1. This is the 50-year-old Roger Clemens pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters last week in Texas.
Roger Clemens has won 354 games and two World Series, struck out more than 4,600 batters, and been involved in a damning federal steroids investigation. But that’s apparently not enough to satisfy him. Clemens is the gift to baseball that keeps on giving, and after a few outrageous yet mildly impressive starts for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent club of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, there’s a very slim chance the Rocket could suit up again for the Houston Astros.
In two starts for the Skeeters, Clemens has pitched a combined eight innings of scoreless ball with literally no preparation beforehand. Houston is currently 40.5 games behind NL Central leader Cincinnati, so the Astros have nothing to lose. Although Clemens doesn’t expect it to happen, Astros owner Jim Crane has been teasing a Clemens return, which would undoubtedly boost ticket sales (Houston is 28th in the majors in attendance) and make the Astros relevant again, if only for one night.
3. Jose Canseco, 48, has been bouncing around baseball’s minor leagues for years.
Jose Canseco last made an appearance in the major leagues in 2001, but that hasn’t slowed his baseball career. He signed a deal last August with the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings but never made an appearance due to “personal reasons.” In a short stint with the last club he actually played for, the mighty Worcester Tornadoes, Canseco batted .194 and had one home run in 84 at-bats.
Still, Canseco seems to genuinely believe he could still play in the majors, and claims Major League Baseball owes him $25 million dollars in lost wages for bullying him out of the game. He also desperately needs money. Canseco filed for bankruptcy protection in Nevada just before signing with the WhiteWings, according to the Valley Morning Star.
His Twitter account is a must-follow, by the way.
Note: Jose Canseco is 48.
9. Dennis Rodman, 51, and Scottie Pippen, 48, still re-live their Bulls glory days by crushing local teams in Asia.
Both Rodman and Pippen led a barnstorming band of NBA retirees collecting checks by playing games across Asia earlier this year, which is simultaneously opportunistic and heartbreaking (the team was excellently profiled by Grantland here).
Imagine a starting five of Pippen, Rodman, Mitch Richmond, Jason “White Chocolate” Williams and Horace Grant. That team would be pretty great to watch in 1996. Scottie can still dunk, if you were wondering.
12. Allen Iverson, 37, is still dreaming of a return to the NBA, but is destined to play in China.
Allen Iverson was one of the biggest stars in the NBA a decade ago, but after a nasty exit from Philadelphia and a failed few years in Denver (followed by another nasty exit from Philadelphia), there aren’t too many places Iverson is welcome these days.
The Answer wants another shot in the NBA according to Pro Basketball Talk, but there’s a better chance of Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder to play in the Canadian Football League than there is Iverson earning an NBA roster spot.
Instead, AI will likely head to the Far East, where he can probably still score 40 points per game. Here’s what he told a Chinese publication earlier this month, translated by HoopsHype:
“I definitely want to return to the NBA…. China is still one of my choices, but the team that wants me to join has got to show me that they really mean it, like ‘hey we really need you’.”
14. Stephon Marbury, 35, never won anything in the United States, but he led the Beijing Ducks to the Chinese Basketball Association title in 2012.
Stephon Marbury has always been a successful businessman (the New York Knicks actually paid him to sit on the bench), so it should be no surprise that Marbury has struck gold yet again. He’s somehow reversed his image from talented-but-troubled NBA castaway to revered Chinese basketball icon, and not only is Marbury raking in millions off his discount Starbury brand, he’s actually winning basketball games.
In the Chinese Basketball Association, Marbury is a three-time All-Star and averages near 30 points per game. Earlier this year, he led the Beijing Ducks to their first ever CBA title in a series romp over the powerhouse Guangdong Southern Tigers, and everyone in China seems to adore him. It’s good to be Stephon.