Thursday, January 28, 2016

Call me Crazy: What about Roger Clemens Day in 2016?

The New York Yankees have made it a habit of holding a day to honor their stars from past and present and have even seemingly made it a yearly thing in the Bronx. New York has held days for Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Joe Torre and others in recent years as the team acknowledges and honors the “Core Four” and the “Dynasty Yankees” but the team has done little to honor the pitching staff that toed the line for many of those World Series Championships. I know this is going to be an unpopular decision, and call me crazy, but what about a Roger Clemens Day in 2016?

Before you click the little red “X” at the top of your browser hear me out a second. I didn’t say induct the guy into the Hall of Fame and I didn’t say retire the guy’s number inside Monument Park. All I’m saying is honor the guy for what he did in the Bronx with the Yankees. Clemens came to the Yankees before the 1999 season from the Toronto Blue Jays in a deal that sent David Wells, Homer Bush and Graeme Lloyd back to the Blue Jays and immediately won a pair of World Series with the team in 1999 and 2000.

Clemens enjoyed many accolades, milestones and achievements inside a Yankees uniform that in my opinion should be honored by the team in some capacity. Clemens set the ALCS record for strikeouts in a game against the Seattle Mariners in 2000 when he struck out 15 batters while he followed it up with his sixth Cy Young Award in 2001 with a 20-win season. Clemens also won his 300th game inside a Yankees uniform and recorded his 4,000th strikeout in the same game becoming the 21st pitcher in MLB history to win 300 games and just the third ever (at the time) to record 4,000 strikeouts joining Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton and eventually Randy Johnson, now all Hall of Fame pitchers. Clemens also went on, after a short stint with the Houston Astros and retirement thrown in the middle, to win his 350th game in a Yankees uniform including 83 wins inside of a Yankees uniform.

Clemens was no slouch in the postseason either posting a career 12-8 record in 34 starts with a 3.75 ERA, 173 strikeouts and a 3-0 World Series record with a 2.37 ERA. Clemens may have had his struggles with steroids, former trainers trying to ruin his image and tarnish his career and he may have even fallen short every year in the Hall of Fame voting but that doesn’t mean he is any less of a person. Clemens has since been cleared of any perjury charges and, for what it’s worth, never failed a steroid or drug test in his career. And lastly, before you mention how few years he pitched for the Yankees and before you bring up his recruitment of Andy Pettitte to the Astros I want you to go Wikipedia the name “Reggie Jackson.” Enough said.

Hey if the Cincinnati Reds can do it with Pete Rose then why can’t the Yankees, right?

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)