Saturday, August 25 will mark the return of “The Rocket” to the game of baseball. 50-year-old Roger Clemens is expected to make a start for the Sugar Land Skeeters when they take on Bridgeport. The Skeeters are an Independent Minor League team in the Atlantic League located in the Houston area in case you were wondering.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Clemens on the bump, but he certainly hasn’t been out of the spotlight. Clemens last pitched in the majors with the New York Yankees in 2007. He was 45 years old when we thought we had seen the last of Roger Clemens on the mound.
So why the return to the game now? One reason in particular certainly comes to mind.
Clemens was listed in the Mitchell Report in case you forgot. His former trainer, Brian McNamee accused him of using Performance Enhancing Drugs. Clemens denied those allegations.
Then the Justice Department decided to launch a full-scale investigation to prove Clemens was lying under oath. After wasting a lot of time and tax payers money, Clemens was acquitted on all charges.
The Rocket has remained out of the public eye since the trial, until now. Clemens will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot later this season, and he’ll be grouped with a bunch of other HOF candidates tied to PEDs.
If Clemens does make it back to the majors, which I think is what he’s ultimately trying to accomplish, then his HOF eligibility will be pushed back five years.
Right now, we know many HOF voters won’t vote for a player even if there’s no evidence he ever used PEDs. If there’s any link to PEDs, voters will likely shy away. Who knows how different the voters will feel in 5 years?
According to Clemens, this Skeeter start is merely for fun. It’s more for the fans’ entertainment, and he doesn’t plan on making a big league return.
I think he is, and he’s down-playing a return to the majors just incase the old-timer gets rocked by Bridgeport.
I think it’s safe to say we’ll know more about Clemens future after the newest, and most famous Sugar Land Skeeter takes the mound on Saturday.
Aaron Kirn is the Director of Video for Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter @AaronKirn