Burying the hatchet?
On the DL
I’m stuck between the Rocket and a hard
As you’ve probably heard — or read in today’s
issue of The Gazette — Roger Clemens has signed with the
Houston Astros, inking a one-year deal valued at US$5 million late
For the informed fan, the signing is no big surprise. Though Clemens
had insisted his retirement was complete, over the past few months
there were hints he’d come out of retirement to play for
his hometown Astros (though born in Dayton, Ohio, Clemens makes
his home in Houston.) There was also the fact Clemens’ friend
and former teammate Andy Pettite signed with the Astros and was
trying to convince the former Yankee to do the same.
Some of you may remember a column I wrote earlier in the year
confessing my profound distaste for Clemens. My reasons for disliking
him remain the same: the Piazza bat incident, the Piazza headhunting
incident, the way he plays for himself and his stats, his bizarre
naming of his children (whose names all begin with the letter “K”)
and so on. Despite his athletic talents, Clemens seems to me to
be a very unlikable person.
All of those points still stand. I still can’t tolerate
the man on a personal level. Were I a Yankees fan, I would have
regarded his departure as a mixed blessing. As a non-Yankees fan,
I saw his retirement as the one good thing he did with his tainted
However, my allegiance as a fan does not fall to the Yankees.
Instead, I am a staunch supporter of the Houston Astros. And therein
lies the problem.
The Astros have never appeared in the World Series since their
inception in 1962. They’ve been on the cusp many times in
recent memory, and finished within a game of the Chicago Cubs in
the NL Central in 2003. They’ve even gone so far as to trade
away highly-touted prospects such as Freddy Garcia for star players
like Randy Johnson, hoping the presence of a veteran could push
them over the top.
It hasn’t worked, at least up to this point. In acquiring
Clemens, though, the Astros may have stumbled upon someone that
could take them to the proverbial next level. Adding the Rocket
to a potent rotation that already includes Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller
and Pettite could give the Astros the makings of a contender.
Yet the question remains: “Who should I support?” I
want Clemens to land flat on his face, as always, but I still want
my Astros to reach the postseason. It’s likely that a lot
of the Astros’ success will be linked to Clemens’ performances
every fifth day out. Either way, I’ll be satisfied — Clemens
will re-retire in shame or the Astros will (fingers crossed) make
I still love the Astros. For whatever reason, they’ve become
my favourite team and it’d be hard to replace them with another
franchise. In the end, my desire to see the Astros claim their
first World Series trophy far surpasses my dislike for Clemens.
Though I joke that it’s a win-win situation, in reality I
want the Astros to be successful. Since much of that success will
be built upon Clemens’ performances in 2004, I suppose it’s
about time I bury the hatchet.
But who knows. Maybe it can be un-retired at some point, too.