Roger Clemens will make another start for the Sugar Land Skeeters on Friday after a successful debut with the club. The Houston Astros are going to scout the performance, even though signing the veteran starting pitcher would be a waste of time.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Astros are keeping tabs on the 50-year-old former ace with a potential plan for him to start a game against the Chicago Cubs next week. Knobler also talks about how the move would push back Clemens' Hall of Fame clock.
If Clemens looked like he was actually capable of providing a boost to a major league pitching staff and the Astros were battling for a playoff spot, a deal would make sense. It would be similar to what the Atlanta Braves did with Ben Sheets.
But that's simply not the case. Clemens hasn't pitched in the big leagues in half a decade and the Astros are the worst team in baseball, an astonishing 32 games behind the second National League wild card spot with a month to play.
The Astros are looking for ways to generate more ticket sales since the team's performance isn't attracting anybody to the park. The front office must figure an over-the-hill Clemens would be the best way to do that.
Should the Astros sign Clemens?
While the team would probably have marginal success with the plan, it's hard to imagine fans coming out in droves just to watch him pitch when it's clear he would only have his own interests in mind when he takes the mound.
After all, a bad team with Clemens pitching is still a bad team. Most fans would probably see right through the publicity stunt.
The biggest losers of the situation would be the current Astros pitching staff. No starter or reliever on the team is older than 29. They could all use the experience of pitching in September instead of having to move aside for Clemens a couple times.
All told, the Astros really don't have much to gain from signing Clemens. Any extra ticket sales his starts do generate would probably be offset by the negative publicity he will carry around with him due to the entire Hall of Fame situation.
The last thing a young team trying to find its way needs is a major distraction. That's all Clemens would amount to for however long he would be on the team.
Neither Clemens or the extra ticket revenue is worth the headache.