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Roger Clemens jokes about throwing bat at Mike Piazza

Feb 12, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Roger Clemens Piazza bat

Roger Clemens made a paid appearance yesterday at a charity event for the Connecticut Sports Foundation’s annual celebrity dinner and memorabilia auction.

The event was a celebration of the 2000 Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets, so naturally there was plenty of nostalgia on the menu. The Rocket wasn’t willing to comment on his upcoming perjury trial or Andy Pettitte’s recent retirement, he did offer a one-liner about his infamous bat throwing incident involving Mike Piazza in Game 2 (courtesy of Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York).

“I just remember my form being really good when I threw the bat. My form was impeccable. I fielded it perfectly. My arm angle when I whistled it on-deck was a little low.”

Oh, wait.  You mean if your arm angle wasn’t so low you would have punctured Piazza with a broken bat shard? Nothing but class, this guy.

I’ve often wondered what would have happened if Clemens did indeed hit Piazza with that bat. Would he have been thrown out of the game in the first inning? Probably. Of course, Clemens went on to strike out nine over eight shutout frames. The Mets made things interesting by scoring fifth runs in the ninth, but the Yankees were able to hold on 6-5 and take a 2-0 lead in the series. They would eventually win the World Series in five games.

  1. kenbuddha - Feb 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Look, the guys an idiot, no doubt. But I think you’re being petty with this. Okay, so he joked about the bat throwing incident but no where did he say, or mean, that it would have been funny to “puncture Piazza with a broken bat shard”. Does Clemens have class? No, but in this case I think you’re reaching pretty far in order to cast him in more bad light.

    • D.J. Short - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Full disclosure. If you’ve been around here before, I’m a Mets fan. It doesn’t really matter if the bat hit Piazza or not. It was stupid to throw it at all. You can say ‘heat of the moment’ all you want, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Feb 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      I still don’t understand why Clemens wasn’t tossed out. It’s garbage.

    • phillysoulfan - Feb 14, 2011 at 8:16 AM

      Only Clemens could follow a stupid act by saying something even dumber then the act. You know why what he said was so stupid? Because he THOUGHT about it. He THOUGHT about it for 10 years. And that was the BEST he could come up with.

  2. Dug - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Clemens was a punk then, he is a bigger punk now. He should have been tossed from the game. What he did was no different than Juan Marichal attacking John Roseboro. The bat was used as a weapon. I am a Houstonian and I can tell you that as a group, Houstonians feel much the same way.

  3. Glenn - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    It wouldn’t have been the first time that Clemens would have been thrown out in the first inning of a post-season game. He let the Sox down doing just that against Dave Stewart and Oakland. He came out with heavy eye black and acted like an out of control idiot. PEDs or character defect? I vote for both.

  4. jstrizzle - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Maybe if he would have started Roiding at an earlier age he could have hit him.

  5. rollinghighwayblues - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    The best part about this episode was that Roger tried to convince everyone, including Piazza that he thought it was the ball that he threw. Ole Rog, trying to pull the wool over our eyes once again.

    • Glenn - Feb 12, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      He is pathologically unable to admit a mistake, wrong doing, or take any responsibility for his actions. Most of us outgrow that by age eight.
      Posnanski or someone commented on this video below pointing out how Clemens went into denial mode almost immediately.

      • fribnit - Feb 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        From this video is is hard for me tho imagine that Clemens was capable of making the decision to throw the bat at Piazza rather than just throw the bat

      • fribnit - Feb 12, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        I will say it was closer to him than I recall

      • fribnit - Feb 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        In this video I can be seen standing with my head slightly down at 4:22 a row or two off the field.

  6. fribnit - Feb 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM


    I was at the game. 4th row, right next to the Mets dug out to the home plate side, directly behind Steve Phillips and the Mets Owners. I could hear Piazza cracking his back in the on deck circle. I had a pretty good view of the event.

    1) It was a REALLY STUPID thing to do

    2) If he was throwing it AT Piazza he has really lousy aim because from our angle it looked like the bat was 10-15 feet up the line in front of Piazza.

    3) From our angle we saw clearly that the ball was foul (it went into the photographer’s area) and we couldn’t figure out why Piazza was jogging down the base line

    4) On replays you can see that Clemens is throwing the bat and sees Piazza (or at least looks in that direction) as his arm is releasing the bat. It looked to me like he was somewhat surprised to see Pizza going down the line.

    5) The claim that he thought it was the ball is stupid and even Clemens knows it was stupid.

    6) Clemens was always a hot head, a jerk and a head hunter. I remember him beaning Bernie Williams (left a large white mark from the ball right above the ear flap) and Matt Nokes to name but two Yankees he hit while with the Red Sox. I hated him as a Red Sox pitcher and a Blue Jays pitcher and, as a lifelong Yankee Fan, I even HATED him when he became a Yankee.

    7) Mets fans deified one of the worst head hunters of the era in Pedro Martinez.

    8) The statute of limitations for Righteous Indignation over this has passed.

    • vikesfansteve - Feb 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      You are so full of shit

      • fribnit - Feb 12, 2011 at 11:37 PM

        well thank you for that erudite statement. Did you have to look the words up in a dictionary or did you just get mommy to help you?

