Roger Clemens will be pitching for the Astros again this year.
Roger Clemens is coming out of retirement for the third time, agreeing to a contract to pitch for the Houston Astros for the rest of 2006. The 43-year-old Clemens, who will be entering his 23rd major league season, is agreeing first to a minor league contract that pays $322,000 over the five-month minor league season, and his first start is likely to be June 6 at Lexington, Ky., the Class A team where his oldest son, Koby, plays. If all goes well, his second minor league start would be June 11 at Double-A Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by a start June 16 at Triple-A Round Rock, Texas.
Clemens announced his return Wednesday at a news conference. “The ball’s in my court now,” he said. “This was a difficult decision on my part in a number of situations. I have to now take the next step and get my body ready to come back, get effective, win games.”
When he is added to the major league roster, he’ll get a one-year, $22 million contract — actually, the contract would be worth $22,000,022 (Clemens’ uniform number is 22). But because he won’t be playing the full season, he’ll receive a prorated percentage of that, which would come to about $12.25 million if he rejoins Houston in late June. The tentative goal is to have him start against the Minnesota Twins on June 22; if he’s put on the big league roster that day, he would earn $12,632,307.
Clemens won his seventh Cy Young Award in 2004, going 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He went 13-8 with a 1.87 ERA last year, winning the major league ERA title for the first time since 1990.
Clemens is already the greatest pitcher of his generation–and I say that as a Braves/Greg Maddux fan and has all the accolades and championships anyone could ask for. Still, there’s no reason for him to hang it up while he’s still a truly dominant pitcher, even if he is geriatric by Major League standards.
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