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Jim Crane is willing to let Roger Clemens pitch for the Astros this season

Aug 24, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Roger Clemens AP

They watched his workouts and they’ll be watching his start tomorrow night, and today Astros owner Jim Crane said that, assuming things go well, he’d be totally open to Roger Clemens pitching for the Astros this season:

“If it goes alright and he comes to us, we’ll talk to baseball about it at length,” Crane said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

“The only thing we don’t want to do is make it a publicity stunt. If we did it, I want to try and take it and turn it into a positive, which would be Roger’s doing it for the good of baseball. The extra proceeds on the game might go to the (Astros’) community charity deal to build (baseball) fields, do something positive out of it.”

He said that he didn’t want to do it just for the extra gate, which is admirable.  That said, I think Clemens would have to be extremely dominant from a scouting perspective tomorrow night, not just from a box score perspective, for the Astros to seriously consider it. Because these will be independent ball guys he’s facing and even a 25% Roger Clemens should be able to do well against them.  For this to not be a farce, he has to have good velocity and command.

If they went forward with it, I also hope that Houston wouldn’t use him in a game that mattered. Sure, the Astros season is meaningless at this point, but they play the Giants, Reds, Pirates and Cardinals at home before the season is over, and all of those teams are in playoff fights. Really, the only time when it would not make a big difference is for the Cubs series September 10-12 and the Phillies series September 13-16.

  1. lazlosother - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    If Roger does pitch for the Astros, doesn’t that delay his hall candidacy? Could actually be good for his chances, as things will have calmed a bit five or six years from now. Right now he is so unpopular, and the BBA is feeling so sanctimonious that it doesn’t benefit him to be on the list.

    • stex52 - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      That was addressed in the local papers. Clemens said it is irrelevant to his decision to pitch. We can only take his word at this point.

      • mazblast - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        Because Roger’s word is gold.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Yes, it does reset his Hall candidacy.

  2. linedrivehit - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    All he needs is a little juice…

  3. mvpolamalu - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    @lazlother i was thinking simularly. If a player retires when they are, say, 36 and are inducted to the hall when they turn 41, are they allowed to make a comeback? If so, what happens to their hall of fame?

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      It obviously never happened to a HOF, but Minnie Minoso’s history of it is pretty interesting.

      In 1969, he fell off the ballot with just 1.8% of the vote. He then famously came back in 1976, playing in 3 games and played two more games in 1980 at the age of 54. He subsequently reappeared on the ballot, from 1986 until 1999, peaking at 21.1% of the vote.

  4. cruuuzcontrol - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    For the Astros, it’s definitely a publicity stunt to sell tickets. For Clemens, it’s an attempt to delay his HoF candidacy in hopes that people won’t hate him as much in a few years when his new date of eligibility comes up. For intelligent people like me, this just makes a snake like Clemens even more loathsome.

  5. sportsdrenched - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Heck, If they going down this route, just sign Brett Favrahhhh too.

  6. icanspeel - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Why not? The Astros have nothing to lose besides more games, but they are already doing that anyways.

  7. bigleagues - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Well, seeing as his velocity was a mere 87 MPH last week . . . and historically Clemens hasn’t fared well when his average velocity has dipped into the low 90’s . . . I’m not optimistic (for lack of a better term).

    On a parallel note . . . the Giants are still desperate for offense . . . are they willing to take a chance on a de-bloated Bonds?

  8. bigleagues - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    And Craig . . . weren’t you the one just a few days who stated that you weren’t buying that Clemens Skeeters start was all about just getting back on the field – that it was about Clemens pitching in the majors this year?

    Let’s assign some credit where it is do here!

  9. heelbostonfan - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    What owners will do when their team sucks and they’re desperate to increase attendance…

  10. stex52 - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Send in the clowns ……………..Don’t bother, they’re here.

  11. unlost1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    As if he wants to get on a team worse than the Cubs! That would almost be worse than lying to Congress.

  12. xmatt0926x - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I love how the Astros brass is acting as if his inevitable start with the Astros depends on him doing well with the Skeeters. As if this whole thing wasn’t already decided between Clemens and Crane a month or two ago. My guess is that unless he gives up 20 er he’ll be in an Astros uni very shortly. As far as the HOF goes, yes, his 5 year clock will be restarted and why not? It makes sense for Clemens. He knows he isn’t getting in under the current anti-doping climate. Why not push it back 5 more years where maybe attitudes of the wroiters have changed somewhat. What does he have to lose? He wouldn’t have gotten in in the near future anyway.

  13. brockw82 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Guy LaFleur did it in the NHL, came out of retirement after making it to the HOF.

  14. spudatx - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Did the spirit of Bill Veeck fall on Houston? This entire thing seems a bit contrived and obvious. Clemens is pitching for the Skeeters? Oh, and the Astros are “scouting” him? And ESPN is suddenly deciding THIS is worthwhile entertainment to broadcast?

    Clemens has no angle here other than to pitch 1 day in the MLB to move back his candidacy to Cooperstown in hopes that public opinion will soften over time on his “alleged” drug use. At 50, he’s not going to magically have good enough stuff or a healthy enough body to play even a fraction of a season.

    But, what is a boy to do if he’s not good enough to make The Bigs on his own even for a single game? Ah! Call up the nearby Astros and pitch them the opportunity to engage their fan base and make money by putting on a big show to close down their final season in the NL. Highlight it all with the hurler who helped take the team to a World Series and everyone is happy — ESPN, (enough) paying fans, owners, and Clemens.

    I see this plot being remade by Muppets one day. It’s a crazy enough plot, we’d only believe if it involved Clemens or a felt covered whatnot.

  15. thefalcon123 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    The Astros are an astounding 7-43 since June 28th. Over the course of 162 games, that is a pace of 23-139.

    That. is. amazing.

    Clemens could be 80 and pitching left handed and there would be no way he could hurt the team.

  16. dondada10 - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Somebody is gonna get screwed out of a 40-man roster spot. I’m looking at you, Fernando Martinez.

  17. rcali - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Last time I checked Mr. Crane, Jose Canseo, Brady Anderson, and Palmiero are also available. If your going for the circus, go all the way.

  18. deadeyedesign23 - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    At what point do we decide to stop pretending like this isn’t going to happen.

  19. gatordontplay - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    As an Astros fan if I see Clemens ever put on a uniform and play a mm park I’m done with the organization.. He’s a waste of out time just like he said playing for the Astros was a waste of his time when we payed him 22 million for half a season and missed the playoffs

  20. cranespy - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    For the good of baseball….that ship has sailed. He may have slithered his way out of the Mcnamee debacle but a man who will lie and continue to lie to try and save a little cred…we know and he knows…he was and still is an overbearing, egotistical Adonis. This man is sick….too bad he didn’t look the camera in the eye and tell the TRUTH. We all k ow and sadly so does he.

  21. mazblast - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    If this happens, all I can say to Houston fans is, “You wanted a new owner. You got him. Congratulations.”

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