But there is also an obligation on the other side, the obligation any team has to a player of Roger Clemens' stature.Obviously, everybody in Houston has a vision of how the Rocket Man deserves to close out his astonishing career. And obviously, this isn’t it.
For some reason, Jayson Stark thinks that, after Roger Clemens stated quite clearly that he was more important than all of baseball with his little “I’m going to sit at home and play when I feel like for who I feel like” stunt, the Astros should do what’s best for Clemens and trade him to a contender.
Is Clemens the greatest pitcher of the modern era? You can make that argument. Would a lot of people be happy to see him end his career with a win in Game Seven of the World Series? Sure. Would I be one of them? No. Is that because I’ve got a little sour grapes because he’s played for every AL East team but my Orioles? No, of course not, that’s ridiculous, how could you even say that?
Where is it written that the Astros (Who are only 6 games out of the wild card, although they aren’t playing that well right now) should make their team worse to give Clemens a last shot at the postseason? It’s not written anywhere. Clemens came to Houston because he wanted to pitch at home. They were okay with a big contract for half a season. Fine, that’s their decision. But now that Houston doesn’t look like a good bet for the playoffs, they’re supposed to roll over and die? Do you think they’d get anything in return from Boston? Some mediocre prospect, maybe, and they’d probably have to eat a big chunk of Clemens' salary.
Anyway, I hope Clemens' last start is a totally meaningless game in September. Houston plays at Pittsburgh right before going to Atlanta to finish the regular season. I hope Clemens starts one of those games and loses to some 22-year-old kid brought up when the rosters expanded. Maybe that will remind him that even 343 wins doesn’t make you bigger than the game.