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#1 2013-12-02 10:15:48

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Astros owner Jim Crane thinks Roger Clemens comeback could continue

HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane thinks Roger Clemens comeback could continue in Houston. That would be news to the 50-year-old right-hander, who doesnt sound too interested in the idea. Crane said Monday theres a possibility Clemens could pitch this season for the majors worst team. "We havent heard from Roger, so thats still up in the air," he said. The last-place Astros started a weeklong homestand on Monday that includes three games against the Cubs and four against the Phillies. Their only remaining home games after this stretch are against the Pirates and the Cardinals -- two teams in post-season contention. Crane said he would not pitch the seven-time Cy Young Award winner against a contender, which leaves this week as the only option. But Clemens said Monday night the only way he would pitch this season was against a team in contention. "I can tell you right now and they would know too, that if I was going to go do it, I am going to pitch against a contender, thats who I want to knock out," Clemens told Houston television station KRIV. "Why would I want to waste my time running around and getting in shape. I get over to Minute Maid (Park), Ill crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. Well knock them right out of the playoffs. That would be the fun. Pitching against somebody thats not in contention wouldnt be any fun for me." "Its not going to happen." A message was left seeking comment from Clemens agent, Randy Hendricks. Crane wouldnt say whether the team will reach out and try to entice Clemens to return to the majors for the first time since pitching for the Yankees in 2007. "Were just going to sit tight," Crane said. "Well wait and see if he calls us, but we might call him, who knows?" Clemens pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings in his first start for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic league, and didnt allow a run in 4 2-3 innings in his second start Friday. When asked about pitching for Houston this season, Clemens said Friday he didnt see it happening because of the time it took him to recover from his first start. The Astros sent a scout to watch both of his outings. General manager Jeff Luhnow said he didnt have any new information on the subject. "Right now we have a six-man rotation and weve lined up that rotation for the rest of the year, so Im not expecting any changes," he said. "The words that Ive heard Roger say suggest that thats not front and centre in his mind. At this point Im not expecting it." Clemens earned $160 million and won 354 games in a 24-year career with the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Astros. His 4,672 strikeouts are third-most and he was selected for 11 All-Star games. Clemens had two great seasons with the Astros after he turned 40, going 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 2004 to win his record seventh Cy Young Award. He was 13-8 with a career-low 1.87 ERA in 2005. The Rockets fastball was clocked at as high as 88 mph, and he also threw curves and splitters in his starts for the Skeeters. But it seems he isnt sure if his stuff is major league ready at this point. "I dont think I could make an impact," Clemens said last week when asked about pitching for the Astros. "I think it would be fun for a lot of people, but it would take a lot of work to do and to perform the way I would want to perform. My mind says yes. My body says no." Clemens re-emergence with the Skeeters is the first time he has been in the spotlight since he was acquitted of charges he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens was accused by former personal trainer Brian McNamee in the Mitchell Report on drugs in baseball of using steroids and HGH, allegations Clemens denied before Congress. The Justice Department began an investigation concerning whether Clemens had lied under oath, and in 2010 a grand jury indicted him on two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing Congress. He was acquitted of all the charges on June 19 after a 10-week trial and had largely stayed out of the public spotlight until signing with the Skeeters on Aug. 20. Also Monday, Crane said the Astros are beginning the process of hiring a new manager to replace the fired Brad Mills. Crane said they have narrowed down their list to about six candidates and will begin interviews this week. He would not name any of the candidates, but said interim manager Tony DeFrancesco would be considered. Beats by dre Cyber Monday sale . -- Although Corey Perry and the Anaheim Ducks need no extra motivation for the Freeway Faceoff, they welcomed the chance to put a bit more space between themselves and the Los Angeles Kings, who also happen to be their closest pursuers in the Pacific Division. Cyber Monday Beats by dre Online . Drouins three points gives him 101 on the season and puts him into a three-way tie with Josh Currie and Ben Duffy for the leagues scoring lead. Drouin now has 40 goals in 46 games this season. http://www.beatscybermondayonline2013.com/ . Must have tasted pretty good. Karlsson spent the evening on the ice for the first time in about 2 1/2 months, and he and the Ottawa Senators are heading back to the NHL post-season. Beats by dre . Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Thursday that Harper visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday for a second opinion on the knee that has been troublesome ever since the 20-year-old slugger ran into the wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13. Cyber Monday Beats by dre 2013 . -- Kobe Bryant is sitting out the Los Angeles Lakers preseason game against Portland on Wednesday night with a strained right shoulder. CHESTER, Pa. -- Lionard Pajoy scored in the 67th minute to lead D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night. D.C. (14-10-5) moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Houston and two ahead of Columbus. Philadelphia (7-14-6) remained ninth in the East, one point behind New England. The Unions stretched their winless streak to eight matches, falling to 0-44-4 since beating the Revolution 2-1 on July 29 -- and have scored just four goals in that span.dddddddddddd United scored after Chris Pontius approached the box and drew Union goalie Zac MacMath out of the goal. Pontius passed it to Pajoy, who stopped the ball and sent it into the wide-open net for his seventh goal of the season -- and second since being traded from Philadelphia to D.C. on Aug. 16. ' ' '

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