x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Tactics of Clemens are failing to fool anyone

Roger Clemens is saying he doesn't want his return to be a sideshow. But that's exactly what this is.

Sugar Land Skeeters starter Roger Clemens.
Sugar Land Skeeters starter Roger Clemens.

Roger Clemens is better than the stunt he's pulling.

Here he is, a 354-game winner, fresh from being exonerated of perjury charges, attempting a comeback at age 50 with the Sugarland Skeeters, an independent league team near Houston, Texas.

The unspoken assumption is that Clemens and the Houston Astros are concocting a scheme to get him back in a big-league game so he can stop the clock on his Hall-of-Fame eligibility - and the lowly Astros can get some fans in the seats at Minute Maid Park.

At the moment, Clemens would appear on his first Hall-of-Fame ballot in December. He can remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years if he receives at least five per cent of the vote each year. If he pitches in a game before this season is out, however, the five-year clock on his eligibility would be reset to 2017, when suspicion of his steroid use isn't so fresh on voters' minds.

But does he really think the baseball writers who vote for the Hall of Fame have such short memories they'll forget about the day Clemens appeared before the US Congress and raised so many questions? Wouldn't he be better served to just relish in the notion that by beating charges that he lied to Congress, at least now there's a shred of doubt?

Clemens is saying he doesn't want his return to be a sideshow. But that's exactly what this is. Not only should he hope the writers forget about their suspicions, but that they forget this dog-and-pony show, too.