Clemens is already the franchise’s all-time leader in strikeouts and pitching WAR while sharing the lead for wins and shutouts. He would have padded those counting stats with a few more years in Boston but there isn’t much more he could have done to cement his legacy.
Assuming he stayed clean, Clemens would have strolled into Cooperstown years ago. His reputation wouldn’t have been tarnished by steroid allegations and he would have been remembered as one of the most beloved icons in Boston sports history.
Then again, maybe Clemens ends up cheating anyway despite never feeling scorned by Boston. Many of those accolades he piled up later in his career would have been in a Red Sox uniform but those accomplishments would have been tainted.
At least Red Sox fans can cling to the notion that he was clean during his Boston years. That plays a significant part in why most fans have been able to forgive him for leaving. Would we be as forgiving if he soiled the reputation of this franchise by bearing the Red Sox emblem while he became the poster child for PEDs?
Either way, the legacy of Clemens in Boston would have been drastically altered if he stayed. As great as it would have been to see The Rocket finish his career with the Red Sox, the franchise seems to be better off with how the story panned out.