Does Clemens Want to Reset His Hall of Fame Clock?

You might have noticed that 50-year-old Roger Clemens has re-inserted himself into the national conversation by joining the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, for whom he will toe the rubber this Saturday night. Is he that ravenous for attention? Does he simply love the game that much? In both cases the answer might be yes, but it’s also possible that another motivation is driving Clemens back to the mound.

There’s an interesting theory floating around that I wish I could claim as my own: Clemens is considering a return to Major League Baseball — specifically, the sad-sack, attendance-challenged Astros, for whom a soft-tossing 50-year-old would actually represent an upgrade — in order to postpone a referendum on his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Think about it. Clemens and Barry Bonds are the poster children for baseball’s PED generation. Their Hall of Fame candidacies are on the same clock, and their concurrent five-year waiting periods have elapsed. Roger would love nothing better than to put a little distance between himself and Bonds, Sosa, and the other steroid-tainted candidates whose Hall worthiness is about to come under the unsympathetic scrutiny of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Who knows? Perhaps in another five years, the writers will be in a more benevolent mood. The PED stigma doesn’t erase what happened on the field, and Clemens, like Bonds, was among the all-time greats before the advent of the steroid era.

Plus, Americans — even crotchety members of the BBWAA — are known for their short memories and forgiving natures. Clemens would need only to make an appearance in a major-league game to reset his Hall countdown clock. And the Astros have already sent a scout to take a look at what they would be getting. As pathetic and desperate as it might seem, the spectacle of this AARP-eligible relic in an Astros uniform could be worth it, for both parties.

— Rob Doster is senior editor for Athlon Sports.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More