Yankees used new rule to replace Clemens on ALDS roster

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens was removed from the
New York Yankees' playoff roster before they were eliminated by Cleveland on
Monday night.

The Yankees used a new rule to replace Clemens with left-handed
reliever Ron Villone, who recorded one out in New York's 6-4 loss
to the Indians in Game 4 of the division series.

The move would have shelved Clemens at least until the World
Series but it was a moot point when the Indians ended the Yankees'

Clemens re-injured a hamstring Sunday and left in the third
inning of New York's 8-4 win in Game 3. He met with manager Joe
Torre and general manager Brian Cashman after the game.

"Normally, he'd fight," Cashman said. "But he didn't fight
this one. He knows his body and he knows that he did enough damage
in there that he wouldn't be ready."

New York petitioned Major League Baseball for the roster switch
Monday morning and it was granted hours later. Clemens declined
comment through team spokesman Jason Zillo before the start of Game

"He had some time trying to deal with his hamstring, and he had
a couple of different instances last night in the first couple of
innings that he felt it," Torre said.

Villone said Torre and pitching coach Ron Guidry gave him the
news after he arrived at Yankee Stadium on Monday. New York did not
have a lefty in the bullpen until it added Villone to its playoff

"If I can do anything to help us, that's what I'm here for,"
Villone said before the game.

Clemens' left hamstring started bothering him again when he
broke for Kenny Lofton's bunt attempt in the second inning. He told
a Yankees trainer about the problem after the inning.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner walked Travis Hafner
leading off the third and struck out Victor Martinez before he was
replaced by Phil Hughes. Clemens got an encouraging pat on the
chest from Alex Rodriguez before trudging toward the dugout.

New York's four-game loss to Cleveland left Clemens' future in

In early May, the 45-year-old Clemens put off retirement with a
few dramatic words from owner George Steinbrenner's box at Yankee
Stadium. He signed a contract that paid him $17.4 million but was
bothered by injuries down the stretch.

The right-hander's outing against Cleveland was his first since
Sept. 16 and second since Sept. 3 because of a cranky elbow and
sore left hamstring.

Clemens worked out in Tampa, Fla., and pronounced himself fit
just a few days ago. But he never looked comfortable Sunday and was
forced to leave early, just like his previous postseason

Pitching for his hometown Houston Astros, Clemens hobbled off
the field after two innings in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series
against the Chicago White Sox with a strained left hamstring, the
same injury that shelved him against the Indians.

After New York's Game 3 win, Clemens insisted he couldn't even
think about whether his storied career is over.

"I don't know," was all he would say on the matter, limping
slightly as he walked out of the stadium with his sons.

Headed to the Hall of Fame, Clemens has 354 wins and two World
Series titles. He ranks second on the career strikeout list with

Clemens went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA for New York this season,
striking out 68 in 99 innings.

Villone got Hafner to fly out to left to end the sixth. The
Indians slugger dropped to 0-for-6 with a double play in his career
against Villone.

Cleveland manager Eric Wedge was asked if it was unfair that the
Yankees were allowed to replenish their bullpen.

"That's the rule, you know, and they're taking advantage of
it," he said. "But I'm sure we would probably do the same thing
if we were in that situation."