Yesterday we half-floated a conspiracy theory that Roger Clemens's impending comeback with the Sugar Land Skeeters was a sneaky ploy to reappear in a major league game for the woeful Astros so that he might push his first hall of fame ballot appearance back five years, to 2017. So we reached out to Bill Shaikin, the Dodgers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times and current president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which administers the hall voting, to see whether they'd change things if Clemens appeared to game the system. Shaikin wrote:
A player becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot five years after his final major league appearance. That rule has been in place since 1954. I am not aware of any precedent for changing that rule, other than in Roberto Clemente's posthumous election.
I suppose we can read between the lines there: If the Astros cooperate, so will the BBWAA. There's just one last problem for Roger, then. Five years isn't enough time for all the writers who hate him to die.