Roger Clemens current team, the Sugarland Skeeters, are playing a game today in York, Pennsylvania. Earlier today, as he was throwing a bullpen session, Clemens was asked by a reporter if he would attempt a comeback this season and his answer was a tad bit surprising, given the circumstances. The 50-year-old Clemens last pitched in the majors in 2007 for the New York Yankees, created a bit of a buzz when he announced he would be signing with the independent league Skeeters located just minutes from his home in Katy. His results in his first start, added fuel to the already burning fire of him possibly returning to the majors with his hometown Houston Astros.
The seven time Cy Young award winner does not have anything left to prove in MLB. He has won Cy Young’s, MVP’s, World Series titles and holds several records. Still, the competitor in Clemens is likely testing himself to see just how far he can really go. When the question was asked of him today if he was going to return to the majors, Clemens had the following to say:
“I don’t see it happening. Everybody is speculating and everybody’s got their own opinions, and that’s great, but it is still a lot of work. When I started warming up, playing a little lawn catch, I knew it was gonna be a little more work than I wanted.”
He was also asked about his thoughts on his legacy and his Hall of Fame credentials:
“My legacy, I did it for 24 years. I did it to the best of my ability and to the highest quality I could give, so I’m not too concerned about my legacy. I went out there and performed. You talk to any of my teammates, they [won’t] tell you any different. And that’s what matters to me. The Hall of Fame, there’s bits and pieces of me there from games I’ve had. That’s fantastic. The guys that are there, I respect greatly. … It’s kind of like your final resting place, if you will. Having said that, I’m not going to go around shaking guys’ hands and telling them I’m a Hall of Famer. My numbers are my numbers. That’s what I did, so if they feel like I’m deserving or don’t, I don’t have any control over it. I don’t have a vote or say so. … It’s not going to change my life either way.”
Finally, he was asked if he had a burning desire to pitch in the majors one last time, Clemens said:
“No, I don’t. I kind of take each day as it comes. It’s been mentioned and I have heard people mention it, but I’m nowhere close to being ready to pitch in a major league game.”
That sounds pretty definite to me, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is not to believe something until it happens. My money is still on him “changing his mind” and returning to the Astros for a start or appearance at some point this month. However, wouldn’t it be funny if he doesn’t actually return to the majors and Clemens was telling the truth? That he just wanted to pitch for the Skeeters and had no interest in returning to the big leagues. Time will tell.