The Weekend Buzz while you were counting your Kentucky Derby winnings. ...
1. Rocket Man and the Bronx, Part 2: In the most exciting news for them since Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang were activated from the disabled list, the New York Yankees officially will welcome back Roger Clemens for a second tour, expected to begin around June 1.
|AL lineups, beware: Roger Clemens is coming to a mound near you very soon. (AP)|
Whatever happens this summer in New York certainly will not diminish from what he has already accomplished. But the view from here is that Clemens, who will turn 45 on Aug. 4, might already have had his warmest and fuzziest Yankee Stadium moment for 2007 when he announced his comeback in the seventh inning of Sunday's game.
The AL East is far more treacherous than the NL Central. And Clemens has signed up to face nine solid hitters a night in the AL as opposed to seven or 7½ in the NL.
Even for an ageless classic like Clemens, this is far from a gimme.
"I expect to do things at 44 or 45 like I did when I was 25," Clemens, wearing a Yankees cap and World Series ring, told Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay in the television booth Sunday afternoon. "I expect to be able to perform like that, and it will be a disappointment if I don't."
I'm not sure how smart this decision is, but there's no question that, at any age, Clemens still doesn't lack cojones.
With 348 career victories, Clemens arguably is the greatest right-hander in baseball history. And he undoubtedly will have some pretty good moments this summer.
But this side of the New York Mets, no NL lineup is as fearsome as Boston (Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and the rest), Toronto (Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Frank Thomas, Troy Glaus) or Cleveland (Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta), for starters.
Still, watching Clemens on Sunday, it was clear that he can't wait to step back into the New York spotlight.
He was entertaining, as when he was discussing the deal that brought him back to New York: "Looking at Cash (Yankees general manager Brian Cashman) and (agent) Randy Hendricks, they might have signed me for three or four years and then I'm going into senior softball."
He was passionate, as when he was analyzing the Yankees' bitterly disappointing start: "I have quite a bit of friends and ex-teammates -- current teammates again -- that might have had something to do with this. They have one of the best managers -- if not the best -- in Joe Torre. They have one of the best clutch hitters, that guy right there in the on-deck circle (Derek Jeter). They have the best closer (Mariano Rivera). And there are some of these guys with no championship rings, and that shouldn't be the case."