Question: 50-year-old Roger Clemens, a former Cy Young winner with 354 career wins, is set to make a start Saturday for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. His return to baseball follows a five-year retirement that was marred by a perjury trial after he told a Congressional committee he had never used steroids or performance enhancing drugs. Does “The Rocket” deserve a chance to take the mound again, or should he hang the cleats up for good?
Ben: Let the man pitch. If a minor league team wants to draw a few more fans to a game, let it – regardless of Clemens’ alleged steroid use. Reports say Clemens’ fastball still hits 87 mph and I am curious to see if he’s still got it.
Sarah: The man is 50 years old. My guess is he will pull a hamstring in one of his first games. Maybe he will someday beat Jamie Moyer’s record for being the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a game at 49. But Moyer didn’t sit out for five years. Sure he will draw a crowd, but it’s time for The Rocket to take a seat.
DeMario: Although my lasting impressions of him are of times when he lit up the radar guns and had batters whiffing at his weaponized fastball, it is time that he allows his highlights to do all of his Hall of Fame arguments. Anything short of spectacular from Clemens would only do further damage to what is statistically an amazing career.
Alex: He certainly deserves a chance to pitch, but I don’t see why he would want to. Maybe it’s his way of telling his detractors that he still has it and didn’t need PEDs to perform so well, but it looks a little sad. He came out of retirement to re-join the Yankees in 2007, and that turned out to be insignificant. I can’t see this ending any other way.