Roger Clemens signs with Sugar Land Skeeters

The Sugar Land Skeeters have confirmed that Roger Clemens will be joining the team. (AP Photo)
August 21, 2012 4:58:27 AM PDT
Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens has come out of retirement and joined the Sugar Land Skeeters.

The team announced the signing of Clemens, 50, who will join the Skeeters Friday, and pitch on Saturday when Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League takes on Bridgeport.

Clemens' Major League career spanned three decades. He's pitched in 709 games and has logged nearly 5,000 innings. He was 354-184 with a career ERA of 3.12 with 4,672 strikeouts.

He pitched for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros. He ended his MLB career as a member of the Yankees in 2007.

"Roger came to work out for us today, and we were very impressed," said Tal Smith, special advisor for the Sugar Land Skeeters and former Astros GM. "He had great command of all his pitches and we couldn't be more excited about this signing."

Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, says the pitcher's "fastball was clocked at 87 mph." He said that Clemens and Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti have been talking about this "for months."

"This is something I think Roger has had in mind for some time. I've never met anyone that's more competitive than Roger is," Tal Smith added. "This is not a publicity stunt."

Clemens was a standout pitcher for Spring Woods and then the University of Texas.

Clemens joins a pitching rotation that all ready features former Major Leaguers Scott Kazmir, Tim Redding and Jason Lane.

The Skeeters' ticket office has been busy, the phones have been ringing off the hook and Saturday's game is now sold out.

Inside Constellation Field, crews are busy getting the field ready for the game. It's a game some fans are hoping could be the beginning of a Roger Clemens comeback

Eyewitness News caught up with some baseball supporters across Sugar Land. Many of them told us they were shocked and quickly began spreading the news about the former Astros player now becoming the Skeeters starting pitcher. Though some fans are wondering whether Clemens joining this baseball team is part of some publicity stunt.

Most fans we talked to don't seem to be bothered by the controversy. They are just eager to see Clemens on the field again.

"Everybody loves a winner, and I think Roger Clemens is a true winner," said Gilberto Saldovar.

"I think this is phenomenal news. For us to bring the Skeeters to a whole new level, with this caliber of player on our team, we will take it to the championship," said Sugar Land Councilwoman Amy Mitchell.

Despite his success on the baseball diamond, most of his recent headlines have come from the courtroom. Back in June, Clemens was cleared of perjury charges brought on after he testified that he didn't use performance enhancing drugs as a player. The allegations stemmed from the Mitchell Report.

The Skeeters are currently in fourth place in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League with a record of 18-19.

Clemens is scheduled to address the media Tuesday at 11am.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the very latest on this story.


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