Friday, November 11, 2005

Calling Roger -- Over And Out!

Why do we sportswriters and bloggers like to talk about things that will never happen? What makes us devote hundreds of words to an occurrence that probably has as much chance of materializing as the Sacramento Kings video department being given the key to the city of Detroit?

So, here I go anyway.

If I was Dave Dombrowski, or better yet, Michael Ilitch, I'd ask around for Roger Clemens' phone number.

Clemens has filed for free agency. He may not even, truthfully, pitch in 2006. He is 43 years old.

Clemens a Tiger? Is it even remotely possible?

No matter; I'd start to crunch the numbers, give Roger's agent a call, and find out what it might take to bring the old Texan to Motown to pitch a few innings and teach our kids how to be major league pitchers.

I am usually loathe to talk too much about signing free agent pitchers, because most of them seem to go the opposite of north as soon as the first check of their new contract clears. But I kind of think Roger Clemens is a proven entity in this game, don't you?

Clemens won 13 games and posted an ERA of 1.87 in 2005. He keeps himself in terrific shape, despite kind of peetering out in the postseason. And that shouldn't be a concern if he came to Detroit, because the Tigers are probably not a playoff team anyway, even with Roger the Dodger.

Clemens, if he came, wouldn't be coming to capture another World Series ring -- he finally won one in 2000 with the Yankees -- that's for sure. He'd have to be sold on being a mentor and basically an ambassador for baseball in a city that is begging for some sort of relief from the stench it's been served for 12 years.

I'm sure Jimmy Leyland would appreciate the presence of a guy like Clemens, as would pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. Something about having a Hall of Famer on your staff that makes you smarter, you know?

The Tigers need help offensively, no question. Discipline at the plate is the key, and new hitting coach Don Slaught means to provide that. But when you have a chance to take a flyer on a Roger Clemens to take the mound every fifth day or so, don't you give it a whirl?

Even if it isn't likely to happen, I'm still going to place that phone call, if I'm DD or Mr. I.

What have you got to lose, really?

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