The Roger Clemens comeback story just won’t go away. It’s like he’s Brett Favre and Sugar Ray Leonard all rolled into one. The latest round of sound-bytes make Roger look exactly like what he is- a “me first” kind of guy. Like Favre and Leonard before him, Clemens is a glory hound that is finding it difficult to step out of the spotlight.
I don’t have a problem with Clemens pitching in a big league game for the Astros if he proves that he is capable, but the Rocket needs to understand his place within the organization. Drayton McLane is no longer the owner of the team and Clemens is no longer a Cy Young caliber pitcher, meaning he doesn’t get to make his own rules this time around. Jim Crane will not be bullied by the Rocket like McLane was.
Crane seems to be of the mindset that Clemens pitching one more game in an Astros uniform would be good for business. But Crane recently added some conditions to the Rocket’s potential comeback. Crane was quoted at astros.com as saying Clemens would have to pitch against a non-contender if he appears for the team in 2012.
Clemens told KRIV-TV he would only want to pitch against a playoff contender.
"I’ll crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. We’ll knock them right out of the playoffs. That would be the fun. Pitching against somebody that’s not in contention wouldn’t be any fun for me."
One day Clemens says he won’t pitch in the big leagues this season- and the next day he’s ready to knock someone out of the playoffs. Go figure. Roger just can’t seem to make up his mind. I don’t know if he had been told what Crane said, but it probably wouldn’t matter to Roger anyway. He’s never been one to hold his tongue.
Roger Clemens (Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE)
Clemens would, however, be well-advised to employ an iota of discretion when speaking in the future. As a special consultant to the Astros it is Jim Crane who will be signing Roger’s paychecks. If he intends on pitching or coaching next season Clemens may want to take that little tidbit under consideration.
I just don’t see Clemens pitching for the Astros this season. He has done okay against independent league hitters but has yet to last a full five innings. Add to that the fact that he’s probably starting to irritate Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow with his big mouth.
Luhnow already has a plan to move forward without Clemens, anyway. The Astros G.M. told astros.com:
"Right now, we have a six-man rotation and we’ve planned our rotation for the rest of the year. I’m not expecting any changes."
Houston fans should get one more chance to see Clemens pitch this season, but it will most likely be in Sugar Land. I think Clemens will have to learn how to toe the company line if he intends on being a part of the Astros organization going forward.