Since Roger Clemens announced his return to the New York Yankees everyone has had something to say about his arrangement, including a former teammate. Clemens will be allowed the same special dispensation he was afforded with the Houston Astros from 2004-06.
According to his contract, Clemens will not be forced to travel with the team when he isn't scheduled to pitch. He had the same deal with the Houston Astros. David Wells, a Yankees teammate of Clemens' in 2002 and 2003, doesn't agree with that.
"I don't think I would ever do it because of the fact I personally think it would disrespect the team and your teammates," 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?"
So would it be better for Roger to hang around and get liquored up the night before he pitches? After all, Wells himself alleged in his autobiography that he occasionally did that very thing. How about consistently being out of shape? Does that garner a lot of respect with teammates, Dave?
But the ultimate disrespect to your teammates is not being man enough to fess up to an injury----before a crucial World Series game. With the Yankees taking on the Florida Marlins in the 2003 World Series, Wells was slated to pitch Game 5 in a series that was deadlocked 2-2. Wells had been battling a bad back (the big beer gut probably didn’t help) and as a result lasted only one inning in that pivotal game. Now had Wells mentioned his condition to the club the evening before, starter Andy Pettitte could have pitched on three days rest. Instead, Wells insisted he was fine and the Yankees sent Pettitte to New York to prepare for his Game 6 start. When Wells wasn’t effective the Yankees had to rush Jose Contreras into duty in the second inning and he was not up to the task. The Yankees would go on to lose Game 5 in Miami and eventually the series in six.
I would guess that Roger Clemens will gain more respect being around only twice per week than David Wells hanging around everyday.