Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Clemens not Ready to Return Against Sox

The Yankees made it official last night: Roger Clemens will not make his return to the majors this weekend against the Red Sox. And the Sox are skipping Julian Tavarez's turn to realign their rotation against the Bombers.

The matchups are: Chien-Ming Wang vs. Tim Wakefield Friday; Mike Mussina vs. Curt Schilling Saturday afternoon; Andy Pettitte vs. Josh Beckett Sunday night. The Sox will push back Tavarez to start Monday against the Athletics in Oakland.

Yankees manager Joe Torre would not commit to the exact date that Clemens will return, but said it likely will be Monday night in Chicago against the White Sox.

"I'm not disappointed that he's not pitching at Fenway," Torre told reporters last night in Toronto. "I don't think that series needs any more hype than it gets every time we play it, whether it's in Fenway or at the Stadium.

"You'd obviously be tempted if you had a kid pitching and you can replace him with Roger Clemens. When you have Wang, Moose, and Andy, there's really not the temptation to do that."

Torre said he preferred to wait to talk to Clemens personally before committing to the Chicago date.

If Clemens is put on the Yankees roster Monday, he would earn $18,207,665 this season, a prorated share of his $28,000,022 salary.

Humor him
David Ortiz took batting practice again yesterday but was held out a third straight game because of tightness in his hamstrings. Ortiz, who Terry Francona said will be back in the lineup tonight, blamed the condition on a recent bout of dehydration. He was put on IVs last weekend in Texas.

"I'm done for the year," Ortiz answered in jest when someone asked in a similar vein whether he was ever going to play again. "I'm going to sit on my average."

He might as well think about his average, it was suggested to him, since he no longer hits home runs and has become a singles hitter. "Yeah," Ortiz said, "I'm becoming Ichiro."

Asked how he hurt the hamstrings, Ortiz said, "I've been running a lot, don't you see? They've been walking me every day."

Turning serious, he added, "Bad flu. The days I was dehydrated, all that stuff. It hurts every time I use my legs. But we've done a lot of things that are making me feel better. I might be in tomorrow. I'm not sure. We'll see."

Ortiz said he was following doctor's advice. But he rejected the notion that it's easier for him not to play when others, like Kevin Youkilis, are hitting. "I don't like no day off, bro," he said. "The situation can get worse, so it's better to lose a couple of days now than aggravating it and be out when the team really needs you."

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