After publicly discussing a deal for the last couple weeks, the Sugar Land Skeeters have offered Tracy McGrady a chance to come to the Atlantic League team’s Spring Training camp and earn a roster spot. Yes, this is the same McGrady that was playing in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs last season, and there is little doubting that this move is nothing more than a money grab for the Skeeters.
When it comes to McGrady, there is no doubting that the want to play professional baseball is a genuine feeling, just as it once was for Michael Jordan. After all, the 34 year old reportedly played baseball from the time he was 5 years old to his junior year of high school, and there is little doubting he would work out with Roger Clemens at the Skeeters’ facility if he didn’t have a genuine passion for the game.
On the other hand, the Skeeters have to know that McGrady has absolutely no chance to develop into even a remote option to consistently get batters out. The former basketball star has reportedly sat around 85 mph with his fastball, and has had a difficult time locating his pitches and repeating his delivery, which is common for anyone who is 6-foot-8. To say that this is a bad combination is an understatement, as many players that play in the AL have previously played in either AAA or MLB, and will tear apart any pitcher that can’t locate his pitches and doesn’t have the velocity to blow it by you.
Obviously the Skeeters are going to make some money off of this move, just as they did by signing Clemens to a two game stint back in 2012. But at least that move had the opportunity to provide the team with a presence that could help out players on the team and would make the Skeeters better on the field, as Clemens is one of the best pitchers in baseball history. This move only serves to embarrass the club, as McGrady isn’t nearly good enough to pitch professionally, is too old to develop, and doesn’t have near the brand recognition that Clemens had.