Tracy McGrady Is Attempting to Become a Sugar Land Skeeter
Photo by Jeff Balke
Well, sadly, after Tuesday's Comcast Sports Net court proceedings in Houston, roughly 60 percent of the greater Houston area is still unable to watch our local NBA basketball team and our local Major League Baseball team on television.
As someone in that non-Comcast sector of Houston fans, it's making for a very long winter, and I'm sure (despite a likely fourth straight 100-loss season for the Astros) it will make for a long summer as well. Just very, very frustrating.
But while you likely can't watch NBA basketball nor Major League Baseball, for the price of a ticket to a minor league baseball game, you can see a former NBA basketball player playing professional baseball right here in the Houston area.
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As rumored over the weekend, and eventually confirmed today on Twitter by FOX 26's Mark Berman, former Houston Rocket great Tracy McGrady has been working out with the Sugar Land Skeeters and is working toward giving it a go as a minor league pitcher.
Both sides issued statements today confirming the possible marriage. First, from McGrady's Facebook page:
"As some of you may have heard, I have been practicing with The Sugar Land Skeeters, and working out at Constellation Field," McGrady's statement read. "It has been a longtime childhood dream to play baseball and for the past few months I have worked on my pitching with the team. Don't yet know where this will go but I do know I am having a great time and throwing pretty well. Love the game of baseball and always wanted to give it a try. Feels like I am a kid again, playing a sport for the pure love of the game. @SL_Skeeters @AtlanticLg"
And now the statement from the Skeeters:
"Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a life-long dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League. While the Atlantic League is considered the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball, McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program at Constellation Field. We look forward to monitoring his progress."
(SIDEBAR: I will buy a steak dinner for the first couple that I see get married via both parties issuing a statement, as opposed to having an actual wedding ceremony. Issuing a statement is far less expensive, and much less hassle.) McGrady, who grew up a baseball fan and played some baseball as a kid, is rumored to be hitting around 90 miles per hour on the radar gun, and has been working out with seven-time Cy Young Award winner (and former Skeeter himself) Roger Clemens, who assessed T-Mac via text to the Houston Chronicle: ""He's not there yet. (He) needs more time and needs to react to live hitters and balls coming back (toward) him."
Um, yeah, that whole pitching thing might get a little tougher when there are those pesky live hitters involved.
I am definitely filing this story in the "I'll believe it when I see it" folder, mostly because I just have a hard time believing and envisioning Tracy McGrady throwing a baseball 90 miles per hour in any sort of substantive baseball way. Also, what's going to happen when T-Mac needs his annual microfracture surgery? Will he tell the team, or will he just go get it done like he did to the Rockets that one year?
One thing we know: China has a new favorite baseball team, and it's the Sugar Land Skeeters!
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