|GAVE IN TO THE TEMPTATION II.|
|LIKE BONDS, AGED LIKE FINE JUICE.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- How fitting Roger Clemens' Finest card follows #103 Barry Bonds', for they are infamously handcuffed in baseball history. Of course, whether or not they "cheated'' during a time when the sport had no rules against PEDs is a matter of semantics, but what can't be denied is Clemens, like Bonds, was a Hall of Fame talent beforehand. Rocket is ninth all-time in wins with 354, third in strikeouts with 4,672 and won a record seven Cy Youngs.
- Clemens announced his presence on April 29, 1986, at Fenway Park when he set the major-league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Facing a weak Mariners' team, Clemens struck out 20 and walked none in a three-hit 3-1 victory. Gorman Thomas homered in the seventh for Seattle's only run. Clemens concluded April with his fourth victory in a season that would end with him winning 24 games and the Cy Young and MVP awards.
- In '97, his first year with the Blue Jays after Red Sox GM Dan Duquette said he was entering the "twilight of his career,'' Clemens won his fourth Cy Young with a spectacular comeback season. After Boston let him walk following a four-year run of averaging 10 wins, a 3.77 ERA and an ERA+ of 130, Clemens won 21 games with a 2.05 ERA. He led the majors with 264 innings, a career-high 292 strikeouts and an ERA+ of 222.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- An All-American in two seasons for the Texas Longhorns, Clemens went 25-7 and helped them win the NCAA title in '83.
- Clemens was drafted by the Mets in '81 before choosing college.
- Matched his 20-K tour de force on Sept. 18, 1996, against the Tigers.
- Won 83 games with the Yankees in two stops totaling six seasons, pitching for the '99 and '00 World Series champs.
- Indicted for lying to Congress about his PED use, but in '12 he was declared not guilty on six counts.