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Report: Roger Clemens could start for Astros on Sept. 12

Aug 30, 2012, 6:39 PM EDT

roger clemens getty Getty Images

That the Astros will watch Roger Clemens’ second outing for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Sept. 7 was a given, and’s Danny Knobler says there is “strong speculation in baseball” that Clemens will then pitch for the Astros five days later.

That’d be Sept. 12 against the Cubs, baseball’s second worst team since the All-Star break. The Astros, at 8-47 in their last 55 games, are pretty well locked into the 30th spot on any sort of power rankings one could dream up.

The 50-year-old Clemens pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings last Saturday in his first start for the Skeeters. He announced last night that he’d make his second outing Sept. 7 on 12 days’ rest.

For what it’s worth, given the schedule, it sure seems like Clemens is on his own timetable and not Houston’s. While the Astros are at home on Sept. 12, he’d only seem to be in position to make one additional start in Houston by debuting then. If he bumped that up to Sept. 10 or 11 instead, he’d have been in a position to make three or maybe even four home starts for the Astros before the season ended.

  1. mybrunoblog - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Clemens is already studying for his piss test.

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      You got to love nbcnews. Yesterday they featured an article that Clemens was finished and would never pitch in the majors again. Nbcnews is training hard to be no 5 after mircrosoft starts their news channel.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        5 thumbs down? Didn’t know MSBC allows its own employees on here. Jeez! (Sarcasm intended)

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM

        What’s the beef? Nbc reported the break up, which is understandable considering all the lies and broken nbc promises. NBC admits it is fourth in the viewership ratings. Now there will be five internet companies broadcasting news and sports. So they sink one lower. Yesterday nbc reported that Clemens would never pitch for Houston and in the big leagues. Today its “OH YES” it will be a stunt to extend his eligibility for the HOF and fill some seats in Houston. When you consider how many interns do the work for the journalists, it doesn’t matter what garbage NBC throws on the net. They net to take up so many lines of space. So what if it doesn’t make sense and what they print one day contradicts what they print the next. They want the advertisements!

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:18 AM

        jimeejohnson – Can you try and make some sense of that? What is MSBC? Has mircosoft already formed its news and sports channel? MSNBC just reported the break up. It takes a while to get the internet, television and radio permits and hire qualified people who can make a sentence and put forth ideas that make sense. NBC can’t do it. Look up the names on the stories they write. Most of them are interns! Or they buy the stories from other foreign sources and don’t use people to check usage, spelling or grammar.
        I enjoy looking at the funnies that appear on all nbc articles.
        Didn’t you love the following statement? “Fllowing several years in which many observers noted promotion of liberal political positions and emergence of politically partisan views in the channel’s programming and news operations, MSNBC publicly acknowledged its progressive agenda in October 2010 while launching a marketing campaign with the tagline “Lean Forward.” That even extended to comments on Hardball. Once MSNBC picked up NEWSVINE it was only a matter of time until Microsoft pulled out.
        Or perhaps you liked the following: ”
        “Tillinghast said was racing to foster a community among its readers and to exploit the power of unmoderated user commentary and ranking of the news.” As soon as newsvine came aboard, there was banning, deleting and collapsing of comments.
        Lastly there was the written promise of Newsvine CEO that he would answer all emails and published his email. He never answered one! So how can you believe any article that is written about anything on nbc including hardball?

  2. amaninwhite - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    The astros are now literally a minor league club, both in their quality of play and now in the gimmicks that they use to draw fans and satiate the ego of a player that their owner has a huge man-crush on.

    • hojo20 - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Might as well let Morganna the Kissing Bandit run on the field too.

  3. philliesblow - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    What’s next, JR Richard?

  4. ramygras - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    This isn’t about who. This is about pushing back HOF eligibility.

    • themuddychicken - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      I’ve been wondering why more people aren’t discussing this aspect of him pitching again. With the upcoming logjam on the HoF ballot, it will be difficult for a while at least for someone with his baggage to get voted in. By pushing his eligibility back he a) gets to avoid the height of the logjam, and b) allows a few more years for the voters to digest his career and for newer voters with potentially less hardline views toward the “steroid era” to throw some votes his way.

      After all, this would give him until about 2032 to get voted in the traditional way. Sidenote: wow, he will be really old in 2032

  5. TIF - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    This is unsurprising. Clemens has always stated how important being in the Hall of Fame is to him. His decision to pitch for an independent league team (and ultimately for the Astros) is not based on a whim. After watching how the world reacted to Palmeiro and Bonds, Clemens knew he had to distance himself from the PED users. Due to his perjury trials, his rehabilitation plan has taken longer than expected, but it’s clearly back on track now.

  6. teaspoon1731 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    As a Sox fan, I appreciate this brief moment to laugh at another team. Thank you Houston.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      Which Sox?

      • teaspoon1731 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        Has there been reason to mock the White Sox this season?

  7. paulhargis53 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    J.R. Richard died years ago…unless that was sarcasm.

    • philliesblow - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      No he didn’t. He had a stroke and was homeless for some time, but he is still alive.

  8. braddavery - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    This is bullshit. How come a guy like Jose Canseco can’t even get a sniff at the Majors for the last 10+ years while wanting to play, but Clemens at 50 years old wants to play so, OKAY, here you go.

    • jhorton83 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      Because nobody in baseball likes Jose Canseco. Jim Crane likes Clemens. So that’s the explanation.

      • braddavery - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        I understand that. I was implying that it isn’t really fair. Clemens is just as much a douche and a pariah as Canseco, yet here he is, getting another shot at 50 freaking years old. No on can tell me that a 50 year old Clemens brings anything more to a team than Canseco would right now. I have no issue with Clemens getting a shot. My problem is that other players deserve as much a shot as Clemens is getting. Oh well. It is what it is.

