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Roger Clemens to make pitching comeback with Sugar Land Skeeters

August 20, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Roger Clemens, shown pitching for the New York Yankees in 2007, will take the mound for the first time in nearly five years this weekend.
Roger Clemens, shown pitching for the New York Yankees in 2007, will take… (Michael Heiman / Getty Images )

Roger Clemens is 50 years old. He's a seven-time Cy Young Award winner. He may or may not be a Hall of Famer. He is not a criminal.

And he is now, once again, a baseball pitcher. In related news, he is also a Skeeter.

Clemens is expected to make his first start for his new team, the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, on Saturday night.

Randy Hendricks, one of Clemens' agents, told USA Today via email that this could be a one-time outing. Or maybe not.

"It is at this point a fun, local, one time kind of thing," Hendricks wrote. "If he does well, he will probably make at least one more home start. He threw 87 mph today with four pitches working, so he looks good to go at this point."

He added: "The hitters will let us know on Saturday night."

Clemens has not played for a team since 2007, making him eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot later this year. He was acquitted in June of charges that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Houston television station KRIV first reported Clemens' signing with the team on Monday.

"He's in such great shape it's ridiculous," said Javier Bracamonte, the Houston Astros bullpen catcher who saw Clemens' workout with the Skeeters. "He's the same guy he was before.

"He is nasty. His split is good. He still has life."

Wow. So Clemens, at half-a-century old and after nearly five years away from the game, is still throwing well. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it sounds like ... he just might be able pitch beyond a one-time novelty appearance.

What did you think I was going to say?

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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