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Tewksbury a head coach

Page 2 of 4 -- Certainly, off-the-field issues can have a great impact on how a player performs, but insecurity, anxiety, and doubt also can separate the players who succeed from those who don't.

"I think those issues are pretty important for players who have from 0 to 3 years of big-league experience, when they still have [minor league options] and there is still a lot of uncertainty about whether they will be on the roster," said Tewksbury. "I think it will be my job to help players to develop the toughness that will allow them to deal with these things as they get to the major leagues."

A few pitchers over 40 can be trusted

Roger Clemens, who agreed to return to the Astros for $18 million in a year in which he will turn 43, would have earned $1 million per win at that rate in 2004.

Only two pitchers in major league history have won as many as 15 games at age 43. One was a spitballer, Jack Quinn, who won 15 games at age 44 in 1927 and 18 in 1928. The other was knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who was 43 when he won 17 in 1982, 45 when he won 16 in 1984, and 46 when he won 16 in 1985.

What of Clemens's role model, Nolan Ryan? He won 13 in 1990, when he made 30 starts and threw 204 innings at age 43, and a dozen games the next year, at age 44.

Warren Spahn had an even better year than Clemens did at 42. Clemens went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts last year; in 1963, Spahn at 42 matched his career-best in wins when he went 23-7 and was involved in one of the greatest pitching duels of all time, matching zeroes for 15 innings with Juan Marichal before giving up a home run to Willie Mays on his 201st pitch to lose, 1-0, in 16 innings. But it can go in a hurry. The next year, at 43, Spahn went 6-13 with a 5.29 ERA, was demoted to the bullpen, and after the season was sold to the then-dreadful Mets.

Spahn, incidentally, never made more than $87,500 in a season; that's slightly more than Clemens will be paid per strikeout ($82,568) if he matches last year's total.

Ex-Angel explains how he was cast out

Jose Guillen, whose dustup with Angels manager Mike Scioscia led to a late-season suspension that kept him out of the playoffs, in which the Angels were swept by the Red Sox, remains convinced he was the wronged party. Guillen had been hit in the leg by a pitch and reacted badly after Scioscia lifted him for a pinch runner.   Continued...

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