Tuesday, January 18, 2005

What are the chances the Rocket will return to Houston?

While the rest of the Cubs Blogger Army is infatuated (in the absence of any real news) with the recent signings of Michael Barrett, Kyle Farnsworth, and KKKorey Patterson, the Peoria Northsider Report keeps you abreast of the truly significant developments that affect the Northsiders. And the status of last year's NL Cy Young winner certainly has a significant bearing on the Cubs fortunes for 2005 - and probably more so than the signings of the three players mentioned above.

So - Will he retire?

Well it's anybody's guess I suppose, but my guess is that chances are slim based on the $22 million dollar figure he filed in salary arbitration on Tuesday:

Roger Clemens filed for a record $22 million in salary arbitration on Tuesday, and the Houston Astros offered the seven-time Cy Young Award winner $13.5 million.

The Astros offered him $13.5 million, which is $8.5 million below the figure the Rocket submitted (I've never seen arbitration figures that far apart). My guess is that in his heart Clemens wants to retire (especially after the departure of Beltran and Kent), and therefore he has submitted a figure that will probably allow him to do just that. I can't imagine that the Astros will risk an arbitration panel siding with that figure and so my guess is that Clemens and the Astros will amicably part ways if the Astros don't pony-up before this heads to a hearing.

If in fact that is the case, that is perfectly fine with this commentator. May the good Lord bless him in his retirement, and I just hope he enjoys his retirement as much as I will enjoy seeing him out of the central division.

And as for tightpants - I'm not so sure keeping him around was a good thing.