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Minor League Executive Tal Smith Insists Signing Roger Clemens Is Not Publicity Stunt

Roger Clemens is slated to start on Saturday for the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters in an odd comeback for the 50-year-old former Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros pitcher. While many would draw the conclusion that the move is a publicity stunt for the Sugar Land Skeeters to sign a big name pitcher despite the fact that he hasn't pitched since 2007, Skeeters executive Tal Smith insisted to a Houston radio station that wasn't the case.

"Contrary to your sports wrapup a minute ago, this is not a publicity stunt," Smith told Josh Innes and Rich Lord of KILT. "The Skeeters have drawn about 500,000 for this year and generally sell out for Saturday nights anyway. This is not a publicity stunt; this is something that Roger wanted to do. He wanted to come out and demonstrate to us that he was capable of pitching and wanted to pitch. That being the case, we were happy to accommodate him."

If Clemens does make a start on Saturday it will push back his eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame to 2019, which some have speculated could be the reason for his minor league signing, as an attempt to allow six years to pass and allow his alleged steroid use and perjury trial to blow over.

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