May 8, 2007 -- THE big winner when Roger Clemens signed with the Yankees was not Clemens or the Yankees.
It was Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and, just as vitally, his agent, Scott Boras, now know how the Yanks will react when they are desperate. They will throw away their value system and throw oodles of money to make the desperation stop.
The Yankees, via GM Brian Cashman, have said they have no intention of extending Rodriguez's contract after this season, when he can opt out of the final three years. They also once said they would never tolerate special rules for a player, such as allowing Clemens to come and go as he pleases.
In the offseason, when Rodriguez almost certainly will tell the Yanks he is leaving without an extension, desperation will set in. Now that Rodriguez seems finally to have mastered playing in New York (heck, he is nearly as boring in his postgame quotes these days as Derek Jeter), are the Yanks really going to let him leave? And find an adequate replacement where?