Roger Clemens, New York Yankee

I'm so glad to see Roger Clemens coming back with the Yankees. You know what this means? It means the older, experienced clinician of baseball will be twiddling his thumbs playing ball with all these young, inexperienced new players just entering the league. Maybe he won't have the heat that he used to, but he doesn't need it anymore. He's able to read what people are thinking rather than just throwing the heat at them.

But he still summons the heat when it's appropriate.

"He's older than most guys," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, "but he still takes care of himself very, very much."

Clemens, who decided that he would pitch only for a team with hopes of playoff contention, will join a Yankees club that has seen its starting pitching searching for some consistency amongst a sea of injuries. And why not? Clemens has earned his spot on any team, in any position he wants. He even proved himself by winning a ring (with the help of Joe Carter's dramatics) with the Bluejays in '99 and reaching 300 wins and 4,000 strikeouts in less than twenty years. If Clemens was ever living in the shadows of Nolan Ryan, then he's shining bright now.

What is this post doing here? Could you be Roger Clemens? Maybe you are the rookie batter. Perhaps you're George Steinbrenner. Why not bring Clemens back if he's sitting at home bored? Find space in the budget for an extra "bonus position" for one year. What could that bring your organization? What's wrong with a planned short-term position?

Take the Clemens Principle and apply it to your organization. Do you know someone whom you could invest in for a short period and whose cost would be easily justified for the result? Can you put a dollar amount on a reliable system or a small but permanent quality improvement? Stop paying consultants (AA relief pitchers) to perform monthly or quarterly "audits" that yield the same survey-friendly signed, sealed, delivered reports. Start fixing things.

Clemens is in for one year. It may be the best decision that Steinbrenner has made in a long time. At the end of the year both sides get a chance to have an honest discussion about upcoming goals and possible outcomes.

Why not?

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