Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SportsNation [Print without images]

Sunday, September 19, 2004
Jeff Bagwell at odds with the Astros over his career

SportsNation

Jeff Bagwell

Roger Clemens and Jeff Bagwell may both wind up in Cooperstown one day, but the only one of the two legends who would unquestionably enter the Hall of Fame with an Astros cap is the guy the team appears eager to push out the door. After battling numerous injuries in recent years, Bagwell begins this season on the disabled list and facing another surgery in a final attempt to save his career.

Limited to pinch-hitting in Houston's postseason run last year, Bagwell seemed likely to retire in the offseason. The Astros certainly thought that would be the case after a January trip to the famed Dr. James Andrews revealed a host of physical ailments. Hoping to have insurance pick up the cost of his 2006 salary, the team seemed eager to have the slugger officially call it quits because of the injuries. But Bagwell insisted he would be in spring training in hopes of winning a job. He was in Florida, reportedly creating a good deal of friction between himself and Astros owner Drayton McLane, but the comeback appears to have fallen short.

What They're Saying
Rob Neyer: "I'm 95 percent sure that Bagwell belongs in the Hall of Fame, and I'm 75 percent sure he'll be elected to the Hall of Fame within the first few years of his eligibility. But it's by no means a sure thing, even if it should be."
March 27, 2006
Bagwell should be headed for Hall


Jeff Bagwell: "I may never play again. It's been 15 years with the Astros. I have to do what's best for me, what's best for the Astros and best for baseball."

Phil Garner: "I can't imagine what the Houston Astros would have been the past 15 years without Jeff Bagwell on this ballclub. He made the Houston Astros what they are today."
March 26, 2006
DL-bound Bagwell says career might be over


Jayson Stark: "If it were up to his owner, multigazillionaire Drayton McLane, Bagwell never would have reached that locker Friday. Never would have made it into the player parking lot. Never even would have been invited."
Feb. 24, 2006
Bagwell deserves to leave on own terms