At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Draft Day – Bombs Away – Clemens on the Move?

• Today marks the beginning of MLB’s annual First-Year Player Draft, which will end after either 50 rounds or a round in which no team selects a player (whichever comes first). A big day in the lives of hundreds of aspiring ballplayers – given today’s date, it might not be inappropriate to think of it as D-Day – it resonates loudly in the minds of Cape League supporters as well, for the list of draftees will be chock full of names we recognize from the last couple of summer seasons. It also will answer some questions about this year’s Cape League rosters, as more than one player now planning to come over the bridge undoubtedly will be drafted and will sign, and thus become ineligible to play on the Cape. The proceedings can be monitored on mlb.com, so go ahead and tune in!

• The good news about the shellacking the Red Sox suffered in New York last night is that it only counts as one loss. The bad news is that our friends in the Crimson Hose may be in line for another, as recent Double-A callup David Pauley tries to do what World Series MVP Josh Beckett couldn’t: quiet the Yankee bats. I liked Pauley’s demeanor his last time out – he wasn’t especially sharp, but he did appear unflappable – but if his stuff isn’t markedly better today, then we could be in for another long night of line drives and home run bombs.

• Here’s an interesting item for you conspiracy theorists out there: Joel Sherman reported in today’s New York Post that “there actually already is talk that if the Astros’ poor play continues, perhaps Roger Clemens would want to be traded to the Yanks, Red Sox or Rangers.” Strange as this may sound, you have to admit that there is a certain logic to it. Clemens clearly has a soft spot in his heart for his home-town team, as he’s now opted twice to forgo retirement and pitch in that uniform. But if it turns out he can’t carry the club back to the World Series, couldn’t he still do the ’Stros some good by helping them obtain a few extra players or prospects? Houston would have come away with nothing if Clemens simply had signed to play elsewhere. So who knows? Maybe this is a way for him to have it both ways: support his local squad and maybe finish his career where he most wanted to – with a real contender.

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