My favorite baseball writer, Buster Olney, has a great piece describing how Clemens landed in Yankee pinstripes.
The Yankees' charter touched down in Texas last Monday evening, and general manager Brian Cashman sent a text message to Randy Hendricks, the agent for Roger Clemens. "I just landed in your wonderful state."
Hendricks responded: "I'm out of town." And a couple of hours later, as Cashman dined with manager Joe Torre, he said, "I wonder if he's at Fenway Park."
This was just one more anxious moment, in the Yankees' months-long pursuit of Clemens. They had lost out on the bidding for the future Hall of Famer last year, but Clemens had remained close friends with a lot of the Yankees -- Derek Jeter, Torre and Cashman. And his very good friend Andy Pettitte re-signed with the team in January.
It's not often there is virtually no objection by Yankee fans to a free-agent signing. Regardless of the amount of cash it took to bring him back to The Bronx, the Yankees needed Clemens in the worst way if they are going to make a run at the division title.
This is purely speculation on my part, but I have a theory about Clemens and the exchange he had with Steinbrenner during Spring Training that Clemens says he will reveal "when the time is right."
Although there may be quite a bit more to the story, I think Steinbrenner wants to retire Clemens' jersey #22 and enshrine him in Monument Park with a "Roger Clemens Day." Clemens is a baseball historian as much as anyone and I think the idea of having his own monument next to Babe Ruth and immortalized in Yankee history intrigued him.
Yes, Clemens is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and is going to be enshrined in Cooperstown soon enough, but he has only played 5 seasons in NY and has enjoyed most of his success in other uniforms (his 2 World Series rings notwithstanding).
Again, there is probably a lot more to this story than a retired number, but I believe that is one of the perks Steinbrenner was whispering in his ear during Spring Training.
Of course, the $28M pro-rated contract might've had something to do with it as well.