FanDuel - WFBC

January 21, 2005

Clemens is the highest paid pitcher in baseball history: The Rocket and the Houston Astros agreed Friday to an $18 million, one-year contract, and the seven-time Cy Young Award winner made the commitment to play for his 22nd major league season.

posted by smithnyiu to baseball at 04:18 PM - 41 comments

I predict 8-11 with a 5.61 era... worth every million.

posted by DirkDiggler at 06:14 PM on January 21

Seriously why doesnt he just retire and go out a winner?

posted by daddisamm at 08:43 PM on January 21

Because he'd rather be a greedy shit and go out a rich loser.

posted by Drood at 09:27 PM on January 21

I can't escape him. I'm watching boxing -- Billy The Kid Irwin in his final pro bout -- and there Clemens is, at ringside, talking about what a genius Roger Clemens is, and how huge his contract is. On this year's 18 mill: "I wish I could spend it, well, heh, maybe my grandkids will..." gah. I'd say he's already a rich loser. [MUTE].

posted by chicobangs at 09:40 PM on January 21

He'll bring people to the stadium and is, for that reason, worth it to the organization. That being said, Fuck Clemens. Sorry, I just can't help it.

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:07 PM on January 21

I find myself liking him more and more everyday. It's amazing what the lack of a Red Sox or Yankee's uniform will do.

posted by corpse at 10:21 PM on January 21

Let's be generous and say he wins 18 games. And in those wins he's good for 100 pitches. That's $10,000 a pitch. Joey's right. Fuck Clemens.

posted by DirkDiggler at 10:33 PM on January 21

baseball has become a sick game of pimps and hoes manegers are the pimps players are hoes and clemens is the sickest of them all

posted by david at 10:47 PM on January 21

Well, that's one way of looking at it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:48 PM on January 21

I said enough in the last Clemens thread that if I say any more I suspect I'll be mocked about it, but how many pitchers are going to demand -- and get -- this kind of money next offseason? Four? Six? Twelve? That's what has undermined the CBA in the past, and will only do further damage to labor relations in the future. And say what you want about owners not being able to manage their checkbooks, but this is the pool they're all swimming in. And this kind of blind feverish greed on all sides is what's stopped me from giving more than an observer's damn about baseball, a sport that had me as a true believer throughout my childhood. So fuck Roger Clemens. He's done as much harm as anyone to the business of baseball, not by accepting the checks that were written to him, but for the completely selfish and amoral manner by which he abandons teams for reasons that have nothing to do with the sport or the teams themselves. The Astros will win 75 games this year, no matter how many strikeouts Himself gets.

posted by chicobangs at 11:58 PM on January 21

but how many pitchers are going to demand -- and get -- this kind of money next offseason? Four? Six? Twelve? The only pitchers with the bargaining position (free agent) and results (potential Cy Young winner this year) that are still left is...well, maybe one. Maybe... R. Johnson - signed beyond next year P. Martinez - signed beyond next year J. Santana - asked for "only" $6.8mil in arbitration this year, so it's unlikely he would be able to TRIPLE that the next season (but don't count him out in 5 years) C.Schilling - signed beyond next year R.Halladay - signed beyond next year J.Peavy - not arb eligible T.Hudson - probably the only guy who could put together a Cy Young season (Leo Mazzone is a god) and has the pedigree to ask for a number that big in arbitration, and even then, he'd be hard pressed to win that case. It's a classic combination of: - contract length (only one year committment) - desperation (Astros lost a LOT of talent [Kent, Beltran, Miller], so they want to "impress" their fans with a signing and prove they are still close to winning) - history (you almost always get paid for what you've done instead of what you could do, and Clemens has done it better than anyone in MLB for the past 20 years) The Astros will win 75 games this year, no matter how many strikeouts Himself gets. But that's because they've gotten significantly WORSE since they got a game away from the World Series. Losing an All-Star 2B, All-Stud CF, and a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher, and not replacing ANY of them...that's going to cripple ANY team.

posted by grum@work at 01:22 AM on January 22

I think it's fair to take the two years total he's going to be playing for the Astros as an aggregate, too. I mean, last year he signed for significantly under market value. The total salary will be, what, something around 23 million? I think 11.5 million a year is fair value for a pitcher of that caliber.

posted by Bryant at 08:09 AM on January 22

I really can't be-grudge Clemens for making this amount - at some point, if you deserve legendary Hall of Fame stature, as he undoubtedly does, then you get the crazy dollars. It's not like this is a Dreifort deal where he had one good season. This guy is probably one of the top five pitchers of all time - and certainly the best of his generation. At least he didn't want a two year deal. That said, it really isn't about rewarding past contributions, it's what he can do this year. And frankly, he could win another Cy Young with Randy in the AL.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:29 AM on January 22

