“He had the opportunity to play,” said Joe Torre of Bernie Williams yesterday. “I’m sorry to say he didn’t take advantage of it in spring training. To think someone [38] years old, without any spring training or practice, could be ready to play, it’s just not realistic. You can’t do it.”

However, Torre had no similar misgivings about allowing a pitcher of some 44 years and 9 months to take a spot in his rotation with no more supervised preperation beyond 3 minor league tune ups. The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner explains why that decision will be immediately second guessed.

A season rife with injuries took another discouraging turn for the Yankees on Saturday. Roger Clemens, who was expected to start on Monday in Chicago, will miss at least the series against the White Sox.

Kei Igawa, who has spent nearly a month in the minors trying to revamp his delivery, is expected to start in Clemens™s place against the White Sox.

Clemens, who turns 45 in August, has made three minor league starts for the Yankees™ affiliates without any reported physical setbacks. But the groin, which troubled him off and on in his first five years with the Yankees, acted up during his last start, on Monday for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Despite being plunked by a Chien Ming Wang pitch
on his left hand during last night’s 9-5 loss, Boston’s Mike Lowell is in the lineup today against the Yankees and has an RBI off Mike Mussina, with the Red Sox leading, 3-1 in the 5th.

Jorge Sosa (6.2 IP, 1 earned run, 5 hits, 4 K’s) ran his record to 5-1 with the Mets’ 7-1 defeat of the Snakes at Shea earlier today. Though David Wright returned to action after sitting out Friday’s 5-1 loss, Willie Randolph still collected a win with a starting lineup featuring Ramon Castro, David Newhan, Ben Johnson and Ruben Gotay (above). The Amazins’ continue to get ridiculous production out of The ‘Stache’s replacements, as Gotay hit a 3 run HR off Arizona’s Juan Cruz. Damion Easley and Gotay have combined to smack a combined 9 homers — 8 of ’em since Valentine went on the DL.

Count Metradamus amongst those not unduly concerned about the Mets having “flushed Armando Benitez out of San Francisco,” and having “basically brought him back to the National League East where our team will have a few more cracks at him.”

Of course, it was in a Marlins uniform where Benitez had his greatest successes against the Mets, so I probably shouldn’t talk too soon. And more than likely, Benitez isn’t going to be let anywhere near the ninth inning unless Kevin Gregg, Henry Owens, Matt Lindstrom, Troy Percival, Bryan Harvey and Charlie Hough all go down with injuries.

Congrats to O’s prospect Radhames Liz (above) who tossed a no hitter last night in Bowie’s 2-0 win over Harrisburg of the Eastern League.