Money Talks...Everything Else Runs The Marathon.
Instead, you all can thank the Yanks and more so, The Money Sprocket for this piece. The quote's a fairly simple one, "money talks, everything else runs the marathon". I believe Nino Brown said this before a guy got dropped off the side of a bridge in New Jack City and it's true. Two instances that standout in recent memory.
- Carlos Boozer. I'm in Akron, so I have very intimate knowledge of this thing. Simply put, it went like this: Carlos gave the Gunds his word that he'd stay in Cleveland, despite them being able to offer a set amount that wasn't anywhere near the market value (which he ended up getting from Utah). So he's faced with a fairly tough decision...honor his word to the Gunds or get paid in well...Utah. We know how this one ends. He gets paid, Cleveland gets pissy, and no matter what or how hard they try to convince you of this...Drew Gooden is no Carlos Boozer. Boozer, along with LBJ, would've been scary; hell, in this series I'd be petrified of what those two could do to the Nets. But let's face it, there's a reason Drew was traded halfway through his rookie season and when The Logo sends you packing...in no uncertain terms, you suck.
Then of course, there's everybody's favorite MERC, Roger Clemens. In this piece, Bill Simmons (who is one of my favorite columnists to read on the regular) talks about how Bostonians may never forgive Roger Clemens for how he left the Red Sox.
Oh and on a quasi-related note, there's a reason Tom Brady can and probably will get away with wearing a Yanks cap on camera while walking with Gizzy. Answer's a real simple one. He's Tom Brady. Second and probably most important of all, check his left or right hand. 3 Super Bowl Rings. Steve Grogan didn't do half that, Drew Bledsoe didn't even get a tenth of that. Brady's done it in less than a decade as starter and he's not even close to being done yet. So yeah, forgive Brady if he has what I call the "Teflon Don" walk about him in Boston. Since Bird's in Indiana and Pedro's chilling in New York, Brady's the new Poobah up in Beantown and he's letting it be known he'll wear what he wants, when he wants and you Beantowners will love it and like it. Now if he goes to the Jets, then by all means, feel free to hate him. :-)
Anyway, back to the point of this. Clemens got paid $28M by the Yanks to pitch less than a full season, and for what? Because he's Clemens, and because in the minds of Cashman and Steinbrenner, he can help the Yanks retake the Sawks in the AL East. Well, they're half-right on this one. Note, HALF. Yes, I don't doubt that the Yanks will inevitably pull off their usual meteoric rise from the ashes and they will restore the usual order to the AL Northeast (I mean, really, who counts Baltimore, Toronto, and Tampa after May?). They'll ascend and well, we'll see just how truly over New York the Sawks are when they meet the Yanks with money on the wood.
As for Clemens, as his career has shown time after time, he's gone where the money is. Not the title. When he left to Toronto in 1996, let's be clear, not even a Canuck on PCP would've bought the Jays as title contenders. Those days were done when the Big Blue Dynasty was disassembled after their final WS Championship in 1993. When he went to Houston, yeah he did go for the money and due to him wanting to spend time with his family, but what changed since he toed the rubber for the last time in Houston? He still has family there, but Houston's not giving him $28M reasons to return "home". The Yanks who make hookers on the strip seem fairly complacent by comparison, are more than happy to do so. Why? Because they're the Yankees, that's why.
As I tried to say in my column last week, just because you have money to burn, doesn't mean you should. They're still paying huge because of the Carl Pavano bust, now they're overpaying Clemens to come home just because they're looking up at the Sox in the standings. Sometimes, if you don't get why you continue falling short despite it being right in your face, maybe you deserve to continue falling short. When the Yanks were rolling through any and everyone, they stuck to a simple formula that worked. Have one or two really big names in the lineup, have your role players like Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez do their thing, let the pitching staff do theirs and boom. Win titles. Now, everyone's caught up to what the Yanks did through their farm system and making smart moves, while the Yanks are basically doing what everyone else did to stay 15 paces behind the Bronx Bombers. So yeah, Clemens is back and if you're a true Yankees fan, it should make you sick that management believes this antique can get you title #27. If you're an Astro fan, feel happy knowing that the only Clemens you'll probably see again is Roger's son. The Yanks won't get to visit Houston this season, meaning the last you saw of Roger was last year when the 'Stros basically treaded water to a second place finish.
Oh and not for nothing, don't let there be a big game with Roger pitching for the Yanks. We all know how "big game" Roger can be...;)
More bang for the buck, right?