By Stan Silliman
ROCKET’S CONTRACT OFF ROCKER
Houston Astros pitcher Roger “the Rocket” Clemens new $18 million contract could harm baseball. That’s according to our neighbor, Lyle (sometimes known as Crazy Lyle), not the best source in the world.
“See, Silliman, this is dumb,” Lyle slaps the paper down. “If it keeps going this way, teams aren’t going to be able to afford bats and balls.”
But he’s a seven time Cy Young winner, I tell Lyle. This may be his final year.
“Yep, and he’s going to make more in one game than Cy Young made in entire lifetime,” Lyle says.
We check this. At the age of 42, Roger Clemens is expected to not pitch over 25 games. They expect him to win about 18 games. In 25 games he’ll make about $ 720,000 per game. Denton True “Cy” Young, who won over thirty games in five different years and pitched in fifty games one year, made an estimated lifetime salary in his twenty two year career of $ 48,000. So from that standpoint, Lyle is wrong. Roger Clemens will make more in one INNING than Young made in his lifetime.
“Ya see, Silliman, how wrong this is? It’s going to come out to like a million dollars per win. If Jeter and A Rod try to restructure their salary on a million dollars per win basis and the Yankees cop 110 wins you see how crazy that is?”
They’re not pitchers. That’s not going to happen, I say.
“But I don’t like Clemens. He’s a headhunter. He’s a beanballer. He’s a brushbacker. He’s got those glaring red eyes,” Lyle screeches.
So you think he’d be perfect for those Visine commercials. I’m helping out here.
“No, you’re stupid. He’s influencing all those Latino ballplayers who want to become citizens and has them learning the Roger Clemens version of the national anthem.”
What? The national anthem?
“Sure, Silliman, glaring red eyes,” Lyle says. “Every Dominican, every South American, every Cuban, they’re all learning ‘Jose can you see from The Rocket’s red glare’ when they go in for citizen lessons.”
Oh, no. I let Lyle butcher the anthem. You’re skipping some lines, Lyle. What about the dawn’s early light?
“That’s the Tony Orlando version. Some of those Hispanic ballplayers like that.”
You are messing it up. You’re skipping the perilous fight.
“That’s what happens when Clemens beans ‘em and they charge the mound,” says Lyle.
What about the ramparts… we’re way off the subject now… that are gallantly streaming?
“Ramparts, that’s a mound of earth … the pitcher’s mound in Clemens case,” huffs Lyle. “And that gallantly streaming part about the flag? With Roger, it’s gallantly steaming. He throws that one hundred and twenty mile hour fast ball. You know what that would do to your ribs if he hit ya?”
Crack them? I say. I’ve lost this one.
“Ya think? I’d say. They’d bust,” Lyle pulls in close. “Like bombs bursting in air.”
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