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Jeter thinks Clemens will pitch in majors in 2006

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter thinks
Roger Clemens will pitch in the majors this season.

Derek Jeter Jeter

Roger Clemens Clemens

Jeter and Clemens, his former teammate, are both on the U.S.
roster for next month's World Baseball Classic.

"If I had to guess, I would say yes," Jeter said Thursday
after working out at the Yankees' minor league complex. "And that
has nothing to do with anything that he's told me. I have not even
asked him. I haven't even said, 'Rocket, are you playing? Thinking
about playing?' I haven't even brought the question up."

Clemens is expected to decide after the Classic whether to
return for a 23rd major league season. He led the major leagues
with a 1.87 ERA last year, helping the Houston Astros win their
first NL pennant. The 43-year-old right-hander was slowed by back
and hamstring problems late in the season and left Game 1 of the
World Series after two innings.

"I think if he plays [in the WBC], he's healthy, he feels good
in terms of condition wise and physically, I think he'll play,"
Jeter said.

Clemens made an unexpected appearance at the start of the
Astros' mini-camp on Jan. 30, pitching batting practice to prospects
that included his oldest son, Koby.

"The Rocket is close to his family," Jeter said. "He really
enjoys spending a lot of time with his kids. I think that's part of
the reason why when he came back, he came back to Houston. He has
the luxury of being at home."

Clemens, a free agent, cannot re-sign with the Astros until May
1. The Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers also are
interested.

"As of now, as a team and as an organization, we can't think
about Rocket," Jeter said. "He hasn't made up his mind. Let him
decide first. We need to focus on the guys that we have now. We
have a great pitching staff."