I kind of think Roger Clemens might be a bit of an asshole (in the same way that I suspect Freddy Mercury just may have been gay). Any Yankee fans want to defend him? As a Twins fan (yeah, laugh it up – maybe I should say “the” Twins fan) I was pretty neutral about the whole thing before the bat throwing incident, although I would love to see Clemens have to hit.
“I didn’t know Mike was running.” Yeah, whatever Roger. Just say you screwed up, apologize for it, and save yourself a shred of dignity.
The guy just pitched a two-hitter over eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Only one runner made it as far as second base.
If he wanted to hit Piazza with that bat, he would have. He was hitting everything else…
My take on it: He is insane. He works himself up into a stupor almost like a trance. Look at the replay and he acts as if the bat part is the ball - gets into fielding position and grabs it on the hop.
Then, when he realizes what it really is, he kinds throws it away. He doesn’t even know Mike is there. In the replays, he seems quite surprised to see Mike suddenly there.
In this stupor, the guy doesn’t know what happened. He’s all hopped up on adreneline, he just can’t recall anything about the incident.
Roger is nuts, but I don’t think he did anything intentionally in that game, aside from totally shutting down the Mets offense.
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Stupor or no stupor, game face or no game face, I have a hard time believing that a five-time Cy Young winner with nearly 20 years of major league experience a) thought a bat head was the ball, and b) didn’t know the runner was heading towards first. You’d think he’d been playing baseball for all of ten minutes. Just goes to show what a classless dick he is, frankly.
To paraphrase Tony Kornhiser, from the Washington Post:
Clemens didn’t mean to hit Piazza. If he wanted to hit him with the bat, he would have. Lord knows Clemens can throw that well.
HOWEVER. Clemens’s excuse of “I thought it was the ball.” is DAMN stupid. If you thought it was the ball, throw it to first base.
I’m honestly wondering if the Mets will try and get them back, since pitchers have to hit when they’re in Shay Stadium…I’m predicting at least 2 people get hit with a ball. sighs
Man, this is why I like football. We’re HONEST about being violent, dammit!
Adrenaline rushes make you do weird things. Remember the last time you were startled and the weird things you did? There was a car wreck in front of me yesterday. I felt the adrenaline rush and all I could think of was how to protect me and my car. I may have even swerved slightly into the next lane to avoid the wreck. If you asked me 10 minutes later what was happening during that moment, I couldn’t have told you. There could have been a group of midget clowns in the car and I wouldn’t have remembered.
Clemens throws a pitch and sees something flying at him at high speed. Adrenaline flows and he reacts as he’s been trained to do by catching the object flying at him. He realizes it’s the bat and throws it at the batboy who just happens to be near the batter’s box. Seeing the play, I’m giving Clemens the benefit of the doubt.
In my softball pitching career, I’ve had a number of balls hit directly at me and I’ve made stupid throws after. It usually takes me a few minutes to catch my breath after a ball is hit towards me. Adrenaline does weird things to you.
The umpires are wimps for not ejecting Clemens; and Frank Robinson and Major League Baseball can be counted among the wimps if Clemens isn’t suspended for the duration of the World Series.
Whatever Clemens’ intent, his throwing of a very dangerous object, hard, in the direction of the base path was reckless and inappropriate. I think some are underplaying just how close it came to Piazza, too.
Put in the context of the past stuff between Clemens and Piazza, Clemens’ explanations sound a little feeble. This broken bat shard is an object that is potentially MUCH more hazardous than a baseball, and Clemens whipped it in the direction of Piazza. Period.
He was jacked up on adrenaline and competitive spirit? Learn to control yourself, then.
In hockey, if you high stick someone, you get a high-sticking penalty. It doesn’t matter whether you “meant to” or not.
Elaborating on what Satan said, the same people who are accusing Clemens of trying to hit Piazza with a busted bat are the same people who are convinced he intentionally dotted Piazza in the head in July. If you’re convinced he’s accurate enough to hit the Mets emblem on a helmet from 60 feet, don’t you think he could hit him somewhere on his body with a chunk of bat from about 20 feet away?
Hey, the guy definitely says some stupid shit sometimes, but the fact is he gets all jacked up when he pitches, and he gets so intense that sometimes he loses focus. I agree with the adrenaline factor - a pitcher reacts out of pure instinct and self-preservation. I watched Andy Pettite snag a ball behind his back this season - I doubt he planned it that way. Bryce Florie took one in the face not too long ago. The mound is a dangerous place. I think Clemens reacted to what was coming at him, fielded it, and at that moment realized it was part of the bat and flung it away. Who would have thought Piazza would have been running on a foul ball? The whole point is that neither saw the complete event the way we were all able to see it on TV. Everyone is quick to point out that Clemens keeps changing his story, yet he sure didn’t act like he was trying to intimidate Piazza when Piazza confronted him. Clemens looked a little weirded out to me. I have yet to hear anyone comment on Piazza being full of shit, either. He claimed that he asked Clemens “what his problem is”, and that Clemens didn’t say a word. Yet replays will show that Clemens clearly said “I thought it was the ball” with Piazza close enough to be seperated by the umpire. So who’s bullshitting who? No one, because they were both pumped up, and only heard and saw what they remembered.
The bottom line is that, intentional or not, Clemens got into the Mets’ collective heads. They were so intent on proving something afterwards that they were just swinging out of control, right over the top of all those splitters, and the game was over right there in the first inning.
Piazza had the oppurtunity to STOP when he saw a sharp stick coming toward his ankles. If he had kept running, I believe, he would have been hit. Clemens made an accurate throw.
The fastball to his head afforded not as much leeway. Clemens should be suspended for the World Series and should have been for the game. This is a bigger blackeye to baseball than the World Series being battled between the 110 million team and the 80 million team.
This kind of reminds me of when Jack Lambert picked up and threw a player from Dallas after taunting the Steelers’ kicker (Super Bowl X?). He told the Ref “You can’t eject me! It’s the Superbowl!” The Ref didn’t eject him.
If it was Piazza that threw the broken bat at Clemens, he would have been thrown out of the game on the spot.
I agree with Milo. It doesn’t matter whether you “meant to” or not.
Even if it was unintentional, it’s still a penalty.
I heard on the radio this afternoon that Frank Robinson has levied an unspecified (albeit hefty) fine against Clemens.
I tend to agree with Milo, too. There were plenty of places for Clemens to discard the bat shard. Hurling it across the first base line was the worst place. As for the question, “why was Piazza running on a foul ball,” did you see Piazza’s face when his bat shattered? He was freaked.
We’ve discussed our interpretations of what Clemens was experiencing at the time, so why not Piazza? My take:
Piazza’s swing was defensive, as the pitch jammed him. He intended to foul it off. His bat exploded, sending a bee hive into his hands and forearms. His facial expression after contact was clearly one of “WTF?” He did not know where the ball had gone, and, given the baserunning blunders of Ziele and Payton in Game 1, he figured it would be best to head for first until an umpire called the ball foul or in play (I don’t recall if the home plate ump made the call, but since it was such a bizarre occurance, Piazza may not have heard).
I doubt Clemens intended to hit Piazza, either in July or in Game 2. But there’s little difference between intent to cause bodily harm and reckless endangerment. The results are the same. I just think Rocket didn’t (and doesn’t) care if something like that injures another player. Disgraceful.