Wednesday, May 31, 2006

White Lights, Strange City, Mad Music....All Around....


I did lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings where I saw the news of the Houston Astros signing Roger Clemens and I couldn't get this song out of my head on the ride home. I like Clemens. He's one of the few people who have been around long enough for me to remember them playing when I was still a baseball fan (it's like him and Julio Franco or something...). And statistically, I recognize what he has accomplished and the status he holds...and the respect he commands from fans, opponents and owners, alike. I have no problem with his coming back - even in the capacity in which he's coming back. That's great - kudos to him - hope it helps the Astros out yadda yadda yadda.

But here's what I don't get about baseball - is this really a team sport anymore? Here you've got a guy who could be one of the single greatest contributors to the Astros post-season hopes - and he misses the first 2+ months of the season, misses spring training, shows up when he pleases, works out at home, and doesn't travel with the team except on the day he pitches. How does this work? I'm not knocking Clemens for being selfish - shoot - if I could get a job that gave me that much flexibility and make $22mil doing it, I'd be all over it. But is this a good thing?

Organizations in all sports are known to make mid-season mercenary acquisitions to get them over the proverbial hump - but never before have I seen one whose contract is so uniquely personalized. And I know as a pitcher he doesn't have to perform every night - and I respect the fact that he values time with his family - but you'd think he'd at least show up and be a part of the "team", right?

If baseball can be this individualistic, why don't we form professional golf teams and tennis teams and compete for combined score or W/L like colleges and high schools do? Because I find it hard to buy into the concept of a "team" sport where one's actual presence is irrelevant but one's athletic skills can be such a difference-maker.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger Boyer said...

I would just like to work 20% of the work days and get paid $22M. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.


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