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Clemens returning to Yankees, but will he help?



On Sunday " in the kind of dramatic fashion only the Yankees can conjure up " Roger Clemens stood up with a microphone at Yankee Stadium and announced himself as the savior to all who wear pinstripes and bow down to small statues of Babe Ruth every night.

OK, so those aren't the exact words Clemens used " but that is exactly what he was thinking, along with several million New York fans still trying to recover from the 2004 American League Championship Series loss to the Red Sox.

It was the biggest comeback in baseball history, according to Boston faithful, and the biggest choke in sports history, according the rest of the civilized world.

Is 45-year-old Clemens the answer? Can he carry a pitching-poor team to the World Series? And since he won't actually start pitching until around June 1, will it be too late to even matter?

All kinds of questions swirl around Clemens' return to the Bronx. He was there the last time the Yankees brought home the title, and even though he could have returned to Boston, where he spent the first 13 seasons of his career, he evidently felt New York offered him the best opportunity to win.

Fact is, Boston's pitching staff is still better than New York's, even with the addition of Clemens. Sure, the Red Sox would have been more than happy to have Clemens return, but weren't willing to pony up $28 million. "Jay C. Upchurch



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