Results tagged ‘ roger clemens ’
In case you missed it Mike Piazza finally unveiled his book recently, titled “Long Shot” in reference to the fact the borderline Hall of Famer was drafted in the 62d round of the Major League Baseball‘s First Year Player Draft of 1988 (and even then only as a favor to his father, a childhood friend of Tommy Lasorda’s).
The thing is rather forgettable, but it did have a few interesting tidbits concerning Piazza’s well-chronicled “feud” with one Roger Clemens.
Ted Berg of USA Today talked about some of the “sillier” excerpts from this piece of fine literature about a week ago:
But perhaps the biggest – or at least the silliest – bombshell to come out of the book so far is the news that Piazza actually took karate to prepare to fight Roger Clemens on the field during their infamous beanball feud.
According to the NY Post:
Piazza tells how he mapped out a plan for revenge — taking karate lessons and visualizing the next time they would go at it.
“I would approach with my fist pulled back. I figured he’d throw his glove out for protection. I’d parry the glove and then get after it,” Piazza writes.
Parry the glove! He had his whole strategy all planned out! Outside of Izzy Alcantara, it’s hard to say any baseball player has ever put so much forethought into on-field fisticuffs.
Only when faced with Clemens in the 2000 World Series, after Clemens inexplicably threw a shard of a broken bat at Piazza’s knees, Piazza – the 6’3″, 200-pound, perpetually bearded, home-run smashing, muscle-bound stud – got cold feet.
“There were complications,” he recalls. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”
It was a decision over which he still beats himself. “It was not only possible but — circumstances be damned — it was in order,” he said. “It was the story of the Series. I couldn’t deliver a punch.”
Say it ain’t so, Mike. You mean to tell me you were willing to risk suspension during the World Series – i.e. “circumstances be damned” – and the only thing that stopped you was that Roger Clemens was massive and terrifying and probably snorting like a bull? C’mon, guy. Why even bother learning karate?
The whole thing is just plain laughable, but I do respect the fact that Piazza was honest enough to own up to what most athletes wouldn’t have. Namely fear.
One of my better friends often asked me why people didn’t ever charge the mound on Clemens and my exact response was always “because the dude is freakin’ big man.”
But it was only a matter of time before some reporter stuck a mic in front of Clemens face in order to elicit a response to the book…
…And that time has come.
Without further ado, “The Rocket’s” response (courtesy of the Houston Chronicle) was as follows:
“He’d have to stand in line. I think there was about three guys on the Yankees that wanted a piece of me more than (he) did. He’d probably have to get in line.”
Clemens also noted that rather than martial arts training, Piazza needed speed training:
“He needs to go get with Jesse Owens or somebody on his speed, I think. He chased some dude around the spring training site one time, didn’t he, or something? …”
That was undoubtedly a direct reference to the time Piazza charged the mound on former battery-mate Guillermo Mota but wasn’t anywhere near fleet of foot enough to gt so much as within arms reach of the guy.
Any way you cut it, I feel robbed.
I’d have given vital parts of your anatomy (I reserve vital parts of my anatomy for such things as fine scotch and Wendy Peffercorn) to have seen Piazza attempt to put on his best Ralph Macchio imitation as the big ol’ Texan tried to remove his limbs one at a time.
By Matt Snyder @ CBSSports.com
I haven’t been paying overly close attention to the Roger Clemens trial.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the steroid era’s taint or if it’s because there’s no way I could take a side — seriously, a person with the morality of Roger Clemens vs. a government wasting a colossal amount of time and money … as usual?
What’s the right choice there?
Anyway, something has finally caught my eye: According to the Associated Press story from Tuesday, a second juror has been kicked off the jury for falling asleep.
I don’t know how to react to that, other than to laugh. I mean, we’ve all been there before — whether it’s a college philosophy lecture, an insurance seminar or a simple boardroom meeting.
You know the feeling. Your eyes just keep falling shut and you can’t shake it. Maybe your pen falls to the ground and the sound startles you awake, or maybe someone close to you coughs or sneezes loudly, jarring you awake. But those are only temporary. As long as you’re caught in that seat for a prolonged period of time with that nodding off feeling, there’s no fighting the heavy eyes.
