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Roger Clemens on verge of taking “active role” with Astros

Jan 7, 2013, 10:21 PM EDT

clemens getty Getty Images

According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Roger Clemens is on the verge of taking an “active role” with the Astros. While there were all sorts of rumblings late last year about him making a comeback, the 50-year-old will not be pitching.

As of now, the Astros envision Clemens providing guidance to their pitchers during spring training and the regular season. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to meet with general manager Jeff Luhnow next Monday to discuss some of the details.

“We’ve got the whole calendar mapped out and we’re going to sort of figure out what makes sense,” Luhnow said Monday. “But the idea is to plug him in in spring training, plug him in throughout the season, and just have him get a lot more involved with our pitchers.”

Clemens agreed to a personal services contract under former Astros owner Drayton McLane, but he hasn’t been involved with the club since 2007. However, after he was acquitted of all charges in his perjury trial last summer, new owner Jim Crane said that he would welcome him back into the organization. Now he’s ready to make good.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Strength and Conditioning Coach?

    • theSC1320 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Specializing in Nutrition and Diet Supplementation…

      …just like Boras.

  2. nygdriveforfive - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Personal service contract?? Can’t you find those in the back pages of your local paper?

  3. manchestermiracle - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    It seems like it would be a poor PR move. An acquittal just means not guilty, it does not mean innocent. Is that level of personal disingenuity something you want surrounding young athletes?

    A guy who can’t admit his career is over while channeling the personality of a Ty Cobb has all the hallmarks of a train wreck. I just don’t see him having the patience necessary to teach a pitcher anything without intimidating the hell out of him.

    • thereisaparty - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Ted Williams was hardly friendly and couldn’t teach, but it would’ve seemed crazy not to hire the best hitter of all-time as a coach. I don’t see why this should be any different.

      • Old Gator - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        Not friendly.

        Couldn’t teach.

        Crazy not to hire him.

        Oh, K-a-a-a-a-ayyyyy….

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:44 AM

        Gator: People didn’t know Williams couldn’t teach. We don’t know if Clemens can or cannot teach. The media’s (and audience’s) perception of the player does not affect his ability to relate to and/or mentor players.

      • simonfoster231171 - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:59 AM

        The evidence as displayed in the batting averages of the Senators during the 1st year of Williams’ managing career would seem to negate that remark …

      • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        I was thinking PR Consultant. I mean who else could turn one of the best pitching careers of the last 50 years into a subject of scorn and contempt?

        The man is an overbearing ass with the ethics of an alley cat. I imagine they think (correctly) that he can help young pitchers develop. He seems to have done some of that in the past. But he certainly comes with a lot of baggage to a franchise does not need baggage.

        Gator, I’m not quite where you are with the home team. I wouldn’t characterize them as a criminal enterprise. But I am baffled by a lot of their moves so far.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Well, once upon a time we were questioning the Cardinals hiring Mark McGwire as a Hitting Coach… 1 World Series victory later…

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:05 PM


        Senators BA rank among AL teams in ’68: 9/10
        Senators/Rangers BA rank w/ Ted Williams as manager: 3/12, 11/12, 11/12, 11/12
        Rangers BA rank in ’73: 9/12

        There are too many variables here at play, but even by the stat you chose to measure him by, Ted Williams as manager does not look like a success.

      • Old Gator - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        stex: I would like to say that where I am is on the roof of the Walgreens across the street from Macondo Banana Massacre Field with my paintball gun, waiting for a chance to plant a brown stain right between Scrooge McLoria’s eyes as he’s climbing into his limousine.

        Unfortunately, I’m not that good a shot – I wouldn’t want to hit the Chihuahua instead and knock the little twerp on his nates, of course.

        In any case there’s an ongoing federal investigation of what went down with the entire negotiation for building the stadium. What the legal status of this ownership is remains to be seen. For me, despite my opposition to the Patriot Act, I’m perfectly comfortable in this particular case with guilty until proven innocent.

    • gunner1970 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Hundred’s off athletes on all levels every year can’t cope with their careers ending. Just because he’s a Hall of Famer doesn’t change that.

      Teaching is completely different than your “PR” perception when you have 100’s of paparazzi photographing your every move.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      Well, I think he taught Pettitte to balk and get away with it like a champ.

      • henryd3rd - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:41 AM

        Pettite had that move down way long before he and Clemens became team mates. Next thing we’ll hear is Conseco is going to work in the PR department for MLB and Barry Bonds will be working with player development for the Marlins.

    • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      We have just witnessed a very similar thing just play out in St. Louis. Hiring Big Mac seemed to have worked on all fronts: no bad PR for the Cardinals, positive PR for McGwire, and an impressive offensive output.

  4. joewilliesshnoz - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    How about overweight and cheating coach ?

  5. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    How embarrassing for the Astros, of course that’s par for the course in Houston.

    • thereisaparty - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:28 PM

      Truly embarrassing to have (arguably) the greatest pitcher of all-time on staff.

      You must not pay attention to the Astros, because this new F.O. is anything but embarrassing.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        You can say “arguably” about any pitcher being the best of all time.

        Jon Heyman will say Jack Morris is “arguably” the greatest pitcher of all time.

