The Rocket officially returnsBy
Wanted to start a new thread for the huge postgame press conference. Both Ben and Joe were at the game, so I’m sure they’ll chime in eventually. Stick around for updates.
Update 1: Kay just referred to Clemens and Hughes as “Rocket and Bottle Rocket.”Â Oh haha. Hughes had better be sponge when Clemens is around, and I’m sure he will be.Â
Update 2:Â Cashman gave your basic “we’ve been working on this deal since the winter” schpeel to kick of the press conference.Â
Update 3: Randy Hendricks (Roger’s agent) is talking; he said the Yanks were only team of the 3 that wanted Clemens right now – Houston and Boston wanted him back later in the year.
Update 4: Roger said he was in NY anyway this weekend for a golf tournament, then got a call from Hendricks that a deal was in place. He said he had a talk with Hendricks, Cashman and Steinbrenner that he holds “close to his heart” and wouldn’t reveal the details.
Update 5: RogerÂ said he sped up his workouts to ensure he’d be able to come back ASAP. He also said he wants to talk to Pettitte and apologize for not telling him sooner. He’s praising Jeter’s clutchness, his relationship wth Torre, and other stuff as reasons for coming back. He said he wants to win a championship, and anything else is a failure.
Update 6: Hendricks won’t disclose the money involved, but said only the Yanks received an offer from him. Hendricks joked that it’s a 4 year deal with an option for Senior Softball.
Update 7: Clemens keeps saying that everything happened so fast. He expects to spend most of his time in Tampa, then working his way up the minor league ladder. He also said none of hisÂ 6 kids (all of whom have names that start with K) knew, only his wife did.
Update 8: Clemens said he doesn’t want to let anyone down, especially Cash and Big Stien. He’s going to work hard to make sure his body doesn’t break down (phew!).
Update 9: Clemens was asked directly if he had a preference as to which he team he signed with, he said he did, but beat around the bush and talked about how hard he’s working instead of saying who it was.
Update 10: Roger said he’s sad to see how the Pavano situation is playing out, and was sad to see the comebacker that hit Karstens, whom he didn’t know by name.
Update 11: Cash is giving a timetable about how this all played out, saying that it really picked up during the last week. He also thanked the Steinbrenners for their “substantial financial support.”
Update 12: Cash said Roger will spend the next week and half throwing down in Tampa, then they’ll map out a plan for him for home games within their affiliates regarding tune up games.
Update 13: Rocket said Torre called him, as well as a bunch of guys from the Yanks and Astros. He said it’s very flattering, but he’s got a lot of responsibilty on his shoulders and looks forward to it.
Update 14: Cash said the deal really came together Thursday thanks to his blackberry. Gotta love technology.
Update 15: Cash was prepared to fly down to Houston to meet with Hendricks face-to-face, but Hendricks was in Fenway. He said he thinks it’s for the best, since people would have known something is up if he wasn’t with the team and in Houston.
Update 16: Hendricks said it was either get ready and play for the Yankees now, or wait another month.Â Each team’s focus was to have Roger healthy in October, but Roger said he feels great right now and can start pitching sooner than the other team’s wanted. Pete Abe asked Hendricks if heÂ was in Fenway negotiating with the Sawx (see Update 15), and he said no.
Update 17: The deal hasn’t been signed yet, but Roger said the team doesn’t care that he’s 45, they want him to produce. Roger said he doesn’t know if he’ll have to special travel provisions he had with the Astros, but he said he could keep up with Koby another way. He said 3 of his kids are out of the house now and living on their own “thank God.”
Update 18: Cash just said that he will have the special travelling privileges, but only because it’s a unique case, i.e. the team need some pitching, BAD.Â Cash alsoÂ said he’s looking forward to having the young kids – Hughes, Ohlendorf and Clippard were mentioned by name – work with Roger.
Update 19: The conference was about to end, but Roger interrupted and said that he wanted people to understand that he loves helping young guys reach their dream. He was adamant in saying that he didn’t just show up and pitch every 5 days with the Astros, he helped all the young pitchers when he didn’t pitch – mentioning Oswalt and Chris Sampson by name. He said he wanted to make sure that was clear, and he wishes that national newswriters got their facts straight (about just showing up every 5 days).
The conference is over, and this is fucking awesome. Kei Igawa, enjoy your rotation spot while you still have it. Roger that!