Me: Roger, welcome back!
Roger Clemens: Thank you…Where am I again?
Me: New York.
Clemens: Oh yeah. Awesome. You know, I always loved playing in New York, and my family-
Me: Roger, Roger, whoa. Stop it. You don’t need to go through that spiel with me. We all know why you’re back here.
Clemens: I came back for one reason -- to help the Yankees win a World Series title. I’m very committed to-
Me: Holy crap, Roger! Will you stop it already! Is there an off button on your back?
Clemens: System error!
Me: I have no idea what’s going here. Let’s cut the crap though, Rog. For serious. You came back to the Yankees for the money, and we all know it. That’s the reality. But a lot of Major League Baseball teams have money. What reasons besides money made you decide to come back to the Yankees?
Clemens: That’s a great question. I don’t know…probably the money.
Me: Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. What influence did Andy Pettitte have on your decision?
Clemens: Andy’s like, my soul mate. And it’s perfect too, cause he has the kind of soul that does whatever I say.
Me: What does your soul do?
Clemens: Hunts deer, mostly.
Me: Anyway, you still didn’t answer the question. How did Pettitte affect your decision?
Clemens: Well, Andy called me up last week and was like, “Hey buddy, why don’t you come join me back in New York,” I was all like, “What? What are you doing in New York?” I didn’t even know he was there. I thought he like, retired or something, ya’ know, since that’s what I did. He likes to do what I do.
Me: Nothing. So wait -- you didn’t even know Pettitte was back with the Yankees until last week?
Clemens: I don’t really follow baseball when I’m not playing. I don’t know if you know this, but I got like (starts counting on his fingers)…a bunch of kids, and I’m always going all around to watch ‘em do stuff. People love when I watch my kids do stuff, cause then they know that I wasn’t kidding about wanting to be close to my family. But I was. Obviously.
Me: Is it true that you introduced the band Aerosmith to human growth hormones?
Clemens: That is the most ridiculous question I have ever heard. It doesn't even make any sense. I don't even know Aerosmith.
Aerosmith looks noticeably buffer since their rookie season
Me: Roger, do you plan on being as utterly dominant as you were before and after you originally arrived in New York, or do you plan on pitching for the Yankees like you did when you pitched for the Yankees? Cause that would suck.
Clemens: Hey man, I won two World Series titles and a Cy Young Award here! How’s that for dominant?
Me: Let me play devil’s advocate here. You’ll be the devil, and I’ll be the advocate. “Yo, devil, what’s up? Seriously though devil, I can’t really advocate for you anymore. I mean, yeah, you won two titles here, but that was really you latching onto an already great and successful team just so you could satisfy your resume with a ring. And you never really dominated here like you did with other teams. In Houston, you would get one run of support and shut the other team out. When you were a Yankee, you’d give up a few runs in the first inning, and then get bailed out by a great offense. What’s up with that, devil?”
Clemens: I am not the devil.
Me: Roger, when you agreed to come back to the Yankees on Sunday -- via your usual brand of understated, attention-deflecting gestures -- you immediately inserted yourself into an already dominant starting pitching staff. Are you prepared to go head-to-head with Kei Igawa* for the third spot in the rotation?
Me: Kei Igawa. He’s like the left-handed version of Jeff Karstens, except he’s Asian and wears sunglasses on the mound. That’s kind of his “thing,” so don’t you go trying it!
Clemens: Being Asian? Wait -- Who’s Jeff Carson? I told you, I don’t really follow baseball.
Me: Roger, I heard that when you announced your return to the Yankees on Sunday during the game, you inadvertently caused a post-menopausal Suzyn Waldman to become pregnant with your child. Is that true?
Clemens: I sure hope not. I'm running out of names that begin with "K." All I got left is "Kid." So I'd be like, "Hey Kid, get over here," and then I'd have a bunch of kids running over to me, which would be a problem, cause I don't like kids.
Me: Do you think the Daily News has already printed the headline “Rusty Rocket” in preparation for your first start?
Clemens: I was thinking more along the lines of “Rocket Launch,” or even “Rocket Boost.” I swear, that paper always amazes me, with the way it takes a simple nickname and spins it around to coincide with current events. Hey, I just thought of one: “Rocket Launch!”
Me: That’s a good one. I always had the headline “Rocket Fuel” waiting in line for the day you got caught using steroids. Then you kind of did get caught, but nobody covered it for some reason, so I couldn’t submit my headline. Weird.
Clemens: That’s funny, cause I always had a headline in my back pocket in response to that headline. Ready for it? “Rocket Cleared.” But wait - then there’d be like, a dot, dot, dot, and in smaller print below it, it would say, “for takeoff,” but then “for takeoff” would be crossed-out, and in its place it would say, “of all charges.” Pretty awesome, huh? I almost wish I had gotten caught using steroids, just so I could have used that one.
Me: You sort of did, though.
Clemens: “Rocket EXPLODES!”
Me: Alright, alright! Calm down, calm down…I won’t mention that again. Really, I won’t.
Me: Roger, let’s bring this talk back to baseball. When will you actually start pitching for the Yankees this season?
Clemens: I don’t know…whenever.
Me: Is that more of a “next month” whenever, or a “Carl Pavano” whenever?
Clemens: Probably closer to next month. The sooner I start pitching, the sooner I start making money.
Me: Well then-
Clemens: Wait, wait – can you cross out “making money,” and instead put “being with my family?”
Me: I could…but that wouldn’t make much sense.
Clemens: Why not? Read it back to me.
Me: Ahem…”The sooner I start pitching, the sooner I start being with my family.”
Clemens: Yeah, so? That’s like poetry right there. People love that family crap. They eat it up.
Me: Yeah but…well, for one thing, your family lives in Houston.
Clemens: Wait -- where am I?
Me: New York.
Clemens: Oh. Well shoot, man, I got like twenty-some houses across the country. One of ‘ems gotta be in New York, right? Somebody call the family and get ‘em over here quick. What’s their number? Where’s my Rolodex? Hey Andy -- get over here!
Hey, seriously man, how much you making over here? Cause I got family in Japan...
*Update: Kei Igawa was sent to SINGLE(!)A on Monday, so Clemens can breathe a sigh of relief. In doing so, the Yankees hope that Igawa will only become a "minor" bust. Bu, dum, ching!