As we first reported last week, the Roger Clemens Magical Mystery Comeback Tour will continue this Friday in Sugar Land, Texas, as the hometown Skeeters take on the Long Island Ducks. Now, it appears that for his second start, Skeeters ace Roger Clemens may have a familiar face framing his pitches behind the plate. TV station WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is reporting that it will be his son, Koby, who was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Roger Clemens said last week there might be a "surprise" for his next start with the Skeeters. And now it appears that surprise will be a father-son show in Sugar Land.
The Toronto Blue Jays gave Koby Clemens his release on Tuesday, an official with knowledge of the situation said, so that he could sign with the Skeeters. Koby, 25, hit .218 in 41 games this year with New Hampshire, the Jays' Class AA affiliate.
Father and son were both on hand with the Skeeters on Tuesday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium, where Sugar Land played the York Revolution. Roger threw about 50 pitches to Kody during a near 20-minute pregame session, and players for both teams interrupted their routines to watch from the outfield grass.
"When my dad was pitching with the Astros, I caught him quite a bit. It's nothing new," said Koby Clemens. "He's not where he used to be, obviously - hell, he's 50 - but he's at a very competitive pace."
Roughly 1,000 people who came to the ballpark early also saw the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's session. Clemens topped out at 84 mph on the stadium's radar gun on his final pitch. Then he walked over to a group of season-ticket holders, waving and mouthing the words: "Thank you."
Clemens also spoke with reporters Tuesday and elaborated (in good detail) exactly how his comeback reached this point and where he thinks it'll go. Is a 2012 comeback with the Astros in the cards?
"I'm nowhere close to being ready to pitch in a big league game," Clemens said. "I don't see (a 2012 appearance in the majors) happening."