CHICAGO -- The Cubs still have six games remaining against the Astros, and there is a remote chance they could face Roger Clemens -- who was starting for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent league team, on Saturday.
"I'm almost 50 and I couldn't imagine getting on a mound trying to get anybody out, let alone independent [league] hitters," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, 48. "Whether it's the passion for the game, which is still there, or maybe he feels he's in good enough shape to at least compete and get Major League hitters out someday.
"If you're capable of doing it, [why not?] -- I'd still love to go out there and put a uniform on and think I could hit a Major League pitcher, too. But I know those days are long gone. It's one of those things -- if your body allows you to do it and you think you can do it, [then do it]. He's got the smarts and mechanics to be able to spot the ball, even though he's not going to be throwing 95 [mph]."
Did Sveum have much success against Clemens?
"Not so much," said Sveum, who was 2-for-24 (.083) with 12 strikeouts.
Cubs coach Pat Listach saw Clemens training in Puerto Rico this winter with his family while his son was playing in the Winter League.
"He's probably the fiercest competitor I've played against -- one of the fiercest," Listach said. "I'm not surprised at all. I don't know if he's Major League ready, but I'm not surprised."
So, 50 is the new 30?
"Jamie Moyer did it," Listach said. "I don't know why Roger couldn't. They're both in great shape."