After being presented with his new jersey and cap, Roger Clemens told the throng of media at Constellation Field in Sugar Land that he’s not in the same shape he was in when he pitched for the Houston Astros.
“I’m nowhere near where I would need to be to really compete like I want to. I’m gonna get sore. I’m sore after throwing the other day. So, I’m 50 years old so, we’re just go out and have fun with this and make it fun for the fans.”
Some believe this is the first step to another return to the major leagues, where he last pitched for the New York Yankees in 2007 at the age 45. Clemens says he still throws:
“It’s relaxing for me, it’s therapeutic. But again, like I told Tal (Tal Smith, longtime former Astros executive and now special advisor to the Sugar Land Skeeters) earlier when we were talking, it’s a big difference between pitching and training at a high level. The amount of work that I had to do over my career was incredible. The amount of work I did behind the scenes was incredible to get ready to pitch in the major leagues.”
On hand for the big announcement was Sugar Land Council member Amy Mitchell. She says the Sugar Land Skeeters’ inaugural season will be memorable.
“I believe in Roger Clemens, he’s an excellent pitcher. He has done a lot for baseball, with his skill, his talent, and I believe that he will really make a difference in our Sugar Land Skeeters. To have somebody of that calibre with our team, is beyond exciting.”
Even though Clemens has only agreed to pitch one game for the Skeeters sofar, comments from the lunch crowd at a nearby restaurant were just as favorable.
Male comment: “He brings a lot of credentials and a lot of creed, and just him stepping out on the mound, he’s already in the hitters’ heads, so.”
Female comment: “I thought it was exciting to hear that he was coming back to the game of baseball, which is fantastic, so I’m excited. I’m looking forward to seeing the Skeeters’ game myself.”
Male comment: “I think it’s trying to get some you know, ‘good pub’ again, after everything he went through. Obviously, this isn’t a money making deal, it’s more about getting back in the public light in a good way.”
Clemens has largely stayed out of the public spotlight after being acquitted in June of all charges in connection with lying to Congress about using performance enhancing drugs.