Roger Clemens is planning on starting again. According to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports, Clemens sent a text message to the TV station and told them that he and the Sugar Land Skeeters are planning on a September 7 encore performance.
At this point, it doesn't necessarily feel like a publicity stunt anymore. Obviously, we are all still very interested in this story, but it will become less and less surprising every time he starts. His return to the independent leagues won't be as novel once he has been there for a while.
Does Clemens still have major league ambitions?
I am sure that he still has that competitive drive. Just because you get older doesn't mean that you all of a sudden don't want to compete anymore. Typically, the physical health is what slows down older players rather than a lack of desire or burnout.
However, you have to wonder whether or not he is really in the right physical condition. Sure, he pitched 3.1 shutout innings in his first start, and that is definitely an achievement. However, what type of workload would he be capable of taking on?
On top of his ability, they would need to be a team willing to take a risk. How many teams want to take on a 50-year-old pitcher? Obviously, if he can keep pitching like he did in his first start, there would definitely be some interested teams, but his age will definitely be against him in a league that values youth.
Repeat performances don't seem to have the novelty value that one-time appearances do. It will be incredibly interesting to see how far Roger Clemens' comeback is able to progress. He was one of the best pitchers of our generation, so I guess you never know.
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