The real value to Roger Clemens signing a contract with the Sugar Land Skeeters (independent; Atlantic League): it makes the circuit a more attractive business proposition.
It was a good weekend for the league: the appearance with the Skeeters was nationally televised by ESPN Classic, and Tal Smith got in some good interview time during the broadcast. All in all, the Atlantic League and the Skeeters ended up looking pretty good, with a vibrant ballpark full of happy fans.
Which, if you’re investing in a baseball team or a ballpark, is what you want. If you’re a city looking to spend $30 million on a ballpark, you want to see a ballpark full of happy fans, working with an owner willing to bring in a Roger Clemens and exposing your town nationwide via ESPN. Having owners who don’t have what it takes is why we have stories of teams have uniformed seized for nonpayment of bills.
Now, for the Atlantic League, owners like Frank Boulton and Peter Kirk are rock-solid on the operations and leadership side. But the league is clearly in expansion mode both on the East Coast (i.e., Fredericksburg) and in Texas, where at least two cities have had talks about a new ballpark. Clemens’ appearance adds some sparkly glitter to the proceedings, and no matter what happens to Clemens in the meantime (will he travel with the team? will he sign with the Astros?), the reputation of the Atlantic League was substantially raised with the Rocket taking the mound.
Image courtesy of the Sugar Land Skeeters.
RELATED STORIES: Clemens signs deal with Sugar Land Skeeters
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