Roger Clemens on returning to pitch, Hall of Fame, clearing his name, why PEDs hurt players
It started late April, early May. He knew the manager and he asked him to pitch before the season started. Clemens said they laughed it off at the time. But then he was down in Florida with his son meeting with Dr. James Andrews. Clemens said that Andrews told him he should try pitching: “Your shoulder looks like it’s 30.” Clemens said that his body felt 50, and they argued back and forth, but he is going to give this a shot. But Clemens said that doesn’t mean he’s close to pitching at the MLB level.
Dan asked if he was ruling out pitching at an MLB level. Clemens said he won’t do that. “I’ve already been down that road,” Clemens said. “I tried to retire three times.”
Clemens said in 2003 he was very comfortable retiring and did want to go into the Hall of Fame when his mother was alive.
Clemens commented on the chances he’ll get into the Hall now. “If there’s a grudge someone needs to vent, I can’t control that,” Clemens said.
Clemens said it’s disappointing when you go through all these things to clear your name, and others besmirch you, including people who are in it to make money.
“You’ve gone through every avenue to defend your name, and it’s still not good enough,” Clemens said. “It’s disheartening to me.”
Dan asked if he felt vindicated by the trial. “I most definitely do,” Clemens said.
Dan asked Clemens about the Hall of Fame chances of other players from his era. Clemens said yes on Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
Clemens had a very interesting take on the effect of steroids: “I don’t think it helps you. It hurts you. You only break down. … You gotta hit the baseball. … I don’t think it helps you. I think that stuff hurts you.”