That said, it really isn't about rewarding past contributions, it's what he can do this year. Besides, it takes two for that kind of money. The employer offered that much, and he took it. Most people would.

posted by roberts at 10:42 AM on January 22

You know that in terms of baseball salary Clemens was a f---ing bargain last year. Five mill plus incentives. If you think eighteen is just two much spread that out over last year and this next season and you'll see that it's fair market value. Anyone who doesn"t like what these guys get paid either don't watch, or better yet don't go to the games. Having said that I have no problem with a guy who went 18-4, was near the top in era, and recorded two hundred strikeouts, and was one win away from yet another world series, where I'm sure the Astros couldn't have done any worse than the Cardinals. Oh by the way did he win his seventh cy-young last year?

posted by bigwhisky at 10:55 AM on January 22

You know that in terms of baseball salary Clemens was a f---ing bargain last year. Five mill plus incentives. If you think eighteen is just two much spread that out over last year and this next season and you'll see that it's fair market value. Anyone who doesn"t like what these guys get paid either don't watch, or better yet don't go to the games. Having said that I have no problem with a guy who went 18-4, was near the top in era, and recorded two hundred strikeouts, and was one win away from yet another world series, where I'm sure the Astros couldn't have done any worse than the Cardinals. Oh by the way did he win his seventh cy-young last year?

posted by bigwhisky at 10:57 AM on January 22

Some owners will never get it..they will continue to overpay and drive the bidding prices up. More ammo for agents like Scott Boras to use in the next few years. Good luck keeping their young live arms. Does the 18M "invested" in the 1 yr deal for Clemens when they lost "key talent" place them in a strong position for the World Series? I am skeptical... it sounds more like a desparation move by the Astros and that they have no long term plan for their team. I think they should have committed that money towards a 7 yr deal for Beltran. A contending team will generate more revenue (local TV money) then Clemens' 17 home field starts for one year. I don't think this Astros team will be a contender this year without "career years" by their aging everyday players in that band box of a park. Clemens has no loyalty or class. He is the poster boy for the "me" generation. Roger should go into the Hall of Fame with a $ sign on his cap.

posted by McLaw at 11:58 AM on January 22

Lets see.....the Redsox made it clear they didn't want Clemens, or Wade Boggs for that matter. I'm sure they were very hurt when they both went to the Yankees and won world championships. And if you think Clemens is greedy have you already forgotten what he was paid last year? I live in Seattle and would have been ecstatic to have had Clemens, let alone paid him five mill plus incentives. Only we paid another forty something pitcher named Moyer a little more, only to get a six and 11 pitcher. case closed. peace

posted by bigwhisky at 02:12 PM on January 22

You ever notice when people say things like "Case Closed," or "End of Story," it never, ever is? Amen, McLaw. The Red Sox (and the Blue Jays and the Yankees after that) didn't want him at the exorbitant price he was asking, given his age and what he'd accomplished. The problem is that there's always someone dumb enough to buy the Hall-Of-Famer BS. He doesn't help his teams win. He pads his own stats. The team winning or losing or even existing is inconsequential to him. If one of the purposes of sport is to instill and reflect values in society (and that's one of the functions of sport, like it or not), then Roger is as bad an example of how to conduct oneself in society this side of the Hilton Sisters.

posted by chicobangs at 03:22 PM on January 22

Let's do some comparing... CLEMENS: -7 CY Young awards -Hall of Fame status -One of the top pitchers in baseball ALL OF YOU WHO HATE ON HIM: - let's see here oh yeah you dont have any of that do you? UM NO! You are just jealous b/c if you were that good you'd get paid that much too so stop hating on him and look at the situation... if someone offered you 18mill to play a sport that you LOVED and the you are GOOD at you'd take it and you'd play CLEMENS brings hope to the fans the fans to the stadium so he deserves the money he is getting... and you just watch when the ASTROS win the series this season you'll all be claiming you were behind CLEMENS the whole time

posted by starrybirks1504 at 03:38 PM on January 22

Starrybirks... your "argument" is juvenile and misplaced.

posted by McLaw at 04:02 PM on January 22

starry, I (we) think you are missing the point. I think what we are trying to say is: One person is not bigger than the game. And when demands escalate, owners are forced to pay something close - in comparison with what other owners are paying for an equivalent player - or another owner will pay the demand, so the current owner risks losing the player. That being said, when the numbers get so high they outweigh smart business, you run the very realistic possibility of owners not being happy with the MLBPA. When this happens, they try to change the next CBA, and we end up with a lockout or a strike. It sucks, and it is killing all sports, and the players can contol this, but Roger is proof that they (and their blood-sucking agents) won't. My two cents.

