Clemens in “Roid Rage from the Get Go”
From Esquire, a timeline of Roger Clemens lies, twisted truths, and boorish behavior. Three of my favorites:
Roger Clemens wins his first Cy Young and the AL MVP, prompting Hall of Famer Hank Aaron to opine that pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP, since they don’t play every day. Clemens thoughtfully responds, “I wish he were still playing. I’d probably crack his head open to show him how valuable I was.”
“If someone met me on a game day, he wouldn’t like me. The days in between, I’m the goodest guy you can find,” states Clemens. He proves the first part true when he takes the mound in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against Oakland and lasts two innings before being ejected for threatening umpire Terry Cooney (“I’m gonna find out where you live and come get you this winter”). This is actually quite mild compared to what he said to Oakland pitcher and recovering alcoholic Bob Welch: “Have another beer. Be a man. Stop drinking milk.” Ah, Roger at his goodest.
An irate Clemens throws a piece of a broken bat at Mike Piazza during the World Series. Maintaining total innocence, Roger offers the perfectly plausible explanation that he just wanted to toss the bat “towards our on-deck circle, where our batboys were at.” Then he offers the equally perfectly plausible explanation that he “thought [the bat] was the ball.” Finally, he concludes, “To be honest with you, I didn’t know if it was the bat or the ball,” putting the matter to rest forever.