By: Jeff Riger
It’s amazing! You go away for a week and look what happens?
-The Giants Melky Cabrera is suspended 50 games for failing a drug test.
-The Mariners Felix Hernandez tosses a perfect game, which seemed to be just a matter of time.
-And, Roger Clemons wants to make a comeback.
That’s right; “Rocket” at age 50 will attempt to resurrect his baseball career, even if it is only for one game. Clemens was introduced Tuesday as the newest member of the Sugar Land Skeeters, a minor league team from the Atlantic League. He will pitch in a game on Saturday and then figure out if he wants to try to continue a comeback or go back into retirement. Clemens threw a 3 inning simulated game where his fastball was clocked at 87 mph and apparently all his other pitches were working. Of course this all happened after an extensive warm up.
So why is he doing it?
I admit that I have no clue; however I do have some theories.
-Maybe Clemens wants to help the Skeeters out. I would imagine the place will be sold out on Saturday, revenue that could do wonders to help a minor league team.
-Maybe Clemons owes former MLB’er Gary Gaetti a favor. Gaetti is the skipper of the Skeeters. Say that 5 times quickly.
-Maybe the 50 year old is actually arrogant enough to believe that he can do it.
-Or maybe, Clemens wants to work his way up to throwing in one more MLB game, knowing that, that will reset his 5 year clock to zero. Clemens is eligible for Hall of Fame voting later this year and given the way things have gone with other candidates who allegedly used performance enhancing drugs, Clemens might believe that an extra 5 years might give him time for everything to blow over.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that Clemens has what it takes to reach the big leagues again, but I also believe that the Hall of Fame is very important to the man and he would try anything to make sure his bust is there when it’s all said and done. The long time ace also was just recently acquitted of charges that he lied to Congress claiming that he did not use P.E.D.S, so maybe he has that going for himself as well.
However it should not matter! Clemens is a first ballot Hall of Famer right now no matter what!
‘Rocket’ was the best pitcher of my generation hands down. Sure steroids might have helped him extend his career but he still remained dominant during that time. I believe steroids can help a player’s longevity but that player still has to perform and Clemons did just that. At age 42 Clemens, while playing with Houston had an ERA under 2 which led the league.
Was that all P.E.D. induced?
How many hitters were also juicing that Clemens was throwing to?
And, even though this might sound crazy, he was acquitted! I know and you know he did it, but I figured I would throw this one in here so you all can call me stupid one more time.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that Clemens, like Barry Bonds was a Hall of Famer before the juice and he remains a Hall of Famer afterwards. How can a Hall of Fame not include the pitcher with the 3rd most career strikeouts or the all time Home Run king? It can’t!
Think about it for a second. Clemens and Bonds used but so did former Tiger Alex Sanchez and Nook Logan as well. Meaning the best MLB’ers and the almost minor leaguers all did it. Doesn’t that mean that damn near everybody in between may have been also? I like to think so even if you laugh and call me stupid again.
Which brings us back to Melky Cabrera…
Over my honeymoon I got a chance to read a report in the USA Today about steroids in baseball. Click here to check out the article.
If you don’t want to check it out, let me relay some of the more interesting points. Long time writer Bob Nightengale wrote the piece and talked to several people in baseball about steroids in the wake of Cabrera getting busted.
-One manager with the condition of anonymity claimed he would not be surprised if 7 or 8 of his players are using right now.
-Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro: “The mentality to do whatever is possible to try to succeed exists throughout society. In any free-market system, the greater the reward, the higher the propensity for violation. It happens on Wall Street, right?”
-MLB Vice President Tony Larussa: “Some of the people that are most understanding of the stuff that have gone on are the guys who played in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. How many times do you hear, ‘If that stuff had been here, I would have used it, too’?”
-MLB refuses to spend more money to get a test that is more conclusive, taking away reasonable doubt when a player fails a drug test.
So baseball doesn’t care enough to spend more money on better tests in all steroid cases but baseball writers are quick to judge those they think may have used? How does that make any sense? Those same writers by the way that wrote about Big Mac and Slammin’ Sosa hitting homer after homer while failing the to report on the PED use that was going on at the time.
Put players with worthy numbers in the Hall and if baseball feels the need to make it known that they played in the so called “steroid era” then so be it.
Not that it’s right but guys corked bats, threw spit balls and used every chemical on the planet to get an edge in the past. Those players, if they were good enough are in the Hall of Fame. Shouldn’t the same apply to today’s cheaters?
Roger Clemens doesn’t need to go back to the game to make it in the Hall, he should already be there! So should Bonds.
Now once again to take the time to call me stupid for what I guarantee will not be the last time.
What do you think?