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Clemens rules out returning as player

11/13/2003 - Roger Clemens

NEW YORK -- With thoughts of an Olympic medal now gone,
Roger Clemens insisted his retirement will go forward as planned.

"No scenario," Clemens said Wednesday when asked what might
entice him to pitch next season. "I'm retired.

"I'll come back and be a really expensive batting practice
pitcher and then, if somebody goes down, then they can work on
me."

The future Hall of Famer acknowledged that he had thoughts of
pitching for the U.S. Olympic baseball team before the defending
gold-medal champions were eliminated from a qualifying tournament
in Panama last week.

"I'm shaking my head just like everyone else that they're going
to have an Olympics and we, the United States, is not going to be
represented there," Clemens said. "That's kind of a shame."

An Olympic medal is about the only thing missing from Clemens'
resume. He is baseball's only six-time Cy Young Award winner, 17th
on the all-time list with 310 victories and third with 4,099
strikeouts. He also has two World Series rings from his time with
the New York Yankees.

Clemens said that his agents wanted to make him available as a
free agent -- his name was officially filed last week -- but the plan
didn't get far.

"I heard that and immediately my four boys picked up my option
and said 'You're staying here,' " Clemens said.

Another person expecting to be home when next season rolls
around is Don Zimmer, the fiery former bench coach who famously
rushed Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez on the field, and left the
Yankees after saying he felt unappreciated by owner George
Steinbrenner.

Calling speculation that he may end up with Tampa Bay
"propaganda," Zimmer said, "I'll probably be at home sitting on
the boat dock" next year.

Still uncertain is the future of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said he expects to hear by the end of
this week if Stottlemyre plans to be back for next season or not.

"I don't have a gut feeling," Torre said about what he
believes Stottlemyre's decision will be.

As for his own future, Torre maintained that he didn't want a
contract extension past next season, saying he didn't want to
commit to something that he wasn't sure he wanted to do.

"I have a year left here and I want it to be meaningful," he
said.

Torre wasn't as upset as Steinbrenner about Kansas City
shortstop Angel Berroa beating out New York left fielder Hideki
Matsui for AL Rookie of the Year, saying Berroa's numbers were
"worthy."

Torre, however, was upset by two writers who left Matsui off
their ballots because they believed veterans of Japanese leagues
shouldn't be eligible for the award.

"Getting left off two ballots is hard for me to take," Torre
said, "because his numbers dictate that he should have been on the
ballot somewhere. He didn't have to be voted first but he should
have been on the ballot."

Torre, Zimmer and Clemens, along with current and former Yankees
and other stars such as comedian Billy Crystal were gathered for a
dinner benefiting Torre's "Safe at Home" Foundation, which helps
victims of domestic abuse.