1. The Yankees waited for him all season. Without his contributions, their playoff chances were dim. Now that he's back, they're a very real threat to storm back and contend for the wild card.
Bobby Abreu, you got here just in time.
With all the attention focused on Roger Clemens, it's the revival of the Yankees' long-slumbering right fielder that sparked the Yankees' six-game winning streak, fueled the drive to Joe Torre's 2000th career managerial win and shoved the Bombers back into the playoff race. At the end of May, Abreu's line stood at .228 AVG/.289 OBP/.313 SLG. Those numbers ranked Abreu as one of the worst outfielders in baseball, along with the likes of Emil Brown, Jay Gibbons and Jason Lane. He's been a different player in June, hitting at a blistering .500/.604/.789 pace, including a 4-for-4 effort Sunday.
Abreu's not going to hit .500 for the rest of the season. But Yankees fans can stop worrying that he might hit .228. It's tough to say exactly what caused his massive slump; whatever it was, it got so bad that Abreu not only stopped hitting, he also stopped walking, a shocking development for a player who'd topped 100 walks in each of the past eight seasons. If Abreu matches his career numbers of .300/.410/.500 the rest of the way, he'll be worth about five more wins for the duration of the season than the Neifi Perez clone he resembled through the first two months. Trading Bad Abreu for Good Abreu would be about as valuable to the Yankees as trading Josh Phelps for Mark Teixeira.
Compare that to what Clemens is likely to provide compared to Kei Igawa or Matt DeSalvo. Last season, Clemens posted a stingy 2.30 ERA with the Astros, the third straight year below 3.00. On the flip side, Clemens averaged less than six innings per start and had the benefit of facing inferior National League lineups. He turns 45 in August and hasn't looked the same in limited action this year, whether on the farm or in Saturday's so-so outing against the Pirates. He'll help the Yankees, there's little doubt of that. But expecting him to be much more than two wins better than the run-of-the-mill pitchers the Yankees have been using is asking a lot.
In other words, Roger ain't the savior.