The Baseball Desert

Friday, January 16, 2004

Taking the heat

Roger Clemens is taking a lot of heat for his decision to come out of the world's shortest retirement to sign with the Astros. However, there's a good article in the New York Daily News which puts Clemens' decision into perspective, both in terms of his reasons for doing what he did (wanting to be closer to his family and the lousy way George Steinbrenner treated Clemens' buddy Andy Pettitte) and in terms of how it compares to David Wells' decision to back out of a verbal agreement (just like he did with the Diamondbacks two years ago) in order to sign with San Diego.

As I've said, I can understand people being a little put out by Clemens' going back on what he said - particularly after the final-season curtain calls and ovations he got around the country - but I still believe him when he says: "I was dead-set on retiring. If Andy Pettitte were still a Yankee, I'd still be retired."

In any case, I'm a big fan of both Clemens and Pettitte, and the deals they have signed with Houston work out great for me - I can now finally root for them both without having to root for The Dark Side Of The Pinstripe!

Even though I always describe myself as a fan of the game, rather than of any one particular team, there always comes a point in the middle of the winter - around the time when Spring Training tickets go on sale - when I wish I had a team to which I could attach my loyalty, a team whose box-score I would check religiously every morning for six months a year. Maybe the Astros are the team I'm looking for... I already have the cap, so why not...?