July 9, 2003

Consider the following as one cynic’s ability to cobble together intrigue or pure coincidence.

A week before the All-Star Game, a Fox TV executive named Ed Goren was reportedly campaigning for Roger Clemens’ presence on the American League roster. His logic was simple: The guy had 301 career wins. To that point in 2003 Clemens was 8-6 with an ERA of 3.75. Respectable, but not exactly stellar.

The fact that Clemens was pitching for the Yankees had nothing to do with Goren’s lobbying. Or so it was said. If his name might nudge Fox’s ratings up a smidgen, that was simply a happy happenstance.

The man bumped off to make room for Clemens, Barry Zito of the Oakland A’s, found out after he arrived in Chicago.

“It’s like you’re with a girl and a friend comes up and tells you she doesn’t want to date you any more,” Zito said.

As a consolation prize, Zito’s performance to that point in 2003 was, like Clemens’, hardly spectacular: 8-6, 3.49. It made Zito a prime candidate as a subtraction from the AL staff.

For the record, Clemens retired the side in a 1-2-3 third inning.

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