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Joe Torre says Roger Clemens belongs in Hall of Fame

Jul 1, 2012, 7:40 PM EDT

Joe Torre, Paul O'Neill Reuters

No, these comments won’t surprise anyone, but Joe Torre said Sunday at Old Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium that Roger Clemens belongs in the Hall of Fame.

“He is to me,” Torre said. “I can’t make other people look at him that way. I can just tell you the way I feel. I was proud to have him play for me. He always gave you everything he had and I always respected that.”

Torre managed Clemens in New York from 1999-2003 and again in 2007. He said the former seven-time Cy Young Award winner was “like a son to me.”

“Unfortunately the question mark is always going to be there with him,” he added. “It’s something that’s sad for me. Because Roger Clemens, and the way that he went about his business, I disliked him like everybody else until I got a chance to know him.”

Clemens, who ranks ninth all-time with 354 victories and third with 4,672 strikeouts, will be eligible for the Hall for the first time this winter.

  1. annaalamode - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Babe Ruth, Cy Young and Joe DiMaggio could all come back from the grave and endorse Clemens for the HOF and he *still* wouldn’t get in.

  2. makeham98 - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Clemens will be elected within three years. There is no failed test, and he successfully defended himself against a ridiculously tainted accuser. Beer can forensics should not keep him out.

    I can’t stand him as a player as a person, but he faced his accuser and prevailed.

    • allmyteamsareterrible - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      No one believes he didn’t do steroids. He has no chance whatsoever.

      • ccshocktalk - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        This is a witch hunt, the same thing that is going on with Lance Armstrong. Someone is a great athlete, their teammates get busted for drugs, so automatically the athletes around them are guilty by association. Giambi obviously used PED’s Andy Pettite claimed he did them as well, and notoriously A-Rod has a past with them also. But what about EVERY other player Clemens played with in Boston, Toronto and New York? Are they all guilty as well?

        How about going back to those 12 years in Boston and investigating everyone on those squads (no need to worry about Conseco obviously he admitted to it) his two years in Toronto, and then his years in NY.

        C’mon, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty…and since when has the court of public opinion (in an era where humans for the most part are dumber and have fewer morals than ever before) had more power than the true law of the land and courtroom.

      • allmyteamsareterrible - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        Yeah man and OJ isn’t guilty either. It is so obvious he used steroids to everyone and their grandmother. Just like it’s obvious Lance Armstrong and every other Tour winner in the past 30 years did blood doping and other various things.

        He did steroids. He was acquitted of perjuring himself. That’s about it.

  3. j0ey15 - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Well if you want to put Clemens in then you have to put McGwire in then if you put McGwire in you have to put Palmero in… It really depends which side of the fence your on

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Why is that? Are you saying they are all mediocre players who were only good because of PEDs?

  4. lardin - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Ten Years from now,
    Me with my two boys walking through the Hall of fame:

    Dad: Boys, over there is the All time home run exhibit. Babe Ruth held the record the longest and it was broken by Hank Aaron in the 1970’s I watched as Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez eventually broke Aaron’s Record. On the Other wall his Rafael Palmiero He is one of a handful of players with 3000 hits and 500 Home Runs. Back in the far corner is an exhibit on Roger Clemens hes one the best pitchers ever saw, right there with Greg Maddux and Pedro. Upstairs, we’ll check out the exhibit on Pete Rose. arguably the greatest hitter of all time.

    Boy #1: Dad, if these guys are so great why didnt we see them in the room with all the plaques?
    Boy#2: Yeah dad, they stink.

    Dad: Well boys, they did things that baseball did not like. Pete Rose Gambled on baseball and was band for life.

    Boy#1. But A-rod isnt banned for life, we saw him at Yankee Stadium last week?

    Dad: I know, Arod, Bonds, Palmiero, and Clemens took drugs to make themselves bigger stronger and faster.

    Boy #2: So they cheated?

    Dad: Yes they did.

