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Clemens: I Will Only Pitch In World Series
9th May, 2006 - 6:01 pm

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By Graham Flashner

The will-he-or-will-he-not-stay-retired saga of Roger Clemens took another bizarre turn today, when the future Hall of Famer declared that he would not pitch in 2006 until the World Series, preferably for the team that has the best chance of winning.

?It?s no secret that I want to win another World Series,? said Clemens. ?If I can pitch in Game 6 or 7, I think I can achieve my goal and help another team win a championship.?

Clemens? announcement frustrated the efforts of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Texas Rangers, all of whom have been courting the Texas right-hander. Clemens has also received offers to pitch from teams in Japan, the Dominican Republic, and was solicited to become a bowler for a British cricket league.

In a unique arrangement approved by Commissioner Bud Selig, Clemens? services will become available to whichever team wins its third game of the World Series, the idea being that Clemens would pitch the clincher. The cost: $1 million.

?What team in baseball wouldn?t want Roger Clemens on the mound, pitching the deciding game of the World Series?? asked Clemens? agent. ?Are you telling me you wouldn?t spend a million bucks to win a championship??

Clemens has been courted fiercely of late by the Yankees and Red Sox, each of whom went out of their way to offer creature comforts unheard of for most players. The Red Sox, for example, said Clemens could have conjugal visits with his wife between innings when the team plays in Texas, while the Yankees offered Clemens use of a private helicopter to fly him straight off the mound after being removed from a game. Earlier, the Texas Rangers had acquiesced to a Clemens demand that he be required to pitch only at home, during weekday afternoons, so as to not conflict with his son?s Little League games.

But Clemens was apparently not convinced that either the Yankees or Red Sox were World Series-worthy, and chose to remain on the sidelines until October. Asked why he wouldn?t just remain with the team he pitched into the Series last year, the Houston Astros, Clemens declined comment. But speculation is that Clemens was unhappy with the team?s refusal to allow the pitcher?s wife and four children to barbeque in the dugout during home games.

One Astros teammate, who wished to remain anonymous, commented dryly: ?It?s obvious we lost the Series last year because Roger didn?t pitch every game. Maybe someone will let him do that this year.?

The preceding article is a piece of satirical fiction.