"The Rocket" returns
It was supposed to be a storybook ending last October. Roger Clemens was supposed to pitch his final game at Pro Player Stadium that Wednesday night, game four of the World Series against the Marlins. The Yankees were supposed to win their 27th world championship that week, and "The Rocket" should have ridden off into the Texas sunset, retiring to a farm to watch his kids and his grass grow. But Jack McKeon's guys had their own story to write, so maybe all of baseball has the Marlins to thank for Clemens' change of mind this offseason. Clemens took a one-year, $5 million deal to pitch for the Houston Astros, turning his back on retirement, New York, and the American League. All Clemens did in the first month of the 2004 season was go 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA. Not bad for a 41-year-old. Marlins fans will get another chance to see the Rocket when Houston comes to town for a three-game series starting Tuesday, May 18. For tickets, call 305-626-7328. -- Russ Evans
You Gotta Regatta
Gotta build the boat first too!
Thirty-six teams from high schools, middle schools, and marine technical schools will compete in the Eighth Annual Plywood Regatta, taking place May 15 and 16. Oh, but first the teams need to build their own boats -- using just plywood, fast-cure caulk, and a spool of wire. Check out their creations at D.C. Alexander Park (Fort Lauderdale Beach between State Road A1A and Seabreeze Boulevard). The event is presented by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. Happening simultaneously is the Ocean Festival Dive and Adventure Sports Expo 2004 -- featuring 200 dive and adventure sports exhibits -- just two blocks south of the regatta on the beach. Call 954-524-2733, or visit www.miasf.org. -- Patti Roth
The best and brightest bicycle riders in all the land will converge on South Florida this weekend. But let's clarify: This is not your father's bore-me-to-tears, 100-plus-mile, road-racing trek. No, this is short-track, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, serious-injury-could-occur-at-any-second BMX racing. It's a 1,200-foot sprint over high jumps, tight turns, and a myriad of obstacles. It's like Lance Armstrong meets Ozzy Osbourne. The 2004 Florida State BMX Championships take place May 15 at Okeeheelee Park (7800 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach). Riders from 5-year-old beginners to a 68-year-old veteran will battle in 87 competitive divisions. Opening ceremonies start at 8:30 a.m., and the first race commences at 9 a.m. Organizers expect more than 3,500 spectators. Admission is free, but parking is limited, so come early. Call 561-642-6774. -- Russ Evans
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