Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 8/22/12
Clemens_during_anthem_6603
Roger Clemens went to great lengths and expense to clear his name of perjury charges and now critics are saying his baseball comeback is not just for fun— but a calculated attempt to delay his  appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot this winter.

The 50-year old pitcher downplayed the idea that he was hoping to return to the majors, where even one pitch would delay his eligibility for Cooperstown another five years and maybe put memories of his association with steroids in the back of voter's minds.

Clemens is expected to begin pitching for the independent Atlantic League's Sugarland (Tex.) Skeeters this Saturday.  The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Houston Astros have already sent a scout to see the seven-time Cy Young Award winner throw.  The 354-game winner's fastball was recently clocked at 87 mph on a radar gun.

Hall of Fame voters were expected to reject the inclusion to the Hall of Fame because of his high-profile role in the Mitchell report on doping in the major leagues.  A jury acquitted Clemens in June of six felony charges related to his congressional testimony after he denied using steroids and human growth hormone.

"Sure the Hall of Fame is great, I've told people that.  But it's not going to change my life either way," Clemens said.  "But if there's something there that somebody feels like they have a grudge or want to hold something against you, I can't control that one bit."



Clemens last pitched in the majors with the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS in 2007 claims  a big league return or turning back the Hall of Fame clock aren't on his mind.

"I've been to the major leagues and back a couple of times," he said.  "I've retired and unretired, so I wouldn't consider thinking that far ahead.  I'm just going to try to get through Saturday.  I think I can compete a little bit."

Former Astros executive and current Skeeters special advisor Tal Smith knows Clemens will help put fans in the seats but won't call the comeback a publicity stunt.

"Knowing Roger and how competitive he is and what great shape he is in, and the fact that Jamie Moyer pitched close to 50 and Nolan Ryan pitched well into his 40's. If anyone can do it, Roger Clemens can do it," Smith said.

It sounds like Smith thinks Clemens' return to the majors will help the pitcher's chances of winning over the HOF voter's hearts

"I think voter's should remember that he's been acquitted of all charges and that he never tested positive," Smith said.  "I hope this story dies down in future years."

If Clemens' comeback can make unsympathetic voters forget about the 10-week trial— with its images of steroid-covered syringes and other medical waste covered with the hurler's DNA— could a Barry Bonds return be far away?


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

Rapper rips David West for taking pay cut to join Spurs

Report: Kevin Garnett will return for 21st NBA season

Packers plan to keep TE Andrew Quarless despite arrest

Russell Wilson: God spoke to me after Super Bowl-losing INT

Cam Newton training with Aussie rules football team

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

Cubs announcer defends saying 'no-hitter' during game

MLB scout hiring and pay practices challenged in lawsuit

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather officially stripped of welterweight title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.