December 07, 2005

roger no longer an astro: redsox maybe or maybe just retirement one will not know till late january at the earliest time

posted by barry from h-town to baseball at 10:46 PM - 29 comments

C'mon Roger!! Put on those white and red pinstripes!! You would be great in Philly!! C'mon Rocket woo! woo....?

posted by GoBirds at 11:04 PM on December 07

I think he's going to retire. I think the Astros were the only team he was considering, honestly, and I think this closes the door. If he does play again, I highly doubt that it will be either the Yankees or the Red Sox. Those doors are closed rather tightly. Then again, every time I say to myself, Roger Clemens should just retire now, he goes out and gives a Cy Young contender effort, so who knows...

posted by uglatto at 11:13 PM on December 07

It is true that at $18m a year, 43 years is... old. He's not signable to anything more than one year deals at this point. That said:

1) The fact of the matter is Roger's 43 years old. ... We're not talking about somebody in the middle of a great career. We're talking about somebody who's at the end of a great career."
2) Clemens made $18 million this season when he led the major leagues with a career-best 1.87 ERA and went 13-8. He finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting behind 20-game winners Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis.
...are kind of incongruous, to say the least. Tim Purpura, there's a "Dan Duquette" on line one... :) (for those unfamiliar, Dan Duquette was the GM of the Sox who let Clemens leave, saying rather infamously that Roger wasn't worth keeping because he was a pitcher in the "twilight" of his career. This was when he still have 4 of his 7 Cy Youngs left to win in Toronto, NY, and Houston, and when the stats showed he was very good pitcher needing run support, not a fading pitcher past his prime) Jokes aside, Purpura doesn't need to say any silliness about "his career is over" to sugar coat this. Purpura made the right decision: arbitration means that the arbitrator may say that a guy who did so well the last 2-3 years- winning one Cy Young and finishing 3rd in another with one of the lowest ERAs in the league in years... a perennial Cy Young contender, ERA leader, etc,- will be "worth" a contract that no team would want to risk giving to a 43-year-old via arbitration. Further, the Astros hardly need more pitching- they are fairly pitching rich, and can afford to lose someone even of the caliber of Clemens. Clemens has a 2.92 ERA over the last 3 years, averaging 16 wins with almost 200K's per year (197.6). The guy is a fine pitcher, and at age 44 in 2006 will likely still be a fantastic asset to any staff. Deservedly or not, his bullpen work in the playoffs to help keep the Astros in it will be remember as signs of a "gutsy" pitcher with a lot left in his tank. Even at 43, Roger is one of the top-flight pitchers in the majors. If he wants to play, he should find plenty of suitors. However, if he wanted a long-term deal, though, no team should be foolish enough to sign him for guaranteed anything beyond one year. And that's why the Astros made this move: arbitration might rule he deserves it, age notwithstanding. The selfish part of me wants Roger to keep pitching until he's no longer effective. He's got 4503 strikeouts, and is 3 seasons from reaching 5,000. He's got 341 career wins, and with his freakish ability to keep pitching (he won 18 last year, and should have won 20 this year, for god's sake, with a 1.87 ERA), the fact that his career ERA has been lowered each of the last two years... it's not even inconceivable that he hits 400 wins. Nolan Ryan pitched until age 47, Clemens could probably do the same, and more effectively than Ryan ever was. Similar to Barry Bonds, I don't have to like Roger to not want, a little selfishly, to be able to say one day that I watched the greatest pitcher in history from his first games in a Sox uniform. If he hits 400 wins and/or 5000 strikeouts- both achievable in 4 seasons, although a pretty hefty longshot- Roger Clemens will be the indisputable "greatest pitcher of all time". I'd even argue he has that unofficial title sown up already.

posted by hincandenza at 02:55 AM on December 08

his bullpen work in the playoffs to help keep the Astros in it will be remember as signs of a "gutsy" pitcher with a lot left in his tank. Simply not true. When the astros needed roger the most he gave them two innings before coming out with an injury. There's nothing gutsy about two innings, and it certainly didn't show a lot left in his tank. It showed a man breaking down because of age. Before I'm accused of attacking the poor man, he admits as much himself: "The biggest reason Roger is not sure yet if he wants to play," Hendricks said, "is that he's not sure if he can physically make it through what he requires of himself to get ready for another season, to go through another spring training and then pitch for six months and another month of the postseason. He didn't make it last year without a breakdown, and Roger knows that. "He pitched Cy Young-caliber baseball for five months. Then his body rebelled, and that's been wearing on his mind. And then there's another question: When is it time to go? That one has been wearing on his mind, as well." So roger's waiting to see how he does in the world baseball classic coming up. This isn't about long term deals. I don't think Roger wants a long term deal. Roger will either a. retire, b. sign a one year deal with the astros, or c. move on to another team for a year. His decision. Does he know what he wants to do now or is his decision really up in the air? Who knows. But the astros had no choice in this. Clemens basically put them on hold, and they can't allow that to happen. If Clemens is smart he'll either retire or go back with the astros. But he's burned bridges before, so who knows what he'll do.

