"I've never pitched in Arizona, and I told him I wanted to come see things in Surprise," Clemens said.
The Rangers are among four teams Clemens said he would consider
joining if he decides to play beyond the World Baseball Classic.
The others are his hometown Houston Astros; the New York Yankees, where he won two World Series; and the Boston Red Sox, the team that drafted
him out of the University of Texas in 1983.
Clemens is scheduled to start for Team USA in its final
preliminary game of the WBC against South Africa on Friday in
Scottsdale, not far from the Rangers' training facility. He said he
doubted he would decide before opening day whether to pitch in the
major leagues this season.
"Right now, I'm thinking about winning a game on Friday,"
Clemens said. "I just hope it's going to mean something."
The U.S. could be eliminated from advancing in the WBC if Mexico
beats Canada 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 Thursday.
Clemens is no stranger to Arlington. His wife is from the Dallas
area, and he said he has lots of family and friends who have been
lobbying him to join the Rangers.
"You can believe that," Clemens said. "We'll see what
happens. Whatever, I plan to be around Arlington a lot in the
But he was a little late to Surprise on Thursday. Hicks blamed
the navigation system in Clemens' rental car, which recommended the
shortest, but slowest, route to the Rangers' complex.
"Where is he? It's his first day, and he's already 20 minutes
late," designated hitter Phil Nevin said jokingly. "I hope
someone is going to make him run laps."