Rocket full of fuel

TED WYMAN

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Some thoughts to ponder while wondering if Roger Clemens will redefine the term "pitch count" this season. Each time he throws a pitch, he'll count $10,000.

ROCKET RE-LAUNCH: Please, please, please will people stop saying Clemens is coming out of retirement to pitch for the Yankees. When did he ever retire? He said he was retiring four years ago. Even took a retirement gift (a $100,000 Hummer) from the Yankees. Then went on to pitch 530 innings for the Houston Astros and win 38 games and another Cy Young. The guy loves to pitch and make gobs of money and wants to someday play with or against his son Koby, an Astros third base prospect.

With people like George Steinbrenner willing to pay $4.5 million a month and allow Clemens to stay home from road trips when he's not pitching, there's no reason to think Clemens will actually retire until he turns 50, or older than that if the Yankees let him ride a scooter out to the mound.

JAYS BLUE: We wrote a year ago that Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons should have been fired and now we're sure he has to go and take GM J.P. Ricciardi with him. Ricciardi lied about an injury to closer B.J. Ryan and allowed his $47-million investment to keep pitching when his arm was about to fall off. Gibbons is managing a talented team -- that has super-sluggers Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus and Frank Thomas (with 900 career homers between them) in the heart of the order -- straight into last place. Jays president Paul Godfrey gave both manager and GM a vote of confidence recently, but in this case, let's hope that turns out to be the proverbial kiss of death ... Hope Ricky (the Reefer) Williams really liked playing in the CFL because he isn't going back to the NFL anytime soon after testing positive again for weed. Pretty sure the CFL won't take him this time, but there's always hope he could at least land a job at a head shop in Toronto.

HOT-AIR HUGH: Just to be clear, we have no objection with Tory leader Hugh McFadyen supporting the idea of bringing NHL hockey back to Winnipeg. It's using it as a cheap election ploy -- trotting out local icon Thomas Steen, no less, to help him do it -- that raises the public's ire. Even hardcore bring-back-the-Jets types could see through that like the gaping hole in Daniel Berthiaume's pads. But if he gets elected and wants to put government support behind the notion of making this a major-league city once again, we're all for it ... Curt Schilling recently called out Barry Bonds as an admitted cheater, adulterer and tax evader and later apologized, no doubt for having the nerve to suggest Bonds would admit anything ... Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is trying somewhat unsuccessfully to distance himself from his troubles. You know, getting sued for allegedly giving a woman an STD, getting caught with a suspicious water bottle at an airport and, most recently, being involved in some sort of despicable dog fighting ring. Still he promises to change and fly the straight and narrow. Just call him New Mexico.

ACE MACHINE: There's a woman in California who claims to have 10 holes in one -- all witnessed -- in 2007, a feat which has garnered national attention. However, Jacqueline Gagne reportedly cancelled a media appearance this week because she was angry that she took a deuce on the windmill hole ... San Diego Chargers long snapper David Binn is reportedly the latest squeeze for Canadian sexpot Pamela Anderson. Not sure how a long snapper lands a gig like that but we suspect it has something to do with his experience in handling inflatable objects.

---

QUICK HITS: Let's start off with Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times, on Atlanta Braves rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia became setting a record for having the longest last name in baseball history: "The best part about this record? BALCO is believed to have had nothing to do with it." ... From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "All 20 Kentucky Derby horses were subjected to surprise tests for performance-enhancing drugs. The racing commission ordered the tests after noticing two of the horses ranked among National League home-run leaders." ... The Tonight Show's Jay Leno, on reports that an average person sheds 120 pints of tears in a lifetime: "Double that if you're a Cubs fan." ... Sun Media's Bill Lankhof on boxer Floyd Mayweather saying he will hang up the gloves after his win over Oscar De La Hoya: "Right. ... (and) Roger Clemens is retiring, B.J. Ryan has a sore back and O.J. Simpson is looking for the real killer." ...David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram with a new suggestion for the claim of Fastest Two Minutes in Sports: "Dirk Nowitzki's 2007 NBA playoff highlights." ... Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post on former New York Mets bat boy Kirk Radomski being accused of supplying steroids to players: "You know, I must be getting old. I remember when bat boys handled bats, not needles." ... Chris Foster with a suggestion on how to make the Madden '08 video game more authentic: "Police occasionally come onto your screen and haul away a key player, forcing a lineup adjustment." ... From Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Let's review NASCAR's major story lines this year: (1) Cheating at Daytona; (2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. feuding with Teresa Earnhardt; (3) Tony Stewart saying the sport is rigged; (4) Jeff Gordon getting pelted with beer cans at Talladega; (5) TV ratings sinking like a sack of spuds. Geez, it looks as if those Days of Thunder have turned into Days of Our Lives. What else possibly could go wrong -- NASCAR making a diversity push by giving Pacman Jones his own ride?" ... Greg Cote on the best team in the National League being from Milwaukee: "Here's how well things are going for the Brewers: One of the team's Racing Sausages leads the league in steals." ... One more from Cote: "Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan played together in a golf pro-am threesome the other day along with a corporate executive named Skipper Beck, who could have played in the nude because nobody would have noticed him." ... Finally, Cameron Morfit of Golf Magazine on Tiger Woods saying the famed No.17 island hole at Sawgrass is too gimmicky: "The equivalent of telling the bride that she has a zit on her nose."


Videos

Photos