      • fribnit - Feb 13, 2011 at 1:29 AM

        I mean really is that the best you can do when someone’s opinion differs from yours? How smart can you be? You are a Viking fan for goodness sake. You can’t possibly have any intelligent thought processes. So when confronted by a differing opinion you can only resort to vulgarity. AT least you didn’t tax your vocabulary by trying to use words with more than one syllable.
        You are a sad specimen. I can only thank providence and good luck that I am unlikely to ever have any actual contact with you. I really pity the poor souls that do have to associate with you in life.

      • jstrizzle - Feb 13, 2011 at 1:56 AM

        And then you litter your comment with as many big words you can to try to make yourself seem bigger. Just as bad as the “full of shit” comment.

      • fribnit - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:21 AM

        nah, that’s just how I talk

      • fribnit - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:32 AM

        and which words do you consider BIG WORDS? I haven’t used any words that your basic High School graduate wouldn’t have in his working vacabulary.

        Should I stoop to the level of vikesfansteve? Sorry, I won’t do that, but I will defend myself from what I consider to be an uncalled for insult.

      • indaburg - Feb 13, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        Your overly passionate and verbose defense to an idiotic attack indicates that the vikes fan may have had a point. Furthermore, who are you to place a statute of limitations on any fan’s pain? That is for the fans of that team to determine. Mets fans continue to experience indignity upon indignity. Let those poor souls wallow if they must.

    • jstrizzle - Feb 13, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Stooping to vikesfansteve’s level is exactly what you did. “You are a Viking fan for goodness sake. You can’t possibly have any intelligent thought processes.”

      You basically call him a dumb ass for being a Vikes fan. Calling someone full of shit or a dumb ass seem about the same to me. The only difference is that vikesfansteve saved about 5 minutes writing his. Smart guy if you ask me.

      • vikesfansteve - Feb 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        The only person he is fooling is himself.

        100 % erroneous comment.

      • Dan in Katonah - Feb 13, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        And I was at the game when Clemens beaned Piazza at Yankee Stadium. It sounded like a gunshot and he dropped like he was killed. I never understood what could possibly have motivated Clemens to later try and hit him with a bat shard. The guy should have been tossed and suspended. That he jokes about it shows he is the asshole we all knew him to be.

  7. jh0088 - Feb 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Craig, “I’ve often wondered what would have happened if Clemens did indeed hit Piazza with that bat”

    Me, “I’ve often wondered what would have happened if Piazza charged the mound and beat the living tar out of Clemens.”

  8. clydeserra - Feb 12, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Clemens should have been arrested. Let alone allowed to stay in the game.

    I don’t think Piazza is a guy that would get into a brawl. Doesn’t seem his style.

    PS: Pedrro martinez got his rep for head hunting while with the EXPOS where he batted every game. I don’t think he actually was that bad as a red sock.

    • fribnit - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:20 AM

      Well, umm not quite.

      Pedro averaged 6 hit batters per season in the National League (Dodgers, Expos, Mets)
      He peaked at 11 in a single season in the National League (2 times)
      Pedro Averaged 11 hit batters per season in the American League (Red Sox)
      He peaked at 16 in a single season in the American League
      He had six seasons of ten or more hit batters in an 18 year career so exactly 33% of his seasons.

      While with Montreal he had seasons of 11,11,3 & 9 hit batters
      While with Boston he had seasons of 8,9,14,6,15,9 &16 hit batters
      With the Mets he had seasons of 4,10,2 & 6 hit batters

      Demonstrably and incontrovertibly Pedro was more of a head hunter in his time with Boston than at any other time in his career. I wonder if it is coincidental that this is also the period when he didn’t have to bat.

      Clemens averaged 8 hit batters per season in his career.
      He Peaked at 14 in a single season
      He had 4 seasons of ten or more hit batters in a 24 year career or 16% of his seasons.
      In his three seasons inthe National League Roger had only 13 of his career 159 hit batters. You can draw your own conclusions there.

      • clydeserra - Feb 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

        you demonstrated you know how to use baseball reference.

        hbp does not included throwing inside.

  9. mrznyc - Feb 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Piazza’s failure to charge the mound was the entire series in a nut shell.

    • jh0088 - Feb 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      You’re totally right about that.

    • jh0088 - Feb 12, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      Varitek punching out Arod was the moment the Red Sox took the upper hand in that rivalry for the first time in 86 years. Sometimes something like that is what it takes. Piazza mamby pambied around and the Mets went away with a whimper.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 13, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        Yeah, because it takes a lot of guts to hit someone as you are wearing a metal cage over your face.

    • fribnit - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      I thought it was the failure of the Mets to run the bases like Major League ball players in game 1.
      Zeil and Payton not running on what they thought were foul balls
      Perez not running hard on what he assumed was a home run by Zeil
      Pizza getting picked off by Pettitte

  10. vikesfansteve - Feb 13, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    That horseshit story is totally unbelievable & the fact you fooled yourself into thinking others would buy it is proof that c ocksucking rots your brain.

  11. stankfinger - Feb 13, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Roger Clemens is a scumbag. Can’t put it any more apt than that.

  12. BC - Feb 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    So you have Clemens in roid rage throwing the bat at Piazza and his back-ne. Somewhere Murray Chass is chuckling.
    PS. Murray Chass is a chipwich. (It’d been a little while, I needed an excuse to put that out there).

  13. Jonny 5 - Feb 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    I would have loved it if Piazza punched him in his huge head. He had it coming to him.

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