Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Clemens Staining Nolan Ryan's Pitching Camp?

This coming Monday, the annual Nolan Ryan Elite Pitching Camp and Jeff Bagwell Elite Hitting Camp begin. In the past, Roger Clemens has assisted with the pitching camp, though due to the recent steroid use allegations it's unclear whether or not he'll be at the camp this year. However, the Astros have extended an invitation to him.

Roger Clemens is deciding whether to accept an invitation to appear at a Houston Astros pitching camp next week.

"He knows he is welcome and appreciates the Astros standing by him," Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "He would love to be with the kids, but doesn't want to be a distraction. He will decide later what to do."

Well, that's nice. First the Astros sign Miguel Tejada, who was also listed in the Mitchell report, and now they're inviting The Rocket to come mentor the kids. I am somewhat surprised by this considering what Nolan Ryan had to say about the subject of steroids last May.
Ryan, 60, now a special assistant to the general manager of the Astros, said he thought steroid use has been a “big stain” on almost all sports.

“It probably has impacted baseball more than any other sport, mostly because of the history of the game,” said Ryan, who retired with 5,714 strikeouts and 324 wins.

“There were benchmarks that when approached were indicative of what kind of season a player was having. Steroids has changed that.”

Obviously Ryan believes that steroids have negatively impacted the game of baseball. Which is why I can't believe that he would let the Astros invite Clemens to a camp that bears his name. Unless he's just setting up Clemens so that he can put him in a headlock and punch him a few times. Now that's something that everyone would probably enjoy seeing.

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