posted by DirkDiggler at 04:11 PM on January 22

Starry, I may only have three Cy Youngs, but I'm still allowed to express my reasonable opinion on Mr Clemens.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:25 PM on January 22

I don't get it. When MJ used to play on 1 year contracts and got 30M a year no one batted and eyelash. What's the big deal with Clemens getting 18M? He was the best pitched in MLB and he was on a one year contract. Now he gets paid. I don't see a problem. I'm apathetic about Clemens but if I'm 40, at the top on my profession, and I now it's coming to an, I would want to get paid. If you're a CEO or an Investment Banker with maybe two more years you don't drive for big $$$s? Why the standard for Clemens?

posted by Mike McD at 05:01 PM on January 22

Are people aware of the enormous amounts of money that other individuals, at or near the top of their respective entertainment related professions, receive as fees, income, endorsements and/or salaries(for example: television actors; race car drivers; variety, game, and talk show hosts; comedians; magazine and periodical publishers; movie actors; golfers; singers; directors and producers(television and film); rap preformers; tennis players; musicians; boxers; poets, authors and writers(of everything from songs to to science fiction, humor, self-help, how-to books or the latest diet fad; wrestlers; etc.) but I don't think I can ever recall a substantial amount of negative public reaction even after some such individuals have repeatedly acted in a variety of ways that established their character to be entirely self serving, morally bankrupt, and disgustingly unacceptable and/or criminal. Here we have a future hall of famer with the truly amazing ability and talent to remain among the top pitchers in MLB for more than twenty years. He is finally rewarded with the kind of salary having been paid in the NBA for many years, even to first year players fresh out of high school, probably avoiding prison only because they could jump and needed little if any talent since the NBA had nearly run out of players that could shoot, play defense or display any understanding of how to play as a team. I can't understand the hostility or anger, and the attacks on Roger Clemens character are simply strange if viewed from a career perspective.

posted by outathepark at 05:08 PM on January 22

Mike McD and outathepark, I think MJ and Roger are a lot different in their roles. MJ was a factor in every game, and he was worth whatever he wanted because he was that valuable to the Bulls and the game. But what worries me is $18M is simply too much for any a pitcher like Clemens for one year in today's market, with today's crop to choose from. Now the bar is so much higher than last year's $$. So, it's apparent the Astros can afford it, but what happens when the next phenom wants crazy money to match Roger's $$ and he takes his current team out of balance to accomodate? Smaller franchises can't compete with this. It's the wild wild west all over again.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:27 PM on January 22

the attacks on Roger Clemens character are simply strange if viewed from a career perspective. How do you figure? He never kept his word when he left the Sox, he turned his back on the Jays, he lied about retiring with the Yankees. He's due to catch some nastiness. Having said that . . . He doesn't help his teams win. He pads his own stats. The team winning or losing or even existing is inconsequential to him. Utter bullshit. The guy's a self-centered dick who used to keep his Walkman on while his manager was trying to talk to him in Boston, but to say he never cared/ isn't a competitor is silly. Look at his adjusted ERAs (ERA+): he was helping someone win. DrJohn, one of those Cy Youngs was sentimental. I should have gotten it last year. Look at my posting history.

posted by yerfatma at 05:48 PM on January 22

Rocket is to baseball what the NBA is to the NBA

posted by smithnyiu at 06:10 PM on January 22

I agree that he is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, his physical talent to pitch for twenty year may be unmatched with Nolan Ryan as the exception. I rooted for him many times because I wanted the TEAM to win but his legacy is that of an classless selfish ass in my opinion. Was Roger throwing at batters heads classy? Were his actions that of a role model when he threw the splintered bat at Piazza during World Series on national TV and then lied by saying he thought the bat was the ball? Hit a homer off him and he throws at your head then claims he is trying to pitch inside but "it got way". He was called "intense" when he acted like a spoiled jerk. He is not a likeable guy. He is not fan friendly and he is very arrogant. His contract last year allowed him to leave the team on days he didn't pitch. Real team guy? I truly believe he would rather go 20-1 with an ERA of 2.00, win the CY Young award on a team that is 70-92 as opposed to having a record of 8-15 with ERA at 4.50 and winning the World Series. Outatthepark..... The NBA is a different sport. Fewer roster spots so more $$ per player and unlike pitchers they play every game. One NBA player can deliver a playoff spot or a title. MJ never left the Bulls for free agency and remember he was underpaid many years, he honored his contract with the promise by Jerry Reinsdorf that he would be taken care of. Jordan was responsilble for the BIG network TV money that supported ALL of the NBA franchises so very few begrudged his final years at 30M with the Bulls, but his legacy fades slightly with the Wizards. The game of baseball is going downhill and I love the game. The drive for BIG $$$ for homers and stats over the good of team led to the steroid scandal. The owners, commissioner, players and agents are all at fault. This was a great thread for discussion. I enjoyed everyone's thoughts and opinions.

