Clemens coming to York
Eric Menzer admits it’s something he and the York Revolution have been working on since Roger Clemens signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters nearly two weeks ago.
With the Revolution set to host Sugar Land for four games next week, Menzer, York’s president and general manager, wanted to get Clemens in York in some shape or form while the Skeeters were in town.
The Revolution announced Thursday afternoon that Clemens will indeed be in York next week. But the seven-time Cy Young award winner won’t be pitching. Rather, he’ll be uniform for the Skeeters when they take on York on Monday and Tuesday. Clemens won’t be in town the final two games of the four-games series between the clubs. He will travel back to Sugar Land following Tuesday’s game to get ready for his second start of the season for the Skeeters on Sept. 7 against Long Island.
Clemens, 50, made his first professional start in five years down in Sugar Land last Saturday, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings against Bridgeport. He allowed just one hit and struck out two, with his velocity topping out at 88 mph.
Coming to York: The way Menzer describes it, there aren’t too many details on how everything came together to get Clemens in York.
Sure, he’s been chatting with Skeeters’ general manager Matt O’Brien, who was formerly the Revs’ general manager, and checking with the Revs’ season-ticket holders on their interest to see Clemens in uniform. But there weren’t closed-door meetings or secret phone calls.
“The bottom line is he’s a player for another team,“ Menzer said. “He’s under his manager’s (Gary Gaetti’s) control and (Gaetti) controls what (Clemens) does.”
Menzer isn’t sure to what extent Clemens’ interaction with fans or media will be.
“We’re going to make him as visible and accessible to our fans as possible within the context of the fact that we’re in a playoff hunt and we’re playing a baseball game and it’s not a circus,” Menzer said.
Reaction: Some Revolution fans had mixed reactions Thursday upon first hearing the news about Clemens.
Juanita Leber, a 75-year-old York Township resident and a partial Revs’ season-ticket holder, already has tickets for next week and said she’s excited to see Clemens.
“I’ll be looking for his autograph. We went down to Florida about five or six years ago during spring training when he (Clemens) was with the Houston Astros. We got Andy Pettite’s (autograph) but we didn’t get Clemens’,” Leber said. “He (Clemens) ran to the locker room.”
But Manchester Township resident Judy Stabley, a Revs’ Silver Slugger season-ticket holder, doesn’t much care for Clemens.
“I don’t care. He’s kind of like Brett Favre, he keeps retiring and then coming back,” Stabley said. “He’s 50 years old. When is he going to call it quits?”
Tickets: Since Clemens first signed with the Skeeters on Aug. 20, ticket sales for the four-game series between York and Sugar Land next week have been going well, Menzer said. He’s not sure yet how sales have improved since Thursday’s announcement that Clemens will be in York.
“Ask me tomorrow morning,” Menzer said. “Obviously the phones have been popping the minute everything was announced. If you look on our Facebook page we have lots of ‘likes.’ We’ll see what that translates into.”
Still, attendance will be boosted considering next week is a weekday game in September, which typically don’t draw as well as games during the summer.
“It’s just the reality so it gets harder for us once school starts in the fall and high school athletics starts up,” Menzer said. “It gets harder for us to draw people. The fact that Sugar Land is here for four weeknights and he (Clemens) is going to be here is great.”
Both games Monday and Tuesday are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start. To purchase tickets, visit www.yorkrevolution.com or call 801-4487.