Last week, Clemens’ decision to sign with the Yankees seemed like a no-brainer. Clemens wants to win, and he has a much better chance of doing that with the Yankees than with the Astros. Even the Astros’ players seemed resigned to the fact that their team wasn’t going to compete this year.
But that was a week ago. Today, the Astros are in second place, having won their last four games. They are 4.5 games back of first-place Milwaukee, which has lost it’s last four games. The Astros have been re-energized by the call-up of minor league sensation Hunter Pence, who looks like the second coming of Willie Mays, or at least a young Kenny Lofton.
The Yankees? They just split a double header against the White Sox and remain eight games behind the Red Sox. They’ve gone 5-5 in their last ten.
If Clemens wants to win, where does he stand a better chance? Playing for the Astros in the eminently winnable NL Central? Or playing for the Yankees, in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, trying to catch a Red Sox team that looks to be the best on the planet?
I say he’s got a better chance in Houston. And if Houston wins the NL Central, all of a sudden you’re talking about a team with two top of the line starters (Clemens and Oswalt), two all-star sluggers (Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman), and one speedy spark plug/rookie of the year candidate (Pence). Would you want to play that team in the playoffs?