Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14

11 times an All-Star, 7 Cy Youngs, 2 World Series Championships, and 1 MVP…If that sounds like a complete and fulfilling baseball career, you would be right. Unless, of course, you are Roger Clemens!

Clemens, at 50 yrs. old, has agreed to join the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Atlantic League. The team is coached by former Major Leaguer Gary Gaetti and has a few former players including pitcher Scott Kazmir. The agreement is for him to pitch one game this Saturday. The Rocket last pitched in the big leagues in 2007 for the Yankees before retiring. He is also scheduled to be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time later this year. It has been reported that he has stayed in shape and continued to keep up with a pitching routine. He was recently clocked at 87mph, which isn’t bad for a guy who also plays in 50 and over softball league!

Obviously a man of Clemens well known ego, will certainly bring a few questions into play with any of his actions. The stated reason for the game was just to give the fans something fun to come out and see. There is not any future games that he has agreed upon but come on! First, despite his recent court victory, many people still believe he was riding a steroid and HGH pony to his success in the later years of his 24 yr. career. Could this be an attempt to bring some goodwill and turn him into a fun loving guy who plays for the love of the game? I would be hard pressed that this is his goal. I don’t think he would play unless he thought he would be dominant but he is protecting his pride by creating an appearance of novelty just in case it doesn’t work out. Secondly, and most importantly, is the thought of Hall of Fame voting. Right now the HoF voters are stonewalling any former big leaguer that has been connected or suspected of PED’s. If Clemens’ outing is a success there could certainly be a few more in the works. The Skeeters have connections to the Astros and Clemens has been known to keep in contact with his former team, including their new owner. If the Astros, the leagues worst team, wanted to boost their revenue for a few games and find something to keep their fans interested I think they could certainly be enticed to visit the idea of Clemens taking the mound again. If that worked out, then the voting clock for Clemens entrance to Cooperstown would be reset.

In 5 years, the voter mentality could certainly change. It would put a little more distance between the hey day of Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds which holds a spot of disgust for many people. As time passes, voters will have the opportunity to reevaluate and determine if the owners of some of the leagues most impressive stats should be allowed the games most prestigious designation, Hall of Famer. It will be hard to erase an entire generation of the game and I do think the vitriol will die down, as unfortunate as that may be. Also with the league only testing roughly 5% of players, it’s hard to believe it will end.

I really hope that this is no more than a stunt and Clemens exits the spotlight on a positive note. I also want to remind players that this guy will always be hanging around!

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