Clemens to return to the mound Monday vs. White Sox

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens is all set to pitch for the New
York Yankees next week. Until then, he'll be their best

Clemens threw a bullpen session at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday
and then attended Pinstripes in the Park, a Manhattan event to
promote the Yankees.

Earlier in the day, manager Joe Torre said Clemens would start
Monday night in Chicago against the White Sox.

"So far, so good," said Clemens, wearing light blue cowboy
boots. "I got the word when I got out of the car today that Joe
announced that it's Monday. I can plan accordingly now."

Torre said he exchanged e-mails with Clemens before the throw
session at Yankee Stadium.

"Monday is good with him," Torre said. "We're looking forward
to seeing him."

The Yankees considered having Clemens pitch this weekend at
Boston. New York beat Toronto 10-5 on Wednesday night, leaving the
Yankees 13½ games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.

Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte were already
scheduled to pitch at Fenway Park, and that was a major part of
Clemens' phone conversation with Torre on Tuesday night.

"I said I felt fine and would do whatever he wants me to do and
whatever he needs me to do," Clemens said. "We were looking at
the rotation and I realized that they looked like they're lined up
pretty good for Boston."

And what of the extra hoopla if Clemens had made his season
debut in Boston against his former team?

"There's drama wherever I go," Clemens said. "Every start
that I pitch -- if it's a Wednesday in Minnesota and a Businessman's
Special -- it's important to me."

Clemens is expected to join the Yankees after the Red Sox
series. The Yankees snapped a five-game losing streak Wednesday
night to improve to 22-29.

"It's not good, we all know that, so we've just got to turn it
around," Clemens said. "I suspect those guys will give me a lot
of help and I'll try to give them all the help I can."

As Clemens spoke, Johnny Damon led off Wednesday night's game in Toronto with a home run. The shot sent the estimated crowd of
10,000 into a frenzy.

"See? See?" Clemens said, pointing at his wife, Debbie.

The 44-year-old Clemens has made three minor league starts since
signing a prorated $28 million contract with the Yankees this

After one start at Class A Tampa and one at Double-A Trenton,
the Rocket made his final minor league start Monday for Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed two hits and struck out six over
six scoreless innings.