Clemens Brushes Back Son After HR

Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens, right, and his son Koby shake hands during a spring training workout at the Astros facility. (Joe Skipper - Reuters)
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Roger Clemens 's son took dad deep on the Rocket's first pitch of spring training, crushing a trademark fastball over the left field fence yesterday.

"That was probably one of the harder fastballs I cut loose," Clemens said after throwing to son Koby and other Astros minor leaguers. "He got my attention."

Then Clemens got Koby's. The next time his oldest son came to the plate, Clemens buzzed him high and tight with another fastball. The younger Clemens dodged the pitch, then smiled at his father.

"He was like, 'Sorry about that pitch inside. I was trying to change the view of the ball for you a little bit,'" said Koby, a third baseman who was drafted by Houston last summer. "I said, 'I knew what you were doing.' "

Clemens, 43, received applause from about 100 fans as he walked to the mound behind Houston's minor league complex in Kissimmee, Fla. He threw 18 pitches from behind a screen before his 19-year-old son's homer on his first pitch after the screen was moved away.

"I'm getting old," Clemens said. "It happens."

Clemens threw 66 pitches to Astros minor leaguers in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, then said he's no closer to deciding his future beyond the event.

Baseball officials approved the appearance.

Clemens led the major leagues with a 1.87 ERA last season and became a free agent when the NL champions didn't offer him salary arbitration. He has said he'll decide after the tournament whether he'll play a 23rd season.

"If you asked me today, I'm doing the world baseball deal and [then] I'm going to go watch baseball," Clemens said.

-- From News Services

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