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Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
Rocket
Born:
August 4, 1962
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 4"
Weight:
205 lbs
Major League Debut:
5-15-1984 with BOS
Allstar Selections:
1986 AsMVP, 1986 CY, 1986 ML, 1986 MVP, 1986 TSN, 1987 CY, 1991 CY, 1991 TSN, 1997 CY, 1997 TC, 1997 TSN, 1998 CY, 1998 TC, 1998 TSN, 2001 CY, 2001 TSN, 2004 CY

William Roger Clemens (born August 4, 1962), nicknamed "Rocket", is a former pitcher. Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards, more than any other pitcher. He played for 4 different teams over his 23 year playing career. In each of his two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Clemens won the pitching triple crown (leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts) and a Cy Young Award.

Clemens was traded to the New York Yankees for the 1999 season, where he had his first World Series success. In 2003, he reached his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout in the same game. Clemens is one of only four pitchers to have more than 4,000 strikeouts in their career (the others are pitchers Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Steve Carlton). Clemens played three seasons with the Houston Astros, where he won his seventh Cy Young Award. He rejoined the New York Yankees during the 2007 season.

Clemens was alleged by the Mitchell Report to have used anabolic steroids during his late career, mainly because of testimony given by his former trainer, Brian McNamee.[1] Clemens firmly denied these allegations under oath before Congress, leading congressional leaders to refer his case to the Justice Department on suspicions of perjury.[2] On May 12, 2009, he broke a long silence to speak out on ESPN against American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime, a book by four New York Daily News investigative reporters that claims Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.[3]

On August 19, 2010, a federal grand jury at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., indicted Clemens on six felony counts involving perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress.[2] On August 30 he pleaded not guilty, and a trial date was set for April 5, 2011.[4]

On December 9, it was announced that the trial would be pushed back until July 2011.[5]

Contents

Early life

Clemens' parents separated when he was an infant. His mother soon married Woody Booher, whom Clemens still considers his father. Booher died when Clemens was only nine years old, and Clemens has said that the only time he ever felt envious of other players is when he saw them in the clubhouse with their fathers.[6] Clemens lived in Vandalia, Ohio until 1977, and then spent most of his high school years in Houston. At Dulles High School, Clemens also starred in football and basketball.[6] He was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins during his senior year, but opted instead to go to college.

College career

He began his college career pitching for San Jacinto College North in 1981, where he was 9–2. The New York Mets selected Clemens in the 12th round of the 1981 draft, but he did not sign. He then attended the University of Texas, compiling a 25–7 record in two All-American seasons, and was on the mound when the Longhorns won the 1983 College World Series. He became the first player to have his baseball uniform number retired at The University of Texas.[7] In 2004, the Rotary Smith Award, given to America's best college baseball player, was changed to the Roger Clemens Award, honoring the best pitcher.[8][9]

Major league career (1984–2007)

Boston Red Sox (1984–96)

Clemens was drafted 19th overall by the Boston Red Sox in 1983 and quickly rose through the minor league system, making his major league debut on May 15, 1984. In 1986, his 24 wins helped guide the Sox to a World Series berth and earned Clemens the American League MVP award for the regular season. He also won the first of his seven Cy Young Awards.

Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron angered the pitcher by saying that pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP. "I wish he were still playing," Clemens responded. "I'd probably crack his head open to show him how valuable I was."[6] Clemens remains the only starting pitcher since Vida Blue in 1971 to win a league MVP award.

On April 29, 1986, Clemens became the first pitcher in history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning major league game, against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.[7] Only Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson have matched the total. (Johnson's 20-strikeout performance was originally catalogued separately by MLB because it occurred in the first nine innings of an extra-inning game, but has since been accepted. Tom Cheney holds the record for any game: 21 strikeouts in 16 innings.) Clemens attributes his switch from what he calls a "thrower" to a "pitcher" to the partial season Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver spent with the Red Sox in 1986.[10]

On June 21, 1989, Clemens surrendered the first of 609 home runs in the career of Sammy Sosa.[11] Sosa was then a rookie for the Texas Rangers.

