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Clemens got a little help from his son

From news reports

It was in the 15th inning Sunday in Houston, Game 4 of this National League Division Series deadlocked, when Roger Clemens realized he might actually be needed to pitch. In all of Minute Maid Park, he knew where to turn for help.

“I called my oldest one, Koby, out of the suite upstairs to play a little catch in the cage,” Clemens said. “He caught me.”

Koby Clemens, now an 18-year-old minor leaguer with the Houston Astros, wasn’t yet born the only other time his dad came out of the bullpen … which is all right, since he witnessed the better of the pair.

His Hall of Fame induction settled long ago, Roger Clemens added another amazing chapter to his legacy. Three days after losing Game 2 of this series, he threw three shutout innings of relief, picking up the win in the Astros’ clinching, 7-6, 18-inning victory over the Braves.

“I don’t want that job out there in the bullpen, sitting out there by yourself, chewing gum and looking around,” the 43-year-old Clemens said. “It’s not a lot of fun out there. I’m just real happy that we’re moving on.”

“I saw him earlier today, and he gave me a little wink. He said, `I got a few in me,’ `’ Astros General Manager Tim Purpura said. “I didn’t think it would be that many. He’s mythic, in my mind.”

Clemens last pitched in relief on July 18, 1984, during his rookie season for the Red Sox, a scoreless two-inning outing at Oakland. Between then and Sunday, he picked up 338 career victories, another 10 postseason victories and seven Cy Young Awards.

A’s look at Geren, Washington

Oakland general manager Billy Beane will interview two members of the Athletics’ coaching staff this coming week for the team’s managerial vacancy.

Bullpen coach Bob Geren, considered a front-runner to replace Ken Macha, will meet with Beane on Tuesday in Phoenix. Third-base coach Ron Washington will follow Wednesday, also in Phoenix, where the A’s have their minor league complex and hold spring training.

The team hasn’t said who else might be candidates to replace Macha, who failed to come to terms on a new contract with the A’s after proposals were exchanged last week. He left Oakland after seven years with the club, the last three as manager.

Macha was scheduled to interview with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday as they look for Lloyd McClendon’s replacement. Macha lives in the Pittsburgh area and would be a convenient hire, though the Pirates plan to speak to former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy on Monday and he appears to be the leader.

Blue Jays broadcaster dies

Tom Cheek, who called every game in the history of the Toronto Blue Jays until last year, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 66.

Cheek, who died at his home in Oldsmar, Fla., was best known for his streak, which ended at 27 1/2 seasons on June 3, 2004, because of his father’s death.

He called 4,306 consecutive regular season games, plus 41 more in the postseason, since the Blue Jays began playing in 1977.

“It’s difficult to put into words the overwhelming sense of grief and loss shared today by the Blue Jays family, the city of Toronto, the extended community of Major League Baseball and its many fans,” Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said in a statement.

“Tom Cheek has provided the soundtrack for the most important moments in this team’s history, with his choice of words and intonation always perfectly suited for the occasion.”

On Aug. 29, 2004, Cheek was honored by the Blue Jays with his induction into the Level of Excellence, the club’s highest award for individual achievement.

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