Former MLB Star Roger Clemens Signs With Atlantic League in Independent Ball

By Bryn Swartz

He’s baaaaaaaaaack.

Okay, not really.

Living legend Roger Clemens will be pitching again, but not in the major leagues. The 50-year old has signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League, which is in independent ball.

He worked out for the team today and president Matt O’Brien told FOX 26 Sports that Clemens will sign with the team.

Officials said that Clemens was in great shape and is throwing 87 miles per hour. I repeat, the 50-year old pitcher is throwing a baseball 87 miles per hour.

Here’s what the Astros bullpen catcher, a close friend of Clemens, said about the workout:

“He’s in such great shape it’s ridiculous,” Javier Bracamonte said. “He’s the same guy he was before.

“He is nasty. His split is good. He still has life. He was throwing in the high 80s.

“He ran three miles, threw a bullpen and threw batting practice. He had a lot of movement on the ball. To me he is still the same.”

Clemens will be the starting pitcher for the Skeeters on Saturday.

For Clemens, this marks his first time in baseball since 2007, when he posted a 6-6 record and a 4.18 earned run average for the New York Yankees.

While many will remember his career for steroid use, I look at arguably the greatest pitcher of the last 50 years. He pitched 24 seasons, winning 354 games against 184 losses, and recording a 3.12 earned run average.

He won seven Cy Young awards, the first at age 24 in 1986 and the last at age 42 in 2004. In between, he led the league in ERA+ eight times, strikeouts five times, and wins four times. He earned league Triple Crown awards in 1997 and 1998, and he ranks third all-time in wins above replacement for pitchers. He also led the Yankees to world championships in 1999 and 2000.

Clemens joins a list of former major league stars who now play or have played in independent baseball leagues, including Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson.

Clemens’ new team located in Texas. Interestingly enough, the manager for the Skeeters is former third baseman Gary Gaetti, who belted 360 home runs during his major league career.

If playing for the Skeeters doesn’t work out for Clemens, maybe he can take a demotion and go to the Houston Astros. They could always use pitching.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.

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