posted by justgary at 03:30 AM on December 08

If he wants to come back, some contender will offer him $5-10M for the year. Any sane GM would pretty much have to. If the voters weren't stupid, the question posed to such a GM would look something like: The reigning Cy Young winner, who was gunning for one of the lowest GPAs in history until a late slide last year, is a free agent and wants a one year contract on a contender. Do you want to make him an offer? Put it that way and it is obvious that any GM who doesn't at least make him an offer should be fired. That said, I agree that this was the right move for the Astros- if this goes to arbitration, you have to remove 'one year contract' above and substitute 'potentially wants to pitch until he is 47, at $18-20M a year', which makes a world of difference.

posted by tieguy at 08:05 AM on December 08

He's not prepared to make the decision right now, and it cost him a place with the Astros (probably - he can still sign after May 1). I can't see him actually retiring - that would be the big surprise to me. Roger never struck me as a guy would leave while still baffling hitters and being one of the top three pitchers in the game. I think he's heading back to the Yankees on a one year $15-20 million deal. Maybe even a bit less, to cut George some slack. One more shot at glory on the biggest stage in the game.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:12 AM on December 08

I don't like the way the article is written. It makes it sound like the Astros are blowing off their saviour: Roger Clemens came out of retirement and helped his hometown Houston Astros reach their first World Series. Now that he's pondering his future again, they won't wait for his decision. As has been pointed out, Clemens was the one holding up the Astros. He told them he wouldn't make a decision until January; meanwhile, the winter meetings are in full swing, and the Astros have to keep trying to make their ball club better. You can't make your ball club better until you know what you have to offer, and you don't know what to have to offer until you know whether one of the most significant pitchers of all time is going to play for you or not. A dumb, selfish move by Clemens, and I don't fault the Astros at all for moving on like this. tieguy's point about the possible results of arbitration is a good one. Would an arbitrator really award Clemens the right to a long-term contract, though? roger no longer an astro redsox maybe or maybe just retirement one will not know till late january at the earliest time What is this crap?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:36 AM on December 08

Would an arbitrator really award Clemens the right to a long-term contract, though? If I remember correctly, arbitration can only award one-year contracts. Clemens can re-sign with the Astros, but only after May 1st. If I had to guess, he's going to play the World Baseball Classic, perform wonderfully there, and then retire after that is over. However! If he does want to come back and pitch for a contender, the Blue Jays might have a couple of bucks left for him this year. It was the place of his great "revival" after leaving Boston... (/Jays fan) When the astros needed roger the most he gave them two innings before coming out with an injury. Some people would interpret that as trying to pitch through the (existing) injury, and that might be considered "gutsy". To be honest, nebulous terms like "gutsy" and "scrappy" are useless because they are always disputable by those that don't like the person they are being used to describe.

posted by grum@work at 08:55 AM on December 08

"Scrappy" can be used only to describe David Eckstein!

posted by Bury Bonds at 09:24 AM on December 08

Preach on Bury Bonds

posted by mcstan13 at 09:38 AM on December 08

As a Cardinal fan I wish all the Astros pitchers would retire. I really thought 2005 would be a lot closer than it was because their pitching but the Astros came on strong at the end when it mattered blowing by the Cards in the playoffs on the strength of fabulous, almost unhitable pitching. As far as Clemens goes, he's a god in my book. I'll support anything he chooses to do. If he wants to pitch when he's 60, I'll buy a ticket.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 09:42 AM on December 08

"Scrappy" can be used only to describe David Eckstein! Scrappy can be used to describe a lot of players (if you remove the S).

posted by drevl at 09:43 AM on December 08

Am I crazy thinking that Roger would be a valueable asset to any team coming out of the bullpen? Smoltz made the transition for a season or two and was fantastic. Rocket was critised for being a 6 inning guy (IMHO it cost him the Cy Young) so what not make the switch, it would allow him to pitch a lot longer and I think any team would be greatful to have the best pitcher of this generation in the most important role in baseball.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:48 AM on December 08

I think Clemens should sign contracts lasting no more than a week so he can get even more attention from the media. If the timing was right, he could start both sides of a doubleheader for different teams. Especially if he took himself out in the early innings of the first game.

