This Date In Transactions History: Roger Clemens

Of all the dramatic things Suzyn Waldman has ever seen, the comeback of Roger Clemens ranks pretty highly.  On this date in 2007, the Rocket appeared in George Steinbrenner's box at Yankee Stadium during the seventh-inning stretch as the Bombers faced the Mariners.  Clemens told the rabid crowd over the PA system, "Thank y'all. Well they came and got me out of Texas, and I can tell you its a privilege to be back. I'll be talkin' to y'all soon."

The return marked Clemens' fourth return from retirement, enough to make even the most indecisive boxer or professional wrestler roll his eyes.  Coaxing the hurler out of the Lone Star State wasn't cheap either as he inked a deal worth the pro-rated portion of $28,000,022 (the "22", of course, for his jersey number).  That worked out to $18.7MM in total, good for roughly $4.7MM per month and $1MM per start.  The contract also included a "family plan" clause that excused Clemens from traveling with the club for trips in which he was not scheduled to start.

It wasn't hard to understand why the Yankees would back up a Brink's truck for his services – the club was in desperate need of pitching and Clemens had posted a 2.40 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 across parts of the last three seasons in Houston.  The 44-year-old's final return from retirement wasn't quite as sharp.  Clemens made 17 starts and one relief appearance in the regular season and registered a 4.18 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.  The Rocket was then shut down for the final few weeks of the season as he was bothered with a left hamstring injury.

Clemens' first start in the postseason proved to be his final of the year and his career.  In Game 3 of the ALDS against the Indians, the right-hander aggravated that same hamstring in the third inning and was pulled by manager Joe Torre.  The severity of the injury led the Yankees to pull him from the playoff roster, leaving him ineligible until the World Series.  Unfortunately for Clemens & Co., the Yanks didn't make it beyond the ALDS as Cleveland wrapped up the series in four games.  Clemens' final go-round in the majors wouldn't net him a third championship ring, but it did add to his overall net worth.  According to Baseball Reference, the Rocket made nearly $151MM over the course of his 24-year big league career.

5 Responses to This Date In Transactions History: Roger Clemens Leave a Reply

  1. Plesh88 3 years ago

    I was at this game and it was great. However I’m not sure he got the biggest ovation of the night. Also during this game an old lady was honored for beating up a robber at her local store with a mini 1960s Yankee souvenir bat.   

  2. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    I remember that day clearly: I was on vacation in San Diego, was disappointed that Mayweather got the decision over DeLaHoya the night before and was at a bar across from Petco or whatever the downtown stadium is called. I don’t remember what the rotation was at that time but I remember that Clemens coming back was a big deal. I sort of knew deep down he wouldn’t be the same but I remember that it didn’t matter since the rotation was pretty crappy at that time.

    He wasn’t BAD but he wasn’t the same Rocket.

  3. Redsoxn8tion 3 years ago

    I was hoping he’d return to the Red Sox

  4. Redsoxn8tion 3 years ago

    and wear #21 one more time. Too bad he didn’t as they won the World Series that year. Would have been a great way for him to finally retire.

  5. Nivarsity 3 years ago

    It’s the Lone Star state.  Not the Longhorn state.  

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