We could have gone with anyone named in the Mitchell Report with this one really. But I think we all know who the most obvious choice was. We went with the guy who had the most to lose from being mentioned and it’s clearly Roger Clemens.
Honestly, we’ve suspected that Clemens was a juicer since the whole suspicion surrounding steroids in baseball started about five years ago. I mean the guy is no longer the tall skinny kid he was in his early years in Boston. He got progressively bigger and bounced back from injuries better in his 30’s. Both are clear signs of juicing. For example, from 1993-95 Clemens started 29, 24 and 23 games. Then, from 1996-2005 he never started less than 29 games. So he was a guy who was breaking down and whose arm couldn’t take the type of strain it once could (remember this is a guy had consecutive seasons of 254, 281.2, 264, 253.1, 228.1, 271.1 and 246.2 innings early in his career) but then all of a sudden he became incredibly durable and was essentially uninjured for around a decade.
If his career is over – which it likely is – Clemens was probably a Hall of Fame caliber guy without steroids or HGH. But because of how long he stayed in the game and the records he broke, there is going to be a serious backlash against him. His association with Brian McNamee, whom he insisted be brought over from Toronto when Clemens was traded to the Yankees, is critically damming. McNamee was well known to be active in the trading of steroids and HGH long before the Mitchell Report was even in the planning stages.
As it is, Clemens’ name was mentioned 82 times in the Mitchell Reports. Eighty-two freaking times. Eighty-two! Anyway, McNamee claimed he injected Clemens with Winstrol during the 1998, 2000 and 2001 seasons. It’s not a stretch to believe Clemens was using before and after this time frame. If all these allegations are true, despite his incredibly numbers, Clemens does not deserve to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He cheated, pure and simple. His name does not deserve to go alongside those of Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson or his idol Babe Ruth.
So to sum up, Clemens doesn’t pass the “eye-test” for steroids, he was named by Jose Canseco in his book and now in the Mitchell Report his personal trainer confirmed what most people suspected. Sorry Roger, as you well know, three strikes and you’re out. Enjoy retirement.