Roger Clemens signed with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League on Monday. The 50-year-old right-hander is the focus of today's Triple Play.
1. Your reaction to hearing the news about Clemens' "comeback?"
Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski), ESPN Insider: My first reaction was happiness at the possibility that we'd get to delay an unpleasant Hall of Fame argument surrounding the Rocket for an additional five years. My second reaction was amusement that given the state of Houston's rotation, which looks a bit like supermarket shelves the day before a blizzard, he would actually be an upgrade on a few of the pitchers being trotted out at the moment.
David Gershman, Marlins Daily: I'm not really sure what to make of it. If Barry Bonds can't get a job as a DH who could also possibly pinch hit every once in a while, there is no way Clemens will be offered a deal by a major league club.
Austin Swafford (@Astros290), Austin's Astros 290 Blog: When I saw Clemens was working on a comeback, I simultaneously felt excitement and fear. His starts were always an event and it would be thrilling to see him play again. But there's always that fear he'll end up like Rickey Henderson. There's little in sports more sad than seeing a former legend fade away in independent league obscurity because he refuses to hang it up.
2. There is a ___ percent chance Clemens pitches in the majors again.
Szymborski: A 20 percent chance. Clemens is quite competitive and the possibility of getting an appearance in the majors at age 50 is probably mighty tempting for someone like him. No doubt the Astros would like people talking about the possibility of a Clemens return rather than the team's dreadful performances of the past two months, even if owner Jim Crane and company won't say that publicly. All that being said, it's been five years since Clemens pitched in the majors and he hasn't been keeping fresh in the independent circuit like Henderson did.
Gershman: It's marginal. Possibly a 1 percent chance that he gets offered a deal and even less of a chance that he throws a pitch in a major league game. He'll need to showcase himself one way or the other but even that is unconvincing, especially if other pitchers who have pitched more recently are looking to sign with clubs.
Swafford: There is a 15 percent chance that he'll pitch in the majors again. And I'm being generous because it's Clemens and I don't count him out. But you see him on an independent league roster with Tim Redding, Scott Kazmir and Jason Lane, and it doesn't look great.
3. Would you like to see him pitch in the majors again?
Szymborski: Absolutely. Clemens was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history and it would be nice to see him get a better swan song than a lousy start against the Indians in the 2007 ALDS. Anyone who isn't even a tiny bit curious about what, if anything, Clemens has left in his arm is probably lying.
Gershman: My thoughts could hardly afford you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but if Clemens still has something in him I wouldn't mind seeing him help a club down the stretch. Again, it's unlikely that he pitches again, but I wouldn't mind seeing a comeback should it occur.
Swafford: If it turns out he has the talent to pitch in the majors, I would love to see him pitch again. But only if he's truly at that level. When he's good, it's one of the greatest things you've ever seen. But I would hate to see him come out just to get shelled. Seeing that happen to a Hall of Fame talent would be sad.