt that Clemens is.
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