<
>

Pettitte, Clemens unsure about playing in 2007

Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte both intend to file for free agency in the coming weeks, but neither Houston Astros pitcher is sure if he will return at all next season, according to a report in MLB.com.

"I'm just not sure if I want to play, so I'm just trying to take some time back. Obviously for me to feel that way, I have some serious burnout," Pettitte told MLB.com Tuesday at Clemens' annual charity golf tournament in Texas.

"I know I'm young. I realize I'm young," Pettitte told MLB.com. "Just right now, I don't know exactly what I want to do. I just need to take some good time away and I'm trying not to think about baseball. I didn't watch any of the playoffs. I'm just trying to spend time down at my ranch and spend time with my family, and in a couple of weeks I'll really try to bear down and [decide]."

Clemens, 44, who has been down the path of retiring and unretiring before, said he was surprised to hear Pettitte talk about hanging it up.

"I'd have to tell you I'm surprised about that with Andy," Clemens told MLB.com. "I'm surprised a little bit. He's got a lot to give. He's still young. He's a competitor. It may or may not play into my decision, but I hope he plays. I have a lot of wishes for Andy. I want him to play here at home, because he's great and he can help this club win."

The 44-year-old Clemens didn't say when he will make up his mind
about a 23rd season in the majors.

"Full season, half season or at all, I haven't even thought
about it," Clemens said Thursday. "I just think it's too early to
think about it. … Right now, I don't have any thoughts of playing
or not playing."

If Clemens does come back, it will likely be for Houston, the
New York Yankees, Boston or Texas. Any team outside that quartet is
unlikely.

"Probably not," he said. "I don't see myself going outside
that situation."

The Rocket went 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 19 starts last season
with his hometown Astros, delaying the start of his season until
late June.

Clemens, who spoke Thursday at an SMU athletic forum, said he
has appeared at events this offseason with Hall of Fame catcher
Johnny Bench and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance
Armstrong. The right-hander talked to both of them about
retirement.

"Like my mother said, moss is never going to grow under my
feet. I'm going to be moving around quite a bit," he said. "If
this past year was my final season, I'll probably miss the
competition. I'll look for other ways to really get that
competitive desire out in some shape or form. I don't know how that
would be."

The Astros have provided Clemens the opportunity to be at home,
and come and go as he pleases between starts. Clemens won his two
World Series rings with the Yankees and started his career with the
Red Sox, and both have remained interested in having him back.

"Every time I travel, I hear from the Red Sox fans, I hear from
the Yankees' point of view, and obviously I know my hometown
situation," Clemens said. "I have poured my heart out in every
one of those cities I've played in. I'm really happy that I'm still
being mentioned with those teams and associated with those teams."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.