posted by McLaw at 06:10 PM on January 22

The Red Sox (and the Blue Jays and the Yankees after that) didn't want him at the exorbitant price he was asking Technically, the Blue Jays never got a chance to keep him because he demanded a trade after the second season when he realized they weren't going to win a World Series any time soon. if someone offered you 18mill to play a sport that you LOVED and the you are GOOD at you'd take it and you'd play That's pretty obvious. What some people might be a little perturbed about is that he asked for a record $22million in arbitration. He was the NL Cy Young winner last year, but in no way was he the best pitcher in the major leagues in 2004. Not even close. and you just watch when the ASTROS win the series this season you'll all be claiming you were behind CLEMENS the whole time After losing Kent, Beltran and Miller and getting no one of consequence to replace them, I'd be VERY surprised if they make the playoffs this year. I'd be quite happy (as an American League fan) to see a snakebit squad like the Astros finally get to the World Series. But I definitely wouldn't put any money on that happening.

posted by grum@work at 06:20 PM on January 22

slight derail So who's cap will he wear in the Hall of Fame? I know it is up to the commitee and not the player so which team is most representative of his career? /slight derail

posted by geekyguy at 06:39 PM on January 22

So who's cap will he wear in the Hall of Fame? Excellent query. My guess is the one he has most ring(s) with. The evil empire.

posted by smithnyiu at 06:53 PM on January 22

So who's cap will he wear in the Hall of Fame? "GoldenPalace.com"

posted by crank at 07:57 PM on January 22

I think he'll probably end up wearing a Boston Red Sox cap, just because that's the team that established his career AND where he's played the longest. They'll just do the same thing they did with Wade Boggs. Though, to be honest (and a bit silly) on a per-year basis, his best performance was with the Toronto Blue Jays. The pitching triple crown and a Cy Young every year he played!

posted by grum@work at 09:19 PM on January 22

Minor digression: how much do the Astros fans love the guy? Are a substantial majority of them going to say, "Yup, $18 mil is worth it, and $22 mil woulda been okay too"? Or are they going to say...something else?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:52 PM on January 22

You know ,I said this earlier, if you don't like the salary don't go. Seriously, every organization has some player grossly overpaid for what he does. i was unhappy with the shit Seattle put on the field last year and after opening day I didn't go. Point is I can talk shit if I want to! Everyone is up in arms over this contract and how they think it's skewing salaries. Remember A-rod, Tom Hicks. That screwed up more than this one year reward for a cy-young season. Also who would you rather have? Clemens or Pedro? No lo contendre!

posted by bigwhisky at 04:04 AM on January 23

Clemens or Pedro? No lo contendre! Actually, I think it could be a pretty close contest for overall value (pitching quality * innings pitched) to their team for this single season. Clemens may be old, but Martinez has that tear in his labrum. Which contract do I think was the better one, Clemens with Astros or Martinez with Mets? That's a tough call.

posted by grum@work at 09:42 AM on January 23

J. Santana - asked for "only" $6.8mil in arbitration this year, so it's unlikely he would be able to TRIPLE that the next season (but don't count him out in 5 years) Santana is likely to sign a long term contract worth more than 6.8 a year. So who knows what he can command at the end of that contract. I just find it odd that Clemons continues to play after making such a be thing about being with his family! I guess 18mil is more important than quality family time! Thats a shame...

posted by daddisamm at 10:35 AM on January 23

When I say "Fuck Clemens, " I'm not saying he isn't worth the money. I'm just saying he is, well, in the words of McLaw, a "classless selfish ass." He could be making a million billion dollars and pitching 40 wins per season and I would still think he was a prick. When he pitches, I turn off the TV.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:48 PM on January 23

So whose cap will he wear in the Hall of Fame? Hello, self-linking to my own column. :)

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:48 PM on January 23

I just find it odd that Clemons continues to play after making such a be thing about being with his family! Don't find it odd. If Clemens actually does what he says, then you should be astonished.

posted by justgary at 08:55 PM on January 26

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