Clemens accomplished the 20-strikeout feat twice, the only player ever to do so. The second performance came more than 10 years later, on September 18, 1996 against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Clemens' second 20-K day occurred in his third-to-last game as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Clemens recorded 192 wins for the Red Sox, tied with Cy Young for the franchise record.[12] No Red Sox player has worn his #21 since Clemens left the team in 1996.

Toronto Blue Jays (1997–98)

The Red Sox opted not to re-sign him following the 1996 season, with General Manager Dan Duquette remarking that Clemens was in the twilight of his career. However, the full quote from which "twilight" is excerpted was not entirely negative, and also referred to Red Sox management's stated hope that Clemens would spend his entire career with Boston.[13]

Clemens signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1996 season,[7] and won the Cy Young Award in both his seasons with the Blue Jays, also winning the pitching Triple Crown twice.

In Clemens' first start in Fenway Park as a member of the Blue Jays (July 12, 1997) he pitched an inspired game, giving up only 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings. 16 of his 24 outs were strikeouts, and every batter who faced him struck out at least once.[14]

The emphasis on the 1996 "twilight" quote took on a life of its own following Clemens' post-Boston successes, and Duquette was vilified for letting the star pitcher go.[15] As of the end of the 2007 season, Clemens' record since he left Boston is 162–73.[6]

New York Yankees (1999–2003)

Clemens was traded to the New York Yankees before the 1999 season for David Wells, Homer Bush, and Graeme Lloyd. In 1999 and 2000, he won World Series titles with the Yankees. Since his longtime uniform number #21 was in use by teammate Paul O'Neill, Clemens initially wore #12, before switching mid-season to #22.

Clemens made an immediate impact on the Yankees' staff, anchoring the top of the rotation as the team went on to win a pair of World Series titles in 1999 and 2000. During the 1999 regular season, Clemens posted a 14–10 record with a 4.60 ERA. He logged a pair of wins in the postseason, where he pitched 7.2 innings of 1-run baseball during the Yankees' game 4 clincher over the Atlanta Braves. Clemens followed up 1999 with a strong 2000 season, in which he finished with a 13–8 record with a 3.70 ERA for the regular season. During the 2000 MLB postseason, he helped the Yankees win their third championship in as many years. He pitched a shut out against the Seattle Mariners in the ALCS that year and also pitched 8 scoreless innings against the New York Mets in the World Series.[16] Clemens set the ALCS record for strikeouts in a game when he fanned 15 batters in a one-hit shutout of the Mariners in Game 4 of the ALCS. A seventh inning lead-off double by Seattle's Al Martin was all that prevented Clemens from throwing just the second no-hitter in postseason history (Yankee Don Larsen threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series). The 2000 World Series win was a sense of revenge for Clemens; the Yankees won the World Series at the same stadium Clemens lost the World Series at in 1986 while with the Boston Red Sox—Shea Stadium. Adding to the surreal touch to the revenge, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in the game the Yankees won that World Series were the group of teammates that Clemens lost the World Series to in 1986.

Clemens' best year with the Yankees came in 2001, when he became the first pitcher in MLB history to start a season 20–1. He finished at 20–3 and won his sixth Cy Young Award. Clemens started for the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he dueled Curt Schilling to a standstill after 6 innings, yielding only one run. The Diamondbacks went on to win the game in the 9th.

Early in 2003, Clemens announced his retirement, effective at the end of that season. On June 13, 2003, pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in Yankee Stadium, Clemens recorded his 300th career win and 4,000th career strikeout, the only player in history to record both milestones in the same game. The 300th win came on his fourth try; the Yankee bullpen had blown his chance of a win in his previous two attempts. He became the 21st pitcher ever to record 300 wins and the third ever to record 4,000 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136). Randy Johnson has since also joined the 4,000 strikeout club. His career record upon reaching the milestones was 300–155; his record at the end of the season was 310–160 with 4,099 strikeouts. Clemens finished the season with a 17–9 record and a 3.91 ERA.

