In 2003, when Roger Clemens was riding high as a power pitcher throwing hard well beyond his years (somehow), he let it be known when the Hall of Fame came calling for his inevitable membership, he’d insist on going in as a Yankee. If Cooperstown dared portray him as a Red Sock, well, he just wouldn’t show up. He’d have his own party in Texas, screw you Abner Doubleday.
Something happened on the way to guaranteed immortality and now, nine years later, Clemens is trying to pitch in the majors again. He’s been working out his kinks, so to speak, in the Atlantic League, and the current Sugar Land Skeeter may be a Houston Astro by the time this season ends. Nobody’s watching the Astros in their final N.L. weeks (literally), so their new owner figures, what the hell, let’s throw the ol’ Rocket out there and see if anybody will bust down the doors to have a gander at this fifty-year-old freak of nature/chemistry.
But not so fast there, says the fastballer of yore. You can’t start me against just any team, for I am Roger Clemens, delusional sonofabitch who hasn’t thrown a Major League inning in five years, and you must pitch me against a contender, or I won’t play, just as I wasn’t going to come to my own Hall of Fame ceremony in 2009, which it turned out wasn’t the year of my induction because I kept retiring and unretiring and so forth until the Mitchell Report came out.
This is one of the most distasteful men to ever excel in baseball. Still.
Don’t ever give this man a painting of Shea Stadium. Not even a crappy one.