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3.08.2007

The Ever-Elusive Roger Clemens


In a possible attempt to be manipulative and controlling, Roger Clemens still has no idea where he's going to play this season. And by this season, I mean whenever the hell he wants to come back. Maybe May. Maybe June. Maybe Houston. Maybe New York.

He hugged Joe Torre, spoke with George Steinbrenner and cheered for Andy Pettitte on Wednesday night while watching the Yankees play Cincinnati with his son, Koby. The Rocket posed for pictures, signed autographs and worked an inning on the Yankees' telecast, dancing around the burning question of whether or not he'll be playing this season, of course.
"To totally be honest, I hear everybody. I understand. It's very flattering," he boasted, "There's days where I'm excited about it, maybe I should try it, and then three days later I'm thinking that there's no way. I don't know that I can put my body through that again... It's a huge commitment because as you get older, you want to continue to be able to stay injury-free and still you have a high expectation of playing," he said.
The 44-year-old hurler has been down-playing any talk of playing in the majors this season, but says, "give me a call in early May, I'll have another decision to make." Who else does that? Who else has the luxury of saying, "Oh, just call me in May. Maybe I'll pitch for you then."

Clemens did say that if he does end up playing, it would definitely be for either his hometown Astros, the Red Sox or the Yankees. The seven-time Cy Young winner returned to the Astros last year for half a season, going 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 19 starts.

He pitched for the Yankees from 1999-2003, enjoying two World Series championships with them before spending the last three years in Houston with his good pal, Andy Pettitte, who now works for New York.

Clemens has been staying in shape - some say even better shape than last year - occasionally pitching BP for the Astros' minor leaguers, where Koby plays. After Yankees newcomer Doug Mientkiewicz was hit by a pitch, Clemens joked with his son: last year, Koby homered off Roger in batting practice and the next time up, Clemens buzzed his own son.
"Next time he hits a home run and looks at it, he is going to get some color on it. Like I tell everybody, Mufasa is not going to give up the kingdom to Simba, just yet."
Sweet Disney reference, Rocket.

[New York Times]



5 comments:

Bassmaster said...

He'll play. In New York, but not until June or July.