BOSTON (CBS) — Roger Clemens is still waiting for his call into the Hall of Fame, but he isn’t letting that wait define his career.
The numbers are certainly Cooperstown-worthy, with Clemens racking up 354 wins and over 4,600 strikeouts over his 24-year career, but PED allegations have kept voters from enshrining him with the other All-Time greats.
Clemens, who will be honored next month at the 14th annual The Tradition at the TD Garden, joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday to discuss his time in Boston and his storied career. “The Rocket” said he was lucky to play for both the Red Sox and Yankees, two of the most historic franchises in baseball, and even if he doesn’t get his call to the Hall, he won’t let that define what was an amazing career in baseball.
“I’m not worried about it. I don’t confuse my career with my life, or refuse to let one person define what who I am as a person,” said Clemens. “The guys that are voting are great. It’s their opinion ad they have a right to do what they want to do. I have zero control over it. I know how I did it; I did it right. I did it to the fullest and I loved it. That’s all you can do as an athlete when you go out and perform not only for your teammates but your fans and the city you play for.
“It’s an award. Go ask any of my teammates, that’s what means the most to me,” he said. “I love that I got to play 13 years at Fenway Park, right there where Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski ran around. It was awesome. That’s something you can never take away from me. I don’t worry about rumors that are carried by haters or anything like that.”
And while players can no longer pick which hat they’ll be enshrined in, if Clemens does get that call to Cooperstown, his choice would be a Boston Red Sox cap.
“It would obviously be a Boston hat,” he said. “That’s where I got my start and my nickname. It’s where I grew up.”
With David Ortiz announcing Wednesday that the 2016 season will be his last, Clemens was asked if he thinks Big Papi will eventually be enshrined in Cooperstown. Some have the stigma that a DH shouldn’t be among the All-Time greats, and Ortiz’s name also popped up on a leaked list from 2003 linking him to PED use.
“I think by his numbers he should [be a Hall of Famer],” said Clemens. “I’m not sure what list you’re talking about and I wouldn’t get into speculating. That’s what happened in my situation, they speculate. We’ve actually proved two or three times, and stopped a guy running around the country claiming to be my personal trainer and basically selling my name for profit.”
The conversation shifted to Clemens’ appearance as Skidmark in the Farrelly Brothers comedy Kingpin, and Clemens revealed that he was actually cast as Cam Neely’s famous Seabass role in their film Dumb & Dumber.
“I was supposed to be Seabass,” he said. “At the time they were shooting the scene I couldn’t get away. So Cam jumped in. He had a couple of good lines.”
Clemens still has the “Ass, Grass or Cash” hat from the movie, which Fred joked is the hat he should wear into the Hall.