I tried, for some few minutes, to figure out a way to eloquently state the current state of the Houston Astros organization after reading a report here that Roger Clemens is reportedly asking for 22 million dollars in arbitration to pitch again for the Houston Astros in 2005. After those moments of deep reflection, the following is what I came up with:
The Astros are sooooooo screwed.
Here they were worried for so long about paying Beltran around 15 million bucks a season, and now they find out that was only the tip of the iceberg.
I really hope this isn't true, because I'd like to see Clemens pitch again next season, if only to see if his skills finally start to decline at 42 years of age. If it is true, well, the Astros are indeed screwed -- screwed if they do pay him that much, and screwed if they don't sign Clemens somehow. It's already looking grim enough for the 'Stros, what with Bagwell and Biggio both running afoul of another birthday, and losing Jeff Kent and Carlos Beltran. However, if Clemens doesn't come back, Houston will likely struggle just to get to .500.
However, my musings also lead me to wonder why Clemens, if the report is true, thinks that he's worth 22 million. Hall of Famer? Oh, yes, first ballot inductee. Great year last year? Oh, yes, it was definitely a Cy Young caliber season for the Rocket in 2004. Twenty-two meeelyon worth of good?
Perhaps it's just Clemens' way of saying, "Let me retire," or perhaps he really does think that's the amount of money he should be paid for pitching for the Astros for one more season, but in either case...
Don't pay him, Houston. You've got so many other things you can try with 22 million dollars, and some of them may even work. I know the Astros don't want to face rebuilding, but with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio facing the end of their careers and Houston not having a bevy of prospects in the wings waiting to contribute at the major league level, well, maybe it's time to capitulate.