Wells doesn't agree with Clemens not traveling

Roger Clemens has a big challenge ahead of him to get in shape and take the mound for the New York Yankees. But some around baseball think the Rocket is getting off too easy.

David Wells Wells

According to his contract, Clemens will not be forced to travel with the team when he isn't scheduled to pitch. He had the same deal with the Houston Astros. David Wells, a Yankees teammate of Clemens' in 2002 and 2003, doesn't agree with that.

"I don't think I would ever do it because of the fact I personally think it would disrespect the team and your teammates," Wells said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "You look at the other players. How are they going to respect you? What are they going to think if you're not there pulling for the team?"

Future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux agreed with his
San Diego Padres teammate.

"I can't imagine doing that," Maddux said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "I like the game. I like the atmosphere. I appreciate what it has to offer. I want to play the whole year."

Wells was part of the trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that brought Clemens to the Bronx. The pair were then Yankee teammates beginning in 2002. Although Joe Torre said he cleared Clemens' arrangement with his veteran players, Wells told the Sun-Sentinel, "That's not the Yankee way. The Yankees have changed."

Clemens has been in such hot demand he has the luxury to not put his 44-year-old body through the extreme rigors of travel. But the pitcher knows that age won't be an excuse if he can't get into condition to help the Yankees.

"Mr. Steinbrenner, he doesn't care how old I am," Clemens said
Monday. "He wants me to come back and play like I have in the

Clemens announced Sunday from owner George Steinbrenner's box
that he was rejoining the Yankees. The Rocket has won
seven Cy Young awards and two World Series rings. He will be paid about $18.5 million this season, but that's not what brought him back.

"If you think it's about money, you're greatly mistaken. I'm
not going to put my body through the paces I put my body through to
earn a few more dollars," Clemens said at a charity golf

Describing the decision to play for the Yankees, Clemens said it
was a situation that unfolded very quickly.

"I didn't know the details of my contract sitting down
yesterday," he said. "That's how quick the decision was made to
do this."

Having played for Steinbrenner before, Clemens said all the
right things about why he is returning to the Bronx.

"You're talking seven long years that we haven't been in the
winners' circle," he said.

It's his past performances that earned Clemens a return trip to
New York. He won titles in 1999 and 2000, then helped the Yankees
reach the World Series in 2001 and 2003. They lost that final
appearance to the Florida Marlins in what was billed as Clemens'
farewell to baseball.

But when the Yanks let pitcher Andy Pettitte go to Houston as a
free agent, Clemens changed his mind and followed his close friend
to the Astros, where he pitched three more seasons.

The Yankees will pay about $26 million in salary and luxury tax
in a one-year deal for the Rocket.

It's still uncertain when Clemens will make his debut this
season. He said that will depend on how his preparations and
conditioning go.

He'll start out in the minor leagues with workouts in Lexington,
Ky., where his son, Koby, is playing with a Houston Astros' farm

Clemens is second on the career strikeouts list with 4,604 and
has 348 career wins, putting him eighth on the list. Last season
with Houston, he was 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA.

When asked whether this would be his last season in baseball,
Clemens smiled a bit and declined to say.

"You know I'd be lying to you all if I said it again, because
I'm not good at it," he said. "It's great to be able to make a
great living, but when it's all said and done it's about how many
rings that you have."

The more he thought about it, Wells warmed up to the idea of going for those rings as a part-time player.

"Roger might set the tone for the 40-and-above guys," Wells said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "Hey, I might do it. He's a smart businessman."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.