Roger Clemens Close to Deal to Work with Astros Pitchers in 2013
Former Astros (and Skeeters) pitcher Roger Clemens is reportedly close to signing a deal with the Astros to be a part of the organization in a yet to be determined capacity. According to a report on Chron.com, Clemens will meet with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow on Tuesday to discuss his role with the team that will likely include working with the team's young pitching staff.
The move coincides with the announcement on Wednesday of inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Clemens is on the ballot for the first time this year and though his numbers on the field clearly make him a first ballot hall of fame player, the allegations of steroid use have essentially ruined any chance he has of getting in, perhaps ever.
It is a strange move for an organization, manned by new owner Jim Crane, that has dramatically cut ties with virtually everyone from the previous regime while still trying to embrace the ball club's history through the revitalized logo and walk of fame. While Clemens certainly was an ace for the Astros and a native of the city, his alleged involvement with steroids and unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing even though his friend and former teammate Andy Pettitte has done so and implicated Clemens has tarnished his image and made him a polarizing figure with fans.
Given how bad the Astros have been and will likely be this season, adding someone with Clemens's credentials couldn't hurt the pitching staff, but it's questionable whether such a move will be good for the organization's credibility with fans.
If reports are true, the Katy Rocket would likely work as a mentor to young pitchers without any official coaching title. Similar roles have been carved out for Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio to work with hitters and assist the ball club throughout the season. Biggio is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year and Bagwell for the second straight year. Neither is expected to be elected into the Hall this year, but there is a good chance they will get in eventually.