Roger Clemens (Getty Images)
By Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY
(USA TODAY) - Roger Clemens is coming back to baseball.The seven-time Cy Young Award winner, fresh off his acquittal on federal charges he lied to Congress regarding alleged steroid use, has signed a contract with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters, a franchise in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Randy Hendricks, one of Clemens' agents, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports' Paul White that Clemens, 50, will make his first start Saturday night, against the Bridgeport Bluefish.
Said Hendricks via e-mail: "It is at this point a fun, local, one time kind of thing. 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.
"The hitters will let us know on Saturday night."
Fox 26 in Houston first reported the news of Clemens' comeback.
Clemens, 50, hit 87 mph on the radar gun in a workout for the Skeeters, according to Fox 26. It's unclear whether Clemens has designs on a serious comeback or if this is merely a brief publicity stunt that independent leagues are known for.
If he does make it to the major leagues, it would serve the purpose of re-setting his eligibility for the Hall of Fame. Clemens is set to appear on the ballot for the first time this December, along with Barry Bonds.
He has not pitched competitively since Game 3 of the 2007 American League Championship Series. Two months after that appearance, Clemens was named in baseball's Mitchell Report as a user of steroids and human growth hormone, and the five years since have been spent defending his name and watching his kids play ball.
He spent this past Saturday at the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field, watching son Kacy compete. His new teammates include former major league pitchers Scott Kazmir and Tim Redding, along with his former Houston Astros teammate, outfielder Jason Lane.
This being the independent leagues, Lane also pitches.
Now, Clemens will be back on the mound himself. Which makes us wonder if the Bluefish can sign Suzyn Waldman to a one-day contract to commemorate the occasion.