The end of Clemens' 2003 season became a series of public farewells met with appreciative cheering. His last games in each AL park were given extra attention, particularly his final regular season appearance in Fenway Park, when despite wearing the uniform of the hated arch rival, he was afforded a standing ovation by Red Sox fans as he left the field. (This spectacle was repeated when the Yankees ended up playing the Red Sox in that year's ALCS and Clemens got a second "final start" in his original stadium.) As part of a tradition of manager Joe Torre's, Clemens was chosen to manage the Yankees' last game of the regular season. Clemens made one start in the World Series against the Florida Marlins; when he left trailing 3–1 after seven innings, the Marlins left their dugout to give him a standing ovation.

Houston Astros (2004–06)

Clemens pitching for the Astros in 2004.

Clemens chose to un-retire, signing a one-year deal with his adopted hometown Houston Astros on January 12, 2004, joining close friend and former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte. On May 5, 2004, Clemens recorded his 4,137th career strikeout to place him second on the all-time list behind Nolan Ryan. He was named the starter for the National League All-Star team but ultimately was the losing pitcher in that game after allowing six runs on five hits including a three run home run to Alfonso Soriano. Clemens finished the season with 4,317 career strikeouts, and his 18–4 record gave him a career record of 328–164. After the season, he won his seventh Cy Young Award, extending his record number of awards. He became the oldest player ever to win this award, at age 42. This also made him the fourth pitcher to win the award in both leagues, after Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martínez, and Randy Johnson. In Houston, Clemens wore # 22, his number with the Yankees, partly because Pettitte chose # 21, in Clemens' honor.

Clemens again decided to put off retirement before the 2005 season after the Houston Astros offered salary arbitration. The Astros submitted an offer of $13.5 million, and Clemens countered with a record $22 million demand. On January 21, 2005, both sides agreed on a one-year, $18,000,022 contract, thus avoiding arbitration. The deal gave Clemens the highest yearly salary earned by a pitcher in MLB history.[17] It also made him the sixth-highest paid player in baseball that year.

Clemens pitching for the Astros in 2005.

Clemens' 2005 season ended as one of the finest he had ever posted. His 1.87 ERA was the lowest in the major leagues, the lowest of his 22-season career, and the lowest by any National Leaguer since Greg Maddux in 1995. He finished with a lackluster 13–8 record, primarily due to the fact that he ranked near 30th in run support. The Astros scored an average of only about 3.5 runs per game in games in which he was the pitcher of record. The Astros were shut out nine times in Clemens' 32 starts, and failed to score in a 10th until after Clemens was out of the game. The Astros lost five Clemens starts by scores of 1–0. In April, Clemens did not allow a run in three consecutive starts. However, the Astros lost all three of those starts by a 1–0 score in extra innings.

He has the second most career wins (behind Greg Maddux) of any right-handed pitcher of the live-ball era. On April 8, 2005, Clemens won his first start of the season against the Cincinnati Reds, which tied him with Steve Carlton for second in wins for live-ball pitchers, and first among pitchers whose career began after World War II. However, it took him a month to surpass Carlton, as he had low run support in a string of five starts that produced one loss and four no-decisions. On May 9, he got his second win of the season against the Florida Marlins, giving him 330 for his career. Only Greg Maddux and left-hander Warren Spahn are ahead of Clemens in wins among live-ball pitchers. Passing Carlton also gave Clemens more wins at the time than any pitcher alive.

Clemens won an emotional start on September 15, following his mother's death that morning.[18] In his final start of the 2005 season, Clemens got his 4,500th strikeout. On October 9, 2005, Clemens made his first relief appearance since 1984, entering as a pinch hitter in the 15th, then pitching three innings to help the Astros defeat the Atlanta Braves in the longest postseason game in MLB history. The game ran 18 innings, and Clemens picked up the win.

After the NLCS victory, Clemens lasted only two innings in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series. The Astros went on to lose all four games of the franchise's first World Series to the Chicago White Sox. A hamstring pull had hampered Clemens' performance since at least September.

The Astros declined arbitration to Clemens on December 7, 2005, which prevented them from re-signing him before May 1, 2006. The Astros, Rangers, Red Sox, and Yankees expressed an interest in signing him, but Clemens implied that he was finally retiring after his Team USA was eliminated by Mexico in the second round from the 2006 World Baseball Classic on March 16, 2006. However, there was no formal retirement announcement.

On May 31, 2006, following another extended period of speculation, it was announced that Clemens was coming out of retirement for the third time to pitch for the Astros for the remainder of the 2006 season. Clemens signed a contract worth $22,000,022 (his uniform number is #22), which would have been the highest one-year deal in MLB history. But since Clemens did not play a full season, he received a prorated percentage of that: approximately $12.25 million. Clemens made his return on June 22, 2006, against the Minnesota Twins, losing to their rookie phenom, Francisco Liriano, 4–2. For the second year in a row, his win total did not match his performance, as he finished the season with a 7–6 record, a 2.30 ERA, and a 1.04 WHIP. However, Clemens averaged just under 6 innings in his starts and never pitched into the eighth.

Back in New York (2007)

Following what was becoming familiar annual speculation, Clemens unexpectedly appeared in the owner's box at Yankee Stadium on May 6, 2007, during the seventh-inning stretch in a game against the Seattle Mariners, and made a brief statement: "Thank y'all. Well they came and got me out of Texas, and uhh, I can tell you its a privilege to be back. I'll be talkin' to y'all soon." It was simultaneously announced that Clemens had rejoined the Yankees roster,[19] agreeing to a pro-rated one year deal worth $28,000,022, or about $4.7 million per month.[20] Over the contract life, he would make $18.7 million.

Clemens made his 2007 return on June 9, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates with six innings of 3-run, 5-hit, 2-walk, 7-strikeout pitching. On June 21, with a single in the 5th inning against the Colorado Rockies, Clemens became the oldest New York Yankee to record a hit (44 years, 321 days). On June 24, Clemens pitched an inning in relief against the San Francisco Giants. It had been 22 years and 341 days since his previous regular-season relief appearance, the longest such gap in major league history.[21]

On July 2, Clemens collected his 350th win against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium, giving up just two hits and one run over eight innings. Clemens is one of only three pitchers to pitch his entire career in the live-ball era and reach 350 wins. The other two are Warren Spahn (whose catcher for his 350th win was Joe Torre, Clemens' manager for his 350th), and Greg Maddux, who earned his 350th win in 2008.

After reaggravating a hamstring injury during Game 3 of the 2007 ALDS, Joe Torre removed Roger Clemens from the team's lineup. He was replaced by right-hander Phil Hughes. With his last pitch, he struck out Victor Martinez of the Cleveland Indians. [22] Clemens had finished the 2007 regular season with a record of 6–6 and a 4.18 ERA. His final regular season appearance was a start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, in which he allowed 2 hits and 1 unearned run in 6 innings, and received a no-decision.

Postseason performance

In the 1986 American League Championship Series, Clemens pitched poorly in the opening game, watched the Boston bullpen blow his 3–0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4, and then pitched a strong Game 7 to wrap up the series for Boston. The 1986 ALCS clincher was Clemens' first postseason career victory. He did not win his second until 13 years later.

After a bad start in Game 2 of the 1986 World Series, Clemens returned to the mound for Game 6, which would have clinched the World Series for the Boston Red Sox. Clemens left the game after 7 innings leading 3–2, but the Red Sox infamously went on to lose the game in the 10th inning, and subsequently, the championship. Clemens' departure was highly debated and remains a bone of contention among the participants. Red Sox manager John McNamara claimed Clemens took himself out due to a blister, though Clemens strongly denies that.[23]

Clemens most explosive postseason failure came in the second inning of the final game of the 1990 ALCS against the Oakland Athletics, when he was ejected for arguing with umpire Terry Cooney, putting a dismal stamp on an A's sweep.[23] He was suspended for the first five games of the 1991 season and fined $10,000.[7] Clemens had two other playoff no-decisions, in 1988 and 1995, both occurring while Boston was being swept. Clemens' overall postseason record with Boston was 1–2 with a 3.88 ERA, and 45 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56 innings.

After surrendering the New York Yankees' only loss in the 1999 playoffs in a much-hyped contest with Red Sox ace Pedro Martínez, Clemens began improving his postseason numbers. His 3–0 record in the World Series includes a must-win performance with New York down 2–0 in the 2001 series;[24] then, in Game 7, it was Clemens who matched Curt Schilling; his start (6 innings, 1 run, 10 strikeouts) was forgotten in the wake of the Diamondbacks' famous ninth-inning comeback. In 2000, after losing two division series games to Oakland, Clemens pitched his most spectacular game as a Yankee in the ALCS against the Seattle Mariners: a complete game one-hit shutout with an ALCS-record 15 strikeouts. Clemens' overall postseason record with the Yankees has been 7–4 with a 2.97 ERA, and 98 strikeouts and 35 walks in 102 innings. In the World Series Clemens became the first (and only pitcher) to pitch against the Mets in a World Series while with both the Red Sox and the Yankees, having been with the Red Sox in 1986.

For the Astros, Clemens was the losing pitcher in game 7 of the 2004 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings of work although he pitched well he tired in the sixth inning surrendering all four runs. Clemens' 2005 postseason was marked by highs and lows. In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, he made a dramatic emergency relief appearance, entering as a pinch-hitter (the first pinch-hitting appearance of his career), then pitching the 16th through 18th innings and collecting the series-ending win. However, during the World Series, a hamstring pull ended Clemens' start after two innings, as his hometown team lost to the eventual World Champion Chicago White Sox, 5–3. It was Clemens' only World Series appearance for the Astros.[25] Clemens' overall postseason record with Houston was 4–2 with a 4.60 ERA, and 29 strikeouts and 15 walks in 41 innings.

Clemens' total postseason record is 12–8 in 34 starts, with a 3.75 ERA with a record 173 strikeouts in 199 innings pitched. Clemens' World Series record is 3–0 in 8 starts, with an ERA of 2.37.

Controversies

Clemens has been the focal point of several controversies. His reputation has always been that of a pitcher unafraid to throw close to batters. Clemens led his league in hit batsmen only once, in 1995, but he has been among the leaders in several other seasons. This tendency was more pronounced during his earlier career and has since tapered off. Still, Clemens' reputation precedes him. After the 2000 ALCS game against the Mariners where he knocked down future teammate Alex Rodriguez and then argued with him, Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella called Clemens a "headhunter."[26] His beaning earlier that year of Mike Piazza, followed by the notorious broken-bat incident in the 2000 World Series, cemented Clemens' surly, unapologetic image in the minds of many detractors. Clemens was ranked 9th all-time in hit batsmen after the 2007 season.[27] Clemens has also attracted controversy over the years for his outspoken comments, such as his complaints about having to carry his own luggage through an airport and his criticism of Fenway Park for being a subpar facility.[28] On April 4, 2006, Clemens made an insulting remark when asked about the devotion of Japanese and South Korean fans during the World Baseball Classic: "None of the dry cleaners were open, they were all at the game, Japan and Korea."[29] Toward the end of his career, his annual on-and-off "retirements" have revived a reputation for diva-ish behavior.[30]

Clemens has also received criticism for receiving special treatment from the teams that sign him. While playing for Houston, Clemens was not obliged to travel with the team on road trips if he was not pitching. His 2007 contract with the New York Yankees had a "family plan" clause that stipulated that he not be required to go on road trips in which he was not scheduled to pitch and allowed him to leave the team between starts to be with his family. These perks were publicly criticized by Yankee reliever Kyle Farnsworth.[31] Most of Clemens' teammates, however, did not complain of such perks because of Clemens' success on the mound and valuable presence in the clubhouse. Yankee teammate Jason Giambi spoke for such players when he said, "I'd carry his bags for him, just as long as he is on the mound."[32]

Clemens would also find himself the point of minor controversy when it was revealed in the book The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci that Clemens' bizarre pre-game ritual included soaking in extremely hot water then having the hottest possible muscle liniment applied to his genitals during his rub-down.[33]

Accusations of steroid use

In José Canseco's book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, Canseco alleges that Roger Clemens had expert knowledge about steroids and suggested that he probably used steroids, based on the improvement in his performance after leaving the Red Sox. While not addressing the allegations directly, Clemens was dismissive of Canseco, stating "I could [sic] care less" and "I've talked to some friends of his and I've teased them that when you're under house arrest and have ankle bracelets on, you have a lot of time to write a book."[34] Clemens did admit to using the prescription pain reliever Vioxx before it was withdrawn from the market.[35]

Clemens has faced steroid scrutiny when it was reported that pitcher Jason Grimsley had allegedly named him, as well as Andy Pettitte, as a user of performance enhancing drugs. According to a 20-page search warrant affidavit signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, Grimsley told investigators he obtained amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from someone recommended to him by former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee was a personal strength coach for Clemens and Pettitte.[36] McNamee was hired by Clemens in 1998. At the time of the Grimsley revelations, McNamee denied knowledge of steroid use by Clemens and Pettitte.[37] Initial media reports alleged that Pettitte and Clemens were both named specifically on the Grimsley affidavit. These reports were shown to be false when the affidavit was released and made no mention of Clemens or Pettitte.[38]

However, Clemens' name was mentioned 82 times in the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball.[39] In the report, McNamee stated that during the 1998, 2000, and 2001 baseball seasons, he injected Clemens with Winstrol (the drug for which Ben Johnson tested positive at the 1988 Summer Olympics). Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin denied the claims, calling McNamee "a troubled and unreliable witness" who has changed his story five times in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution. He noted that Clemens has never tested positive in a steroid test.[40] Former US Senator George Mitchell, who prepared the report, has stated that he relayed the allegations to each athlete implicated in the report and gave them a chance to respond before his findings were published.

On January 6, 2008, Clemens appeared on 60 Minutes to address the allegations. He told Mike Wallace that his longevity in baseball was due to "hard work" rather than illegal substances and denied all of McNamee's assertions that he injected Clemens with steroids, saying that they "never happened".[41] On January 7, Clemens filed a defamation lawsuit against McNamee, claiming that the former trainer lied after being threatened with prosecution.[42] McNamee's attorneys argued that McNamee was compelled to cooperate by federal officials and thus his statements were protected. A federal judge agreed, throwing out all claims related to McNamee's statements to investigators on February 13, 2009 but allowing the case to proceed on statements McNamee made about Clemens to Andy Pettitte.

Clemens and Hardin held a press conference on January 7, and revealed a recording of a January 4 phone conversation between McNamee and Clemens. Hardin noted that McNamee did not refute Clemens' denials of steroid use during the conversation, and argued that this should be considered as evidence that Clemens was being truthful.[43] McNamee told SI.com that he testified truthfully regarding Clemens' steroid use, but that Clemens may be able to pass a polygraph test because "He might actually believe that he's telling the truth."[1]

On January 28, 2008, Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, released an 18,000-word statistical report to rebut the allegations. The main assertions of the report are that Clemens' performance showed normal year to year variation for long-lasting MLB pitchers, and that his performance did not show any apparent benefit from the alleged steroid use.[44] However, according to four professors from the University of Pennsylvania, there was unusual variation in his statistics in his early 30s and 40s.[45] These professors concluded the report by saying that they were not sure if this was caused by performance enhancing drugs.[45] As stated by one of the professors who wrote the report, "The statistics do not point to innocence. We are not saying that the numbers show guilt, but we are saying that the statistics show that something unusual happened in Clemens' career as he entered his 30s."[45]

On February 13, 2008, Clemens appeared before a Congressional committee, along with Brian McNamee, and swore under oath that he did not take steroids; that he did not discuss HGH with McNamee; that he was not at a party at José Canseco's where steroids were the topic of conversation; that he was only injected with B-12 and lidocaine; and that he never told Andy Pettitte that he (Clemens) had taken HGH. This last point was in contradiction to testimony Pettite had given under oath on February 4, 2008, wherein Pettitte said he repeated to McNamee a conversation Pettitte had with Clemens. During this conversation, Pettitte said Clemens had told him that McNamee had injected Clemens with human growth hormone. Pettitte said McNamee reacted angrily, saying that Clemens "shouldn't have done that."[46]

The bipartisan House committee in front of which Clemens appeared, citing seven apparent inconsistencies in Clemens' testimony, recommended that the Justice Department investigate whether Clemens lied under oath about using performance-enhancing drugs.[47] In a letter sent out February 27 to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis said Clemens' testimony that he "never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone warrants further investigation".[48] The case is currently in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As a result of the Mitchell Report, Clemens has been asked to end his involvement with the Giff Nielsen Day of Golf for Kids charity golf tournament in Houston that he has hosted for four years. As well, his name has been removed from the Houston-based Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine; it will be renamed the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute.[49]

After Washington prosecutors showed "a renewed interest in the case in the final months of 2008," a federal grand jury was convened in January 2009 to hear evidence of Clemens' possible perjury before Congress.[50]

In July 2009, Clemens’ lawyer stated that he was not among the more than 100 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.[51]

A federal grand jury indicted Clemens on August 19, 2010 on charges of making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. The indictment charges Clemens with one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in connection with his February 2008 testimony.[2][52][53][54]

Adultery accusations

In April 2008, the New York Daily News reported on a possible long-term relationship between Clemens and country music star Mindy McCready that began when she was 15 years old.[55] Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin denied the affair and also stated that Clemens would be bringing a defamation suit regarding this allegation. Clemens' attorney admitted that a relationship existed, but described McCready as a "close family friend". He also stated that McCready had traveled on Clemens' personal jet and that Clemens' wife was aware of the relationship.[55] However, when contacted by the Daily News, McCready said, "I cannot refute anything in the story."[56]

On November 17, 2008, McCready spoke in more detail to Inside Edition about her affair with Clemens, stating that their relationship lasted for more than a decade, and that it ended when Clemens refused to leave his wife to marry McCready. However, she denied that she was fifteen years old when it began, saying that they met when she was sixteen and the affair only became sexual "several years later".[57] In another soon-to-be-released sex tape by Vivid Entertainment she claimed that the first time she had sex with him was when she was 21. She also claimed that he often had erectile dysfunction.[58] A few days after the Daily News broke the story about the McCready relationship, they reported on another Clemens extramarital relationship, this time with Paulette Dean Daly, the now ex-wife of pro golfer John Daly. Daly declined to elaborate on the nature of her relationship with the pitcher, but did not deny that it was romantic and included financial support.[59]

There have been reports of at least three other relationships Clemens had with women. On April 29, the New York Post reported that Clemens had relationships with at least two other women. One, a former bartender in Manhattan, refused comment on the story while the other, a woman from Tampa, could not be found.[60] On May 2, the Daily News reported a stripper in Detroit called a local radio station to say she had an affair with Clemens.[61] He also gave tickets to baseball games, jewelry, and trips to women he was wooing.[62]

While Juiced is more noted for allegations of substance abuse, Canseco also takes two paragraphs to extol Clemens' apparent marital integrity, saying that Clemens was "one of the very few baseball players I know who never cheated on his wife." (p. 91)

Other media

Clemens has appeared as himself in several movies and television episodes. Perhaps best known was his appearance in the season three episode of The Simpsons ("Homer at the Bat") where he is hypnotized into thinking he is a chicken (he did his own clucking). Clemens has also made guest appearances as himself on the TV shows Hope and Faith, Spin City, Arli$$, Saturday Night Live as well as in the movies Kingpin, and Anger Management [63]

He appeared in the 1994 movie Cobb as an unidentified pitcher for the Philadelphia A's.[64] In 2003, he was part of an advertising campaign for Armour hot dogs with MLB players Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter, and Sammy Sosa. Since 2005, Clemens has also appeared in many commercials for Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B. In 2007, he appeared on a baseball-themed episode of MythBusters ("Baseball Myths"). He has also starred in a recent commercial for Cingular parodying his return from retirement. He was calling his wife, Debra Godfrey, and a dropped call resulted in his return to the Yankees.

He released an early autobiography, Rocket Man: The Roger Clemens Story written with Peter Gammons, in 1987. Clemens is also the spokesperson for Champion car dealerships in South Texas. In April 2009 Clemens was the subject of an unauthorized biography by Jeff Pearlman, titled The Rocket that Fell to Earth-Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortaility, that focused on his childhood and early career and accused Mike Piazza of using steroids. On May 12, Clemens broke a long silence to denounce an heavily-researched expose by four investigative reporters from The New York Daily News, called "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime." Clemens went on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show to call the book "garbage," but a review by Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times called the book "gripping" and compared it to the work of Bob Woodward.[3]

Awards and recognition

While he has two championship rings with the 1999–2000 Yankees, Clemens has also been on the losing end of four World Series (1986 Red Sox, 2001 and 2003 Yankees, and 2005 Astros), which is tied with Tom Glavine and John Smoltz (who were both on the Braves when they lost the '91, '92, '96 and '99 World Series) for the most among active players.

In 1999, while many of his performances and milestones were yet to come, he ranked number 53 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was elected by the fans to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 2005, the updated Sporting News list moved Clemens up to #15.

By the end of the 2005 season, Clemens had won seven Cy Young Awards (he won the AL award in 1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, and 2001, and the National League award in 2004), an MVP and two pitching triple crowns. With his 2004 win, he joined Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martínez as the only pitchers to win it in both leagues and became the oldest pitcher to ever win the Cy Young. He has also won The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award five times, was named an All-Star 11 times, and won the All-Star MVP in 1986.

In October 2006, Clemens was named to Sports Illustrated's "all-time" team.[65]

On August 18, 2007, Roger Clemens got his 1,000th strikeout as a Yankee. He is only the ninth player in major league history to record 1,000 or more strikeouts with two different teams. Clemens has recorded a total of 2,590 strikeouts as a member of the Red Sox and 1,014 strikeouts as a Yankee. Of his nearly quarter century in the Major Leagues, 13 years have been spent with the Red Sox and 6 with the New York Yankees.

Personal

Clemens married Debra Lynn Godfrey (born May 27, 1963) on November 24, 1984. They have four sons: Koby Aaron, Kory Allen, Kacy Austin, and Kody Alec—all given "K" names to honor Clemens' strikeouts ("K's"). Koby was drafted by the Astros as a third baseman and signed on July 14, 2005, at the age of 18.

Debra once left a Red Sox game, when Clemens pitched for another team, in tears from the heckling she received. This is documented in an updated later edition to Dan Shaughnessy's best-selling book, Curse of the Bambino.

Clemens is a member of the Republican Party and donated money to Texas congressman Ted Poe during his 2006 campaign.[66]

Debra posed in a bikini with her husband for a Sports Illustrated pictorial regarding athletes and their wives. This appeared in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for 2003. Roger wore his Yankees uniform, with the jersey open.[67]

On February 27, 2006, to train for the World Baseball Classic, Roger pitched in an exhibition game between the Astros and his son's minor league team. In his first at-bat, Koby hit a home run off his father. In his next at-bat, Roger threw an inside pitch that almost hit Koby. Koby laughed in an interview after the game about the incident.

References

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  3. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko (May 12, 2009). "How a Man Who Threw Heat Was Consumed by His Own Fire". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/books/12kaku.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ Vinton, Nathaniel (August 30, 2010). "Roger Clemens pleads not guilty; feds cite "voluminous" evidence". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2010/08/30/2010-08-30_exyankees_pictcher_roger_clemens_arrives_in_dc_federal_court_to_plead_not_guilty.html?print=1&page=all. 
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Tagged:
1986 World Series, 1999 World Series, 2000 World Series, 2001 World Series, 2003 World Series, 2005 World Series, AL MVP 1986, All Star, Boston Red Sox, Cy Young Award, Houston Astros, Mike Piazza, New York Yankees, Roger Clemens, Steroids, The Mitchell Report, Toronto Blue Jays, Triple Crown Pitching

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