And two jurors on the Clemens trial have succumbed to it.
Boy, the testimony must be riveting — maybe I should watch more Court TV than baseball. In the meantime, might I suggest some Homer Simpson glasses pictured above to the remaining jurors?
By Craig Calcaterra @ Hardball Talk
Last week a lot of people got it totally wrong about Andy Pettitte when they said that he changed his testimony on the stand during the Roger Clemens trial. As I demonstrated with reference to Pettite’s actual 2008 testimony, Andy Pettitte did not change a thing about his testimony. He was entirely consistent.
Jon Heyman was one of the guys who got it wrong then, Tweeting that Pettitte “suddenly” changed his testimony. I guess that’s understandable as a heat of the moment reaction, especially given how it was being played up initially on Twitter and elsewhere. But now Heyman has had a week to actually, you know, look at the facts. And he either hasn’t bothered to or else he has and doesn’t care, because he’s still wrong:
Suddenly on the stand in federal court last week, Pettitte changed his story about Clemens. And remarkably, he changed it from one day to the next. It is fair to assume he wasn’t being completely truthful one of those two days.
Under questioning by government lawyers, Pettitte, who’s trying for a baseball comeback with the Yankees, said Clemens told him about Clemens’ own HGH use while the pair were working out together back in 1999 or 2000. That was a powerful point against Clemens.
Then only one day later, under questioning by Clemens’ lawyers, Pettitte said he may have misunderstood the key HGH conversation. In fact, it’s now 50-50 he misunderstood, he answered to Clemens attorney Michael Attanasio. “I’d say that’s fair,” Pettitte lamely answered to Attanasio.
He goes on to accuse Pettitte of “bending the truth” to help a friend. He calls Pettitte’s testimony a “pathetic change-up,” “sudden amnesia,” and a “lame, less-then-honest performance.” There is something lame, pathetic and less-than-honest here, and it’s Heyman’s approach to this story.
As I demonstrated last week, Pettitte’s answers at trial were entirely consistent with his 2008 testimony. He did not change it. He did not say “50/50″ in 2008 because he was not asked to put a probability on the matter then. Why? Because he wasn’t being cross examined in 2008, he was being deposed. It’s a basic legal point that Heyman would understand if he took a moment to understand basic legal procedure. Not that he has to, of course. But if you’re going to go accusing people of perjury as Heyman clearly does here, you probably should.
The point here is that there is absolutely nothing inconsistent with Pettitte’s 2008 testimony and his “50/50″ testimony last week. In 2008 he said he was uncertain. Last week he said he was uncertain. Last week, however, someone thought to ask him how uncertain. They suggested “50/50″ and Pettitte agreed. If only a government lawyer preparing the witness had thought to ask him that maybe they wouldn’t have called Pettitte to the stand in the first place.
Heyman goes on to say that this is the last straw for Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case in his eyes. That he may have voted for Pettitte despite his win total and his HGH history because the postseason performances were so money that they outweighed it. But now?
Now, though, his own sympathetic HGH story comes into serious question. If he’s willing to suddenly misremember under oath for a good buddy, it’s easy to think now Pettitte only admitted to what he had to admit to. Maybe Pettitte isn’t quite the truthteller we gave him credit for, and maybe there is some other explanation for how his fastball velocity increased to 93/94 mph somewhere in the middle of his career. I’d say the chances are 50-50 (at best) that Pettitte misremembered his own supposedly very limited usage.
Setting the “Pettitte used more steroids than he said he did” accusation aside, this is Jon Heyman, publicly changing his Hall of Fame vote for Andy Pettitte based on something (i.e. a change in sworn testimony) that never happened.
I guess this shouldn’t surprise us coming from a guy who still thinks, evidence be damned, that Jack Morris pitched to the score and that Bert Blyleven wasn’t a very good pitcher.
I mean, at least he never accused Blyleven of committing a crime.