It's not a bad move for them, since they are a historically bad team with nothing to play for. It would definitely increase their TV audience, which was a record low on Sunday when it went up against the football games. Barely 1,000 households watched the Astros play.
Clemens has one stipulation, though. He wants to pitch against a contender.
Astros owner Jim Crane has said he wouldn't pitch Clemens against a contender, most likely because he would want to use a game against a mediocre opponent in order to maximize the attendance and viewership he would gain by featuring Clemens in the game.
But still, if it comes down to starting him against a contender or not starting him at all, the Astros are likely to poince on whatever opportunity they can get to give fans a reason to show up.
If you ask me, I just think Clemens is pushing back the clock for his Hall of Fame eligibility. If he stays retired, he would be eligible for induction when the next vote comes around. It's likely that the voters would pass on him because of his performance enhancing drug use, and that would be incredibly embarrassing for the man with the most Cy Young awards in MLB history.
Instead, if he pitches a single game this year, he'll push back his eligibility by 5 years, and perhaps things will change between now and then.
At some point, people are going to start making exceptions, since there really isn't ANYONE whom we can truly call clean without a shadow of a doubt.
Perhaps 5 years down the road, people will be more sympathetic to Clemens and the rest of the juicers. And that's exactly why the old man is back on the mound. Don't let anyone fool you, there's no other real reason.