Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens. Rocket man. That nickname I liked a little better than Greenie's. I had two reasons for liking Roger so much: first, he was a workhorse. He would work out A LOT on days he wasn't pitching so that he would stay in tip-top shape. I appreciate people that work hard. Secondly, I liked him because he was DOMINANT. He was the keystone of the Red Sox arsenal when I followed them. Just like the old "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" deal, it was basically the same, but just Roger. There were some solid #2 guys behind him, sure: Bruce Hurst, Mike Boddicker, etc etc etc. decent pitchers, but it always seemed like Roger was the one carrying the team on his shoulders. Shouldering the Load was in a Collage I made for the 1988 Red Sox Season.

"OK you say he was dominant. HOW dominant?" you ask. huh. Just the best pitcher of our time! You want stats? well go look at his stats, then! They kick ass. just like he does. The man is one of only three pitchers in history to win FOUR Cy Young Awards. And I thought he should've won MORE than that! There were a couple years that he led the league in K's and ERA, but NOT wins! So the voters picked someone who had more wins. Wins are so superficial to me; they involve the other team, your run support, and on and on... your ERA and your K's and your complete games and shutouts are much better reflections of how good your pitching is, IMNSHO. The Cy Youngs that Roger DID win came in 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1997. The last one was to drive home a point. That point being that he is the best pitcher in the American League, and as such he deserves to be paid appropriately. Of course, Dan "I'm a stupid lameass" Duquette thought differently. Here he was Roger's first choice, but he wouldn't put up the bucks. These lousy GMs...I guess they should get paid more, so they would make fewer stupid mistakes. Roger set or tied FOUR Team Records before he left town. Yeah Roger, stick it to em. To paraphrase a line from Tombstone, "It ain't money he's after. It's the reckonin."

So now Roger Clemens is a blue jay. I hated the blue jays. I absolutely writhed in pain when Carter hit that home run back in whatever world series. but lately, I had come to like them, since the Red Sox usually kicked their butt! and poor George Bell, stuck out in left field with no idea how to not make an ass out of himself. But back to today. Now the blue jays are heavy on the pitching instead of the lumber, and Roger is a big part of that. Their pitching rotation features five Cy Young awards, with Clemens and Pat Hentgen. It was on 28 Sep 1997 that Roger returned to Fenway Park. I was absolutely ecstatic, as he Kicked Ass! The picture to your right is from that game.

Roger's 1997 season was a marvel. He jumped out to like an 8-1 start or something (now that he was getting some decent run support!) but all of a sudden, he was completely dominant! He didn't get his elusive no-hitter (he's had a few one-hitters) But he did come real close to having a sub-2.00 ERA. 2.05! WOW! The whole line is really amazing. He struck out a bunch more guys, shut out a bunch more teams, and just gave a general "UP YOURS!" to the red sox brass.

Did you know that Roger holds the major league record for Strikeouts in one game? You either just said "of course I know that, fool!" or "no" so for the no's: Roger has struck out 20 batters in one game TWICE. How's that? This last time, I was dying for him to get 21, since that's his uniform number, and he had a shot at it, but the last guy put the ball in play, so that was that. The first time Roger got 20K's, Dave Henderson dropped a foul popup of Spike Owen's, who Roger then struck out.The second time, Roger didn't need any help at all.


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