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Roger Clemens' first pitch of his simulated game against Houston Astros minor-leaguers went over the left-field fence. Next time that batter was up, he got buzzed high and tight. Who was in the box against Rocket? His son Koby.
Roger Clemens threw 66 pitches Monday afternoon, followed by 18 more batting practice pitches.
The 43-year-old Clemens wants to pitch in the World Baseball Classic and then decide if he'll retire or play a 23rd season, said Koby Clemens, a third baseman in the Astros' farm system.
Clemens, a free agent, wasn't offered salary arbitration by the Astros and cannot re-sign with them until May 1. He could join another team before that, and Texas, Boston and the Yankees are reportedly interested.
Houston general manager Tim Purpura said the Astros got permission from Major League Baseball to allow the Rocket to pitch at their spring training complex.
Clemens led the major leagues with a 1.87 ERA last year but was plagued by back and hamstring problems late in the season. He limped off the field after just two innings in the World Series opener.
Koby Clemens said his dad was ready to retire in December, but his family talked him out of it.
"We were all like, 'You should wait and allow yourself to rest your body,'" Koby said. "He was still kind of hurting, kind of tired. He was like, 'I don't want to do this again.'"
Many of the Astros expect Clemens to play for them again this season. Manager Phil Garner said Sunday he hasn't asked Clemens what he'll do but thought the Astros offered the best situation -- a shortened season close to his family and his home.
"He knows how much we would like to have him back," Garner said. "I think this is the perfect spot for him."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Madison wrote:Now that's a real pitcher ! Come to Texas Roger ! Come to Texas !
Zito is God wrote:So on this topic:
How is Roger's son fairing in the minors? Is he looking like a good prospect by any chance?
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