Monday, February 07, 2005

Rocket has escape hatch back to NY?

If the Astros flop this year, hometown star pitcher Roger Clemens has an "arrangement" with team owner Drayton McLane in which he can ask to be traded back to the Evil Empire of George Steinbrenner, says a Newsday columnist.
Writes Jon Heyman:

While the Astros give Clemens family-friendly leniency, he's a realist. Clemens badly wanted McLane to re-sign Carlos Beltran and held all the leverage when Houston failed to do so, which explains his $18-million salary.

That record price tag makes no sense if the Astros aren't in it, a possibility considering their terrible winter, also lowlighted by Lance Berkman suffering a knee injury, Jeff Kent signing with L.A. and Wade Miller defecting to Boston.

This kinda takes the shine off of Clemens' rah-rah press conference, where he credited a Richard Justice column in the Houston Chronicle with infusing him with a sudden adrenalin rush to return to the mound and become a champion.

OK, Richard, as soon as you can break away from taping one of your fascinating on-line chats with John McClain, how 'bout clearing this one up for us? [Newsday]

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