Clemens picks up record seventh Cy

Updated: January 31, 2005, 12:14 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens picked up his latest Cy Young Award at the annual New York baseball dinner Sunday night and said his decision to put off retirement again was "very heart-wrenching."

Then he turned to Joe Torre, his former manager with the Yankees, and practically apologized.

"Skip, I'm really trying to retire, I promise," Clemens said. "I guess we'll just start calling it a comeback."

Earlier this month, the 42-year-old pitcher agreed to an $18 million contract with his hometown Houston Astros, choosing to return for at least one more season. He said one factor was a long chat he had with friend and teammate Andy Pettitte, who told Clemens that his rehabilitation from elbow surgery was progressing nicely.

The Rocket ended a brief retirement last offseason to join Pettitte in Houston and went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts, earning his record seventh Cy Young Award -- first in the National League.

"There are so many things that I've learned about Cy Young through the years," Clemens said. "So to have my name linked with his is truly an honor."

Minnesota left-hander Johan Santana also received his AL Cy Young Award from the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He was introduced by a choked-up teammate, closer Joe Nathan, and dedicated the honor to his native Venezuela.

Later on, Clemens had a similar thought.

"I'm going to take this to my country, too. The country of Texas," he told the crowd.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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