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Roger Clemens Comeback: Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter Not Surprised About Return

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FILE - AUGUST 20: According to reports, Roger Clemens, 50 years old, has signed with the independent Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FILE - AUGUST 20: According to reports, Roger Clemens, 50 years old, has signed with the independent Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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For the first time since Sept. 18, 2007, former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens will pitch for a professional baseball organization. Clemens, 50, is expected to take the mound for the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League Saturday after signing a contract with the club on Monday.

The outing is expected to bring back the debate of whether or not the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who was named in the Mitchell Report and dragged through a grand jury trial for making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, should be in the Hall of Fame -- a place Clemens is eligible for in 2013.

But what it actually might do is reveal the hard-throwing right-hander just loves the game.

"He's always loved to compete," Girardi said of Clemens. "That's who he is. He kept coming back. There were times he felt he couldn't quite go a full season, but he gave it as much as he had. He loved to compete. That's a hard thing to replace is that competition. Guys miss it."

Yankees captain Derek Jeter said Monday he's happy for his former teammate.

"Good for him. I’m a firm believer that if somebody wants to do something, let him do it. If someone gives him an opportunity, why not? ... He knows how to pitch. Do I think he’s going to throw 100 (mph) like he did back in the day? Probably not. But I’m sure he can still get people out. I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t."

According to Clemens' agent Randy Hendricks, the man formerly known as "The Rocket" is throwing 87 mph. Clemens is scheduled to take on the Bridgeport Bluefish.

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