(hey, if the Rocket’s so tough, when’s the last time he beat up Joey Gaithright?)

Boston’s Curt Schilling responded to the Yankees’ bold capture of Roger Clemens thusly via the prickly Everquest enthusiast’s 38 Pitches blog yesterday :

Would it have been nice to pitch with Roger Clemens? Absolutely. Would he have helped us be a better team? I honestly don’t know. Julian [Tavarez] has held his own in the 5th spot and we got a young left hander that went 7-2 last year in the big leagues that’s chomping at the bit to get back here. I am sure his signing was a pretty nice lift for them given the decimating injuries they’ve gone through to this point but I felt before the season, and even more so now, that this team is built to win a World Series as it’s comprised right now

Imagine how much money the Red Sox could save by firing their entire P.R. department and allowing their no. 1 starter to handle spin from here on in? ESPN’s Buster Olney is amongst those scoffing at Schilling’s stance.

You know that Schilling is saying what needs to be said in situations like this: Hey, we like our team as it is. The Red Sox have Jon Lester on the way, so they didn’t need Clemens, in the way that the Yankees need him — desperately.

But the idea that it’s unclear whether Red Sox may or may not be better off with Clemens in place of Julian Tavarez in the rotation … that’s absurd.

In what will hopefully be the last word on Clemens’ return to the Bronx, the Sultan Of Sloth is said to be offended by the perks of the Rocket’s deal (ie. being able to blow off road trips)

“I don’t think I would ever do it because of the fact I personally think it would disrespect the team and your teammates,” David Wells said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “You look at the other players. How are they going to respect you? What are they going to think if you’re not there pulling for the team?”

I can think of no single player more qualified in lecturing Roger Clemens on the matter of baseball etiquette than a pitcher whose commitment to the game is such that he refused to stop drinking even when threatened by gout.

In the wake of Adrian Beltre taking Mariano Rivera to outer space last night, the Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford notes (via the Hardball Times),

Anybody notice that Mariano Rivera has now allowed as many home runs (2) as he did for the entire 2005 season, and is one shy of his total for last year? He also isn™t getting nearly as many ground balls, with his current ground ball percentage standing at 39 percent after never dipping below 53 percent in any of the previous three seasons.