Roger Clemens spoke to the media for 15 minutes tonight at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South. He was in town to speak at the St. John’s winter baseball banquet.
Clemens said he had not decided whether he wants to play in 2007. But several times he spoke as though that would be the case.
“It’s not an easy decision,” he said. “Physically I can handle it. Mentally I beat myself up to perform. Once I do sign a contract to continue to play, they don’t care how old I am, they want results. And I want results also.”
Clemens said his main criteria would be playing for a contender. “When you don’t have the opportunity to go to the playoffs and have a chance to win, it’s a waste of time for me. At this stage in my life and career that’s all you’re looking for,” he said. “I still think I can pitch at a high level.”
The Rocket said he speaks frequently with Andy Pettitte and would be spending time with some other Yankees this weekend.
Had I to guess, I would say the Yankees sign Clemens in June and he pitches sometime late that month or in July. But there are many variables. If Houston looks good, Clemens will feel a tug to stay there. If one of the three teams loses a starter to injury, he could get a truckload of money put on his doorstep.
But no matter what, it looks like he will play for somebody.
“I hope they all get off to a great start and I can just fade away and watch some ballgames,” the Rocket said. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”