Roger Clemens: Why Signing with the Houston Astros Is a Win/Win for Both
The Houston Astros own the single worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
At just 40-88, they come across as a pathetic team, despite the fact that they've seen their share of injuries to key players such as Jed Lowrie and Francisco Cordero, coupled with the utter disembowelment the team underwent at the trade deadline.
Obviously, they are in the middle of a major overhaul as the team transitions from a National League ball club to an American League team in 2013.
That said, what reason do Astros fans really have to show up for the final 34 games of the season?
This past Saturday, a 50-year-old Roger Clemens toed the rubber for the independent minor league team, the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Prior to the arrival of Clemens, the Skeeters' biggest star was former two-time American League All-Star pitcher Scott Kazmir.
Everything changed when Clemens came to town. The Rocket came in and impressed everyone in 3.1 scoreless innings of work for the Skeeters.
Those on the list of impressed in attendance, Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Clemens saw his fastball hit 88 mph on the radar gun.
Astros owner Jim Crane has made it known that he would be open to bringing back Clemens to pitch for the Astros this season.
In doing so, Roger effectively helps out the Astros organization as well as his own cause.
He gives fans a reason to show up to the ballpark everyday—not to say that the Juice Train isn't enough cause for excitement on a nightly basis.
The idea of Clemens coming to town would likely help to fill the stadium for at least three games, possibly even four over the remainder of the season.
To date, the Astros rank last among 16 NL teams in attendance on the season, with only 1,310,710 fans having attended Minute Maid Park in 2012.
If a deal was made today, fans could likely expect to see Clemens pitch against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, September 2nd.
Should the Astros look to capitalize on home-attendance opportunities, Clemens would not pitch again until September 10th against the Cubs. That could be followed up with a start on the 16th against Philadelphia, and finally, one last outing on the 23rd against Pittsburgh or the 24th against the Cardinals.
For Clemens, this could serve two purposes.
Most notably, it would reset the clock on his Hall of Fame ballot. Rather than seeing his name appear this fall for the first time, it would get pushed back five years.
The idea behind this logic is as obvious as it may seem: Hall of Fame voters may be more lenient on steroid era players five years from now.
It would also give fans the chance to have a new lasting image of Clemens.
Rather than seeing him walking out of a courtroom post congressional appeal, fans could see Roger take the mound one last time and show that age 50, he still has got it.
Could this plan backfire for both parties? Absolutely.
Might it actually be pretty brilliant? Time will have to tell.
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