As expected, ESPN will be all over Roger Clemens' return to pitching on Saturday night.
The worldwide leader will present exclusive live, multiplatform coverage of Clemens' Aug. 25 start with the Sugar Land Skeeters when they host the Bridgeport Bluefish in an Atlantic League Baseball minor league game at 8:05 p.m. (ET). As reported earlier by Multichannel News, ESPN Classic and broadband service ESPN3 will simulcast the entire game live, with the latter supplying a full-game encore. Longhorn Network's Kevin Dunn (play-by-play) and guest analyst and former Major League Baseball hurler Danny Graves will have the call.
Moreover, SportCenter on ESPNews will provide live cut-ins to every inning Clemens, 50, pitches. Additionally, there will be a pre-game interview with Clemens, who last threw in Major League Baseball during 2007 with the New York Yankees.
There will also be in-game interview with Skeeters manager and former big-leaguer Gary Gaetti and Skeeters special advisor, Tal Smith.
ESPN's Baseball Tonight will provide in-progress highlights during its 10 p.m. show and a one-on-one postgame interview with Clemens, while its Facebook page will provide updates during the contest. Users visiting ESPN.com's page will find in-progress highlights and updates.
Clemens was named in MLB's Mitchell Report that listed big-league players suspected of using performance-enhancing drug case. In June, he was acquitted in United States District Court of charges that he lied to Congress in 2008, when he swore he never used human growth hormone and/or steroids.
It has been widely reported that the "Rocket" could use his turn with the Houston-area Skeeters as a potential prelude to pitching for the Houston Astros before the conclusion of the 2012 MLB season. Clemens, who pitched for the club and helped lead it to its only World Series appearance in 2005, has a personal services contract with the squad. Should he throw for the Astros it would push back the inaugural vote for his Hall of Fame eligibility by five years. None of the former MLB players who have been linked to or suspected of using PEDs has received anywhere near enough votes to be considered for entry into Cooperstown.