Rocket Landing

Sports Illustrated
They don't call him The Rocket for nothing.

Those hoping the Texas Rangers' World Series push would be led by Roger Clemens, get a clue. Baseball's worst-kept secret became official this morning when the seven-time Cy Young Award-winner signed a one-year, $22 million contract with the hated Houston Astros. OK, not hated, but now we have a reason to really, really not like them.

The Rangers made a legit, decent push to land the Rocket. Clemens visited spring training in Arizona in March and sat with owner Tom Hicks on Opening Day at Ameriquest Field. "The family connections and pitching in his hometown are hard things to overcome," Hicks told The Dallas Morning News. "We certainly feel like we gave it our best shot." Clemens, who will turn 44 in August, helped the Astros to their first World Series last season. But this year, he "retired" until supposedly waiting for a convenient team that would give him his best chance for a championship. His one-year rental is costing the Astros about $3.5 million per month, so screw it. He's not worth it. Especially considering the Astros are way out in the NL Central and the Rangers own a five-game lead in the AL West. Plus, we got surprising Johns Koronka and Rheinecker. So who needs Rocket? Right? Right? --Richie Whitt

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky