Red Sox Is Roger Clemens’ Choice For HOF
Oh goodness, Roger. What are you doing to us?
Apparently, the ever-controversial Roger Clemens recently said in an interview that if he was given the chance to enter the Hall of Fame, he would honor the Boston Red Sox by wearing their hat into that sacred ground.
After being interviewed by a radio show called The Sports Hub, Clemens was cited by Brendan Kuty of NJ.com saying, “It would obviously be a Boston hat […] That’s where I got my start and my nickname. That’s where I grew up.”
Technically, Clemens grew up in Houston, Texas. The 53-year-old retired starting pitcher was actually born in Dayton, Ohio before his family moved to Texas. Depending on which part of Red Sox Nation that you speak to, they would say that what Clemens meant and where he truly grew up is very different.
As Kuty pointed out, “There’s a slim chance the seven-time Cy Young award winner reaches the Hall of Fame, considering the allegations of steroid use that have followed him since he finished his 24-year career in 2007.”
Not that Clemens would let a little thing like steroid allegations get him down. Kyle Ringo of Yahoo Sports covered the same interview and added Clemens’ statement about the Hall of Fame issue:
"The guys that are voting are great. It’s their opinion and they have a right to do what they want to do. I have zero control over it. I know how I did it; I did it right. I did it to the fullest and I loved it. That’s all you can do as an athlete when you go out and perform not only for your teammates but your fans and the city you play for. – Roger Clemens"
With all of the alleged evidence, the public interviews of double-talk, the way in which Clemens left the Red Sox organization in 1996, the temper tantrum that led to him throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza, and the fact that he made a point of retiring in 2007 with the evil empire of New York, why on Earth would he bother with telling everyone that he did it all for the city he played for?
Forget the steroids for a minute. Forget the 11 All-Star appearances, five for the Red Sox. Forget about him playing 13 out of 24 years in Boston. Forget the 4 672 career strikeouts, 2 590 of them in a Red Sox uniform. Forget the 192-111 record and the 3.06 ERA that he posted for the city of Boston. Say whatever you want about him and his numbers; the one thing that sticks out here is the 1996 issue with former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, and how Clemens’ attitude afterwards makes the ‘no-brainer’ comment laughable.
Duquette and the Red Sox did not re-sign Clemens after that season, saying that the offer that they extended their hero in the “twilight” of his career should have been enough for the pitcher. He made a point of sticking it to the Red Sox whenever he played them and helped the New York Yankees, Boston’s arch nemesis, to win two World Series championships. The icing on Boston’s humble pie was when Clemens retired with the Yankees, the team that he had the most success with, instead of his ‘home’ team in Boston.
Is Clemens being genuine? Or is he pandering to arguably the two biggest baseball markets in the majors? Many Yankee fans support Clemens, because anything negative would put tarnish on two of their championship titles. If the Red Sox fans supported him as well, maybe the pressure would be on the Hall-of-Fame judges to allow Clemens to slide into the Hall, safe from friendly scrutiny.
Whatever the case, his words will likely not be fulfilled very soon. It would be a miracle to see Clemens reach the Hall of Fame in the next few years, if ever.
Yet, to say that Clemens would want to wear a Red Sox hat during his possible induction ceremony puts a number of questions on the table: did he really want to re-sign with the Red Sox in ’96? How about in 2007, instead of returning to New York? Has Clemens’ heart always been in Boston, and not in Houston or New York?
An even bigger question: what would it take from Clemens for all of Red Sox Nation to care about him in return? Many of them do still remember Rocket Roger with fond emotions, while many others think that he’s a traitor who hurt the Red Sox and baseball once too often.