Roger Clemens has made a comeback to wearing a major league uniform, but this time there’s no real potential gimmick involved with it. Clemens is working with the Houston Astros as a special instructor and says he’s not only helping some of the Astros’ players, but gets texts from players around the league who pick his brain as well.
Roger Clemens joined KBME in Houston with Matt Thomas to discuss working as a special instructor for the Houston Astros, having some of the young Astros call on him for guidance, what it’s like to have a uniform on again and where he sees himself in five years.
On talking to the Astros and working with them as a special instructor in spring training:
“When you have about 15 or 20 minutes, you try and hit on some really key points that helped me through my 24 years and the experience I was able to develop. I wish that I had somebody like myself pop into the clubhouse and give me that information when was 21, 22. I was lucky in the fact that I had the opportunity to play alongside Seaver for a brief moment in Boston, so I got to watch. … Then talking to the likes of the Ted Williams and the Pesky’s and the Don Drysdale’s and Nolan — I was pretty lucky. … We’re not all going to throw the same, and things like that, the same thing I talked to some of the hitters today about. Then I go right to your mind. Your mind’s got to be so strong in this game to handle everything. … All of us have the same issues with family and extended family and what might be money issues or pressure of the game and your livelihood.”
With the Astros’ rotation being so young, they might have to call on you throughout the year:
“They all text me and, to be honest, I’ve got about 11 guys in the league that text me that are starters on other clubs. Then we visit when I can. I TiVo a lot of the guys that have come by the house to throw. Most of the time it’s just their makeup and their confidence, really. They have the stuff. You stand out here next to the cage and watch these kids throw, they have the makeup to be here. It’s just their mindset and seeing if they have the staying power.”
What’s it like for you to have the Astros uniform on and be working for them?:
“Well, I really admire and appreciate what Jim Crane did as far as going through some of the hassles and headaches he had to go through to stay on course to get this team. So I know it’s exciting for them. … But it’s exciting for me, but it’s far more exciting for these guys. There’s some spots to be had on this staff and that’s got to be pretty exciting for some of these young players.”
What do you think the next five years will be like for you?:
“I want to be healthy. I just want to keep my health and still be able to run with my friends a couple times a week around the neighborhood. … I’m just doing the things I’ve always done.”
Listen to Roger Clemens on KBME in Houston here (Interview begins at 17:30)