    • mscott4 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      Calm down Jose.

    • kickingiant - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      Canseco can’t put butts in seats. Clemens can. Sometimes life actually is cruelly, inexplicably fair.

      • hfspodcast - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        Theres a couple of things here. First lets look at Jose, He hasn’t played in the majors since 2001, he has bounced around more independent leagues than you can count, in those independent leagues he has not played well.
        2006 he had a .169 BA in 87 PA’s with 4 HR’s
        2010 he signed with a club called Laredo and in 49 PAs had a .385 BA which is more than respectable.
        2011 237 PA’s and a .256 BA
        2012 84 PA’s and a .194 BA.
        A few points about his ML career as well.
        His BA’s since 1997 .235, .237, .279, .252, .258
        He’s a power hitter of course so lets see HR’s
        Its pretty easy to see he was declining the white sox even had him in AAA in 2002 to try and get back into form.
        Jose was a player who while he was a huge name never lived up to his potential and despite the Steroids did not age well.
        Roger on the other hand (possibly aided by Steroids) has aged very well.
        His last ML start of course being 5 years ago opposed to 11.
        2003-2007 he posted….
        3.91,2.98,1.87, 2.30 and 4.18 ERA’s
        Compiling strike out totals of 190, 218,185,102 and 68.
        Even in his two worst years he would have still been considered to be a average/above average pitcher.
        All of this without taking into account Jose’s off the field issues, battery, drunkeness, MMA fighting, celebrity boxing, tell all books, getting hit in the head with a baseball, etc.
        Obviously I am not going to sit here and tell you that Roger Clemens is a saint, but Roger was a helluva pitcher and comparably was a much more durable icon than Jose was to the point where if he goes out tomorrow and pitches it will be to a sell out crowd.

  9. kevinleaptrot - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Where’s Max Patkin when you need him?

  10. randygnyc - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    2nd start?? For the Astros??? Lmao. Roger only cares if he throws ONE PITCH!

  11. cozboogie - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I’m gonna leave a couple tickets at will call for Jeff Novitzky and Brian McNamee. You think I should dish one out for Pettitte as well?

    • 1historian - Aug 31, 2012 at 7:47 AM

      just make sure you leave one for Elvis

  12. elwaysmilehighdenver - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Rumor has it the Jimmy Winn, Joe Morgan, and Cesar Cedeno are on the roster for the upcoming weekend!
    Please Rocket……..just go away!

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      …I can’t imagine that would make the Astros any worse.

    • mazblast - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Wynn, not Winn. Loved “The Toy Cannon” way back when.

  13. paulhargis53 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Phillies: I stand corrected…

  14. timb12 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Canseco didn’t try to come back to the Astros. Where’s Bagwell when you need him?

  15. j0esixpack - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    I gotta say… Roger is a lying jerk who is only pulling this stunt in the hopes that the added time in resetting his HoF selection clock may help him get in.

    That being said, I’m intrigued to see how he does against major league batting (if one considers the Cubs a major league team.)

    88 mph fast balls for a 50 year old throwing for the first time in 7 years ain’t bad… If that stretch out start sees him move up into the low 90s this next game there really is no reason to think he couldn’t still win games at the major league level.

  16. thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    To hell with Clemens. I say sign Jim Wynn and let him play a couple of games. If there is anyone who deserves to have his HOF clock re-set, it’s him.

    129 career OPS+ as a center fielder, 60.7 fWar and not a single HOF vote. That’s downright criminal.

  17. jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Leave Roger alone. After all, he was cleared by a court of Law, just like the O.J., ok!

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      Not fair to compare Clemens to the O.J., ok. Clemens didn’t kill anybody. O.J.: not so much!

  18. astrosfan75956 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Bagwell and Biggio are going to play as well.

  19. randygnyc - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    I think Moyer’s appearances earlier this year have made Clemens’ return more probable. Clemens throwing upper 80’s (with control) and with a good curveball, can still get MLB hitters out.

    My bet is he makes one start and then excuses himself from a further attempt for whatever reason he makes. I expect that he’ll perform well, too.

  20. sabatimus - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    I think he should start on Sept 11.

  21. raysfan1 - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    “Clemens is on his own time table and not Houston’s.”

    Of course he is. Find me evidence of him not acting purely selfishly ever.

    And, yes, I too think this is much more about re-setting the HoF clock and not real love of the game.

  22. kickingiant - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Looking at the picture, I hope that if number 34 for the Skeeters isn’t named Bites, then they have a player who is.

  23. hokiegajanisgod - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    He needs 2 more wins to pass Grex Maddux and reestablish himself as the best pitcher of his generation.

    If he didn’t have to deal with all of the PED nonsense, and he was still pitching decently, Cemens may be up around 400 wins…400 wins!!!

    Its mindboggling to even consider winning close to 400 games.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      He wouldn’t have still been pitching decently if not for all the PED nonsense…

  24. randygnyc - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Hokie- I hadn’t realized he was only 2 wins behind maddux. Besides the HOF clock, it might explain the motivation. But then I looked and Roger appears to be 9 wins short. Maddux 355 and Clemens 346. My numbers could be wrong of course. He won’t get 9 wins no matter what. 2 is possible, if that’s the number.

  25. qacm - Aug 31, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    According to, Roger is only one win behind Maddux — 355 to 354 — so that indeed could be part of his motivation. Ranking first place in career wins among all modern era pitchers would be quite an accomplishment.

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