        On the plus side though, it is nice to see that all franchises have at least one vocal homer.

      • bozosforall - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:45 AM

        If Clemens had retired as a Red Sox player, every loser Boston fan like you would be championing Roger. But because you all are just butt hurt that Roger went on and got more, you all just cry lie the little Puh C’s that you all are.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:50 AM

        I think Clemens is the best pitcher of all time. It is not crazy to suggest this. Most people would consider him to easily be top 3. I threw in “arguably”, in parentheses no less, to placate those who would focus on that assessment. And no, Heyman would not say that Jack Morris is the the greatest pitcher of all time.

        In regards to calling me a homer, I am not by any measure an Astros fan. I respect the moves that have been made throughout the organization since the change in ownership. And I appreciate Roger Clemens’ immense accomplishments.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        Same guys that wanted to get Clemens in a uniform and out on the field last year as some PR stunt.
        You don’t find that to be an embarrassment? I do

        Absolute joke

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:01 AM

        If they wanted to get Clemens in a uniform, they would’ve.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    At least they’ll have somebody people have heard of at some of their games.

    • Old Gator - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      Which is probably much of the point. Nobody knows them anymore, they’re going to be the divisional doormat for several years to come, and their game has degenerated into designatedhitterball. Anything helps, even exploiting whatever is left to exploit of Clemens.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        And Clemens does love being exploited, boy howdy.

  7. riverace19 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Guess what? Jack Morris wasn’t that great. He was a grinder who had one memorable playoff performance. What is the harm of bringing Clemens in with the Astros? What do they have to lose at this point? You guys just settle down.

  8. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Pete Rose
    Roger Clemens
    Barry Bonds

    Who are 3 players I would not want associated with my team in 2013 and beyond Alex?

  9. mazblast - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    If Clemens is around, you can bet that MLB will be paying special attention to Astros organization pitchers.

    “Yes, we know we came around for a sample three days ago. We’re here again, fill ‘er up.”

  10. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Im really happy for Clemens, this board is loaded with scumbags and we got lots of scumbags that start the stories here. But with that said he was never proven in a court of law to be guilty of anything and he is the best post WW2 pitcher of all time and if you dont agree its because you are a stupid hater like proudly is. I hope you all drop dead

    • rigatonikid - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Pot meet Kettle?

    • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Hey, Harry? Back for a quick troll, or are you going to troll around for a while?

  11. tuberippin - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    He will have an active role in attempting to inject the majority of the Astros’ lineup with enough steroids to make them league-average ballplayers. One step forward in 2013!!

  12. jwbiii - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    I always figured Clemens’ “personal services” contract involved either golfing with McLane and his buddies or rubbing Icy Hot on McLane’s privates before business meetings.

  13. ctownwriter - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Most of you are idiots. Seven CY Young awards dont happen because of HGH . Half of you probably never played organized sports.

    • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      Let’s assume that it’s true half weren’t in organized sports. It probably isn’t.

      So what? Does that prove something?

  14. paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Anyone that states this is bad PR don’t understand at least two things. First, how PR works in general. This would be a PR neutral move at worst. Second, the love of Texans for their own (which isn’t particularly different than anywhere else, just a stronger effect). If this has any PR effect whatsoever it will be 100% positive. Just because a few of you hate Clemens and he may be a miserable human being doesn’t mean that he won’t have a positive effect on Houston’s organization or that Astros fans are obliged to hate him (they don’t and won’t).

    • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      I wouldn’t bet on this one, Paper. They went out to the Skeeters game for him. (Hell, I almost did that). But I don’t think he is in much better odor in Houston than he is elsewhere.

      He may be an asset to the organization in some respect. The young players do actually seem to respond pretty well to him. And he is clearly looking for something to do.

      But I think making him some kind of face of the franchise would be a mistake. It would be a big one from my point of view.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Are they doing that though? I think they are just saying “this is a guy that can help, that wants to help, so let’s take advantage of it”. StL didn’t try to make McGwire the face of anything, and the media quickly just left him alone even though his was with the MLB team every day. I bet this turns into a non-story except for pitchers occasionally giving Clemens credit for helping them develop a pitch or refining their approach to pitching.

      • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        You know, I have absolutely no idea (kind of refreshing to have someone admit that, doesn’t it?). I don’t know what they want him for. I understood the general M.O of Luhnow’s moves last year, when wholesale delayering and stripping was the order of business.

        So far in the off season we have seen them do relatively little and to my eye what they have done doesn’t accomplish much, if not being outright harmful. The only clear message I come up with watching the staff is that they expect a looooooooooooonnng interim of poor play. Doesn’t sit very well.

        They may also be very disappointed in the patience of Houston fans. They will be making too much money off of a cheap lineup to expect patience.

  15. makeham98 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Amazing how badly people want to “get” someone they don’t like. . . believing the garbage from the Mitchell Report is an illness for some people. Clemens faced his accusers and prevailed. Move on from your pettiness.

    • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Do you seriously think he was clean? All they proved in court was he wasn’t legally liable for lying to Congress. Barry Bonds got off, too.

  16. makeham98 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    What’s the evidence anyone has on Clemens? MacNamee? Just garbage. The standard of proof is now “prove that you never beat your wife”?

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