Sunday, November 13, 2005

He loves us, he loves us not

Will he or won't he? The off-season has again been reduced to a single focus, but instead of Carlos Beltran, this time it's Roger Clemens. Is he going to retire, really, literally, or will he play another year?

Frankly, I'm already getting tired of debating it. But here's what people are saying, anyway.

Tom Verducci of SI says he'll be back, that since Clemens already committed to the World Baseball Classic in March, why not play again? I have to agree with his assessment that Clemens won't show up for the tournament after having just sat on the couch all winter--he'll be in shape to play. And if so, why not another season? And, if they do indeed give Koby Clemens a non-roster invitation to spring training, then it's all the more reason for his father to re-up, since Roger will have the opportunity to play with his son in the Grapefruit League, at least.

On the other hand is this writer for the Houston Chronicle. (I use the term "writer" here quite loosely--this guy just annoys the crap out of me. He rarely has anything positive to say. To judge by the way he writes, he's one of those people that you would start avoiding at work after about a week, because all of his negativity has already started to erode your stomach lining. Instead of "sportwriter," is there such a term as "sportsasshat"? And I'm not the only one who uses some form of the word "ass" when referring to this guy. Ugh. I digress.) He think Clemens should retire. Never mind the fact that he lead the Majors in ERA, and could have contended for an eighth Cy Young with a little more run support. Nooooo, he had an injury the last couple of years, so he's old and broken down, and therefore the club could use that money in better ways. Okay, so then Andy Pettitte should retire, Kerry Wood should retire, oh, and Chris Carpenter wasn't very strong in September so let's put him out to pasture too. Asshat.

Okay, enough ranting. I personally would like to see Clemens return. Not only is he possibly the greatest pitcher ever to play the game, he has done wonders for the Astros' visibility around the league, as well as promoting the sport within the Houston area. I think he still remains worth the ~$20 million it would probably take to resign him, just in increased ticket sales alone (almost all of his 2005 regular season home appearances were sellouts). And given that he filed for free agency, I think he is planning on returning (otherwise, why not just announce his retirement?).

I just hope he makes an announcement sooner than later. Please, Mr. Clemens, don't give the fans another offseason of waiting on one player's decision. If you've made up your mind, as you seem to indicate, let's get the show on the road.

Show us you love us, one way or the other.


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