posted by rcade at 10:00 AM on December 08

Some people would interpret that as trying to pitch through the (existing) injury, and that might be considered "gutsy". To be honest, nebulous terms like "gutsy" and "scrappy" are useless because they are always disputable by those that don't like the person they are being used to describe. Oh no, grum, you're not getting me to bite :) Look, if you want to put a game that clemens came in, fell behind, and pulled himself out because of injury after two innings up on his hof plaque as a sign of his being gutsy, be my guest. Roger has a history of pulling himself out of big games with injuries. I'm not the only one who has noticed. Maybe you feel differently. However, my main disagreement with Hal is his opinion that the end of his season, gutsy or not, showed he had a lot left in his tank. It didn't. It showed the season had taken a toll. Roger freely admits that. I also agree with you that words like gutsy and scrappy are useless because they are always used by those that like the person they are being used to describe. (works beautifully both ways, eh?)

posted by justgary at 11:00 AM on December 08

(works beautifully both ways, eh?) On second read, it doesn't work that well. Still agree with the sentiment, however.

posted by justgary at 11:28 AM on December 08

If the length of the season was a factor AND Clemons wants to see how he does in the WBC, then this seams like a move agreed to by both sides. If he does okay but not great in the tournament (or worse, but that seems doubtful) or pitches fine but realizes the desire's gone, then he can retire at the top (which is a reflection of the 2005 season, not a prediction of the WBC). If he feels the hunger's still there, then he gets a couple of months extra to prepare and signs on May 1 with the idea that he can last longer at the end with two less months of season to pitch.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:32 AM on December 08

Doesn't clemens want to go into the hall a yankee? Maybe that's what he's gunning for.

posted by justgary at 11:40 AM on December 08

billsays - I think that's a very possible scenario, but I think they would tell us if there was an agreement; there's nothing wrong with doing that. Purpura wouldn't have described his decision as gutwrenching. gary - Yes, Clemens wants to go in as a Yankee. No, he's not going to. There's no real justification for any team other than the Red Sox. He might be more agreeable to that because of the new ownership, or he can have no team on his cap

posted by spira at 12:25 PM on December 08

My computer died two days ago, but rcade made me laugh out loud. I'm sure the Hendricks Brothers are looking into that as a possibility for their prize heifer. I'll say this all at once: I'm going down to the church now to light a candle in hopes that we've seen this preening greedy onanistic stat-padding franchise-wrecking little attention whore for the last time. Although it's not gonna happen, is it.

posted by chicobangs at 12:53 PM on December 08

Chicobangs, there is no santa claus.

posted by justgary at 01:17 PM on December 08

I know. But the lighting of the candles makes me feel better somehow.

posted by chicobangs at 01:23 PM on December 08

Roger is a great pitcher. Bu it is sad to see a star go out with nothing left, Remeber Willie Mays. I loved Willie But that last couple years in New York was very hard to watch. I do not want that to happen to Roger. PLease retire on top.

posted by dkern at 01:53 PM on December 08

Hey chico-you having a memorial service for your computer? I hope the Rocket just goes away and retires. But since he is going to pitch in that "World Cup thingee", the hype will be there all winter that he will sign with somebody. We all know who the team will be too--the Yankees. The Rocket could still pitch for the Astos, he just cant sign until May. I am glad the Astros are not waiting around for the Rocket. Hopefully they can get their team in order.

posted by daddisamm at 02:10 PM on December 08

I hope the Yankees sign Roger (the attention whore) Clemons to 20 million bucks per year for 3 years and then he goes out and stinks up Yankee stadium so badly he makes Tanyon Sturtze look like Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson feel like a spring chicken. Clemons has a long history of screwing his own team over and making them look bad - nice to see it finally backfire on him.

posted by westcoastexpress at 03:23 PM on December 08

For the record, the title here should be "Astros Launch Rocket"

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:12 PM on December 08

Why didn't anyone quote me correctly?!

Deservedly or not, his bullpen work in the playoffs to help keep the Astros in it will be remember as signs of a "gutsy" pitcher with a lot left in his tank.
... is what I said. Y'all left off the first 3 words! Look, I don't believe it so; I was saying that "deservedly or not", he may be regarded that way by a lot of conventional wisdom. The same way Eckstein is regarded as "scrappy", the same way Jeff Kent was regarded as the "good ol' boy" to Bonds' "enraged negro" for a long while. I don't say it's just, or deserved- just saying that "conventional wisdom" is a funny thing, and can have a lot of sway on a lot of GMs. Unquestionably deserved is his reputation as one of the greatest pitchers in the game, still. Rightly so, about the only issue is if he has the "tank" to go all 6 months, and likely does no. A May 1st or later start date could mean the Roger who was flirting with Gibson's ERA for a stretch is still around for the playoff run.

posted by hincandenza at 07:18 PM on December 10

offered the job by the sox

posted by barry from h-town at 10:35 PM on December 11

The same way Eckstein is regarded as "scrappy" Don't even act like it ain't true! Oh, and props to Barry for getting the Sox in early ... much earlier than my link, which possibly should have just been filed under this one, damn it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:45 PM on December 12

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