Roger Clemens

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Roger Clemens : biography

August 4, 1962 –

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. Debra also was quoted in the book as stating that it was the poor attitude of Red Sox fans that prevented the team from ever winning the World Series (this was quoted prior to the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series victory).

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

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. 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.

Controversy

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 , but he has been among the leaders in several other seasons. This tendency was more pronounced during his earlier career and subsequently 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." 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. In 2009, former manager Cito Gaston publicly denounced Clemens as a "double-talker" and "a complete asshole". Clemens was ranked 9th all-time in hit batsmen after the 2007 season.

Clemens has 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. 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". Toward the end of his career, his annual on-and-off "retirements" have revived a reputation for diva-ish behavior.

Clemens has 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. 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."

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.

Steroid use accusations

In José Canseco’s book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, Canseco suggested that Clemens had expert knowledge about steroids and suggested that he used steroids, based on the improvement in his performance after leaving the Red Sox. While not addressing the allegations directly, Clemens stated: "I could care less about the rules" 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." Clemens admitted to using the prescription pain reliever Vioxx before it was withdrawn from the market.