Houston Astros Should Sign Roger Clemens...and Bonds, Palmeiro and McGwire Too

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IAugust 31, 2012

SUGAR LAND, TX- AUGUST 25:  Roger Clemens #21 of the Sugar Land Skeeters  walks from the bullpen to the dugout before he pitches against the Camden Riversharks on August 25, 2012 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

If Roger Clemens' comeback this season does nothing else, it at least put the Sugar Land Skeeters on the baseball map. It is safe to say that this is the most coverage that the independent club has received in their three-year existence.

While he is scheduled to pitch on Sept. 7 against the Long Island Ducks, according to Newsday, there are questions regarding his major league ambitions at age 50. The Houston Astros would be the most likely landing spot.

The Astros should bring him back. Why not? They are not putting much of a watchable product on the field at this point. They are already at 90 losses with more than a month left to play. They are inevitably going to notch the second 100-loss season in franchise history, and also the second in as many years.

How would Clemens on the mound hurt their chances? Or how could it be worse than essentially putting a Triple-A team on the field to play contending teams down the stretch?

But it also could do something quite wonderful for the good of baseball. If Clemens plays a game in the majors this year, it takes him off of the Hall of Fame ballot for another five seasons.

The Hall of Fame voting announcements used to be a lot of fun. There was debate, stat comparisons and passionate disagreements. But with the performance-enhancing drug scandals, the Hall of Fame selection has had a dark cloud hanging over it.

Under normal situations, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire would be in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Β And yes, Jose Canseco would have his supporters.

Instead, as scandal-free players like Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin get in, voters wring their hands over what to do with players whose numbers merit inclusion but the method to the numbers are in question.

Even players like Jeff Bagwell, not indicted nor with a positive test, get scrutiny, according to ESPN.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be on the ballot this year. So will Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez. Bonds and Clemens would have been Hall of Famers if they never touched the stuff.

Their election should have been a glorious day. Instead, it is going to be dour and controversial no matter the outcome.

Unless, of course, Clemens plays for the Astros. And then the Astros could also sign Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez and anyone else.

Who honestly would not want to watch the juiced-up old-timers team instead of a bunch of minor leaguers who were in the Marlins and Blue Jays farm system just a few months ago?

Turn the Astros into the Victor Conte All-Stars as they play out the string in the National League. Put a few butts in the seats and sell a few Astros jerseys in the process. Brett Wallace shirts are probably not flying off of the shelves. But Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa ones would!

And it postpones the Hall of Fame vote for another five years.

On the eve of the 2018 Hall of Fame vote, I will probably recommend that another team signs them to start the clock again.

Hopefully by 2018, the Astros will be good again.


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