    Boy#2: So why are they in the Hall of Fame?

    Dad: The Hall of fame is a museum. It tells the history of baseball and all the great things that have happened in the game. These men did great things and deserve to have their accomplishments remembered in the Hall of fame. But they are not Hall of famers, like Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr, who as far as we know never cheated.

    Boy#1: I dont understand Dad

    Dad: Boys, there is a difference between being in the Hall of fame and being a Hall of Famer. All these great players are in the Hall of fame. Their accomplishments demand that much. But, when the writers vote for induction, Integrity counts. The writers believed those guys had no integrity because they cheated, therefore they are not Hall of FAMERS.

    Boy#2: They what about Ty Cobb and Gaylord Perry?

    Dad: Sorry, I dont have a good answer for that.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      Ten Years from now,
      Me with my two boys walking through the Hall of fame

      Boy #1: Dad, why isn’t Pete Rose in the hall of fame?

      Dad: Ugg…I don’t care. Go ask your mother.

      Boy #2: Mom isn’t here dad. She’s sitting in at home in her jacuzzi suit watching her stories in the virtual room.

      Dad: [sighs]. Well, he just isn’t. I got tired of talking about this like 20 years ago.

      Boy #2: But those kids’ dad is telling them?

      Dad: Cause he’s an asshole who thinks everything has to have a simple enough answer that our children have to understand.

      Boy #1: Jesus dad. Mellow out.

      Dad: Fine…go over there and ask him. In fact, follow him home. Dad is going to go out to his space car, have a nuclear cigarette and lament his stupid decision to have you ungrateful shits 9 years ago.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:09 PM

        It should be noted that current me doesn’t think lardin is an asshole, I just think the Pete Rose issue is pretty complex. But future me will think he’s an asshole after making the mistake of having children, leaving a bitter, burnt out shell of a man. I mean, I gave up my dreams of middle administrative management for those little shits. Seriously, what the fuck was future me thinking?

      • badintent - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:35 AM

        This is a classic, you should write for Kimbel or Letterman( god knows he needs the help).thanks for the laughs.

    • ewp231 - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Sorry but Rose isn’t even close to being the best hitter of all time. Check out the career averages of Cobb, Ruth, Foxx, Williams, DiMaggio and Pujols to name a few. He had no power either. So please don’t tell your kids that when you walk them through the hall. Compiling stats When you play until age 45 doesn’t make you the best hitter.

    • georgebrett - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      What did Ty Cobb do that was not worthy of being in the HOF?

      Gaylord Perry? 80% of all pitchers today use foreign substances when on the mound.

  5. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    McGwire admitted taking steroids. Palmero failed a test. We KNOW they did steroids. Clemens denies and no failed test. I believe he took PED’s, but we don’t know for certain. With that said, if Clemens gets in, we have to allow Bonds in, which I will never abide.

  6. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Lardin- the slippery slope is that Steroids were not a prohibited substance in MLB during this time. They are now. But technically, bonds, Sosa, Palmiero, etc, didn’t break existing rules.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      You should read the last two lines of his story

    • georgebrett - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      I’m pretty sure there were no banned substances in baseball, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were ALL illegal in society. Why would MLB have to put together a banned substance list when they are already banned in society unless prescribed by a doctor for medical use?

  7. mianfr - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    I’m sorry, doesn’t the fact that there is now recorded evidence of him not being guilty of PED use (and all claims were based on this accuser), what’s your justification for not voting for him?

    • ftbramwell - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      No. There is evidence that he was not guilty of the crime of obstruction and perjury. Clemens was not tried for PED use. mainfr: please do not vote in any national election. Your inability to interpret basic facts is mind blowing!

      Consider Clemens like you might consider O.J. Simpson — O.J. was found not guilty of killing Nicole in the criminal trial. However, he was later found guilty in the civil trial and was guilty in the court of public opinion ever since he tried to run away in the white Ford bronco.

      BTW, if I had a vote, I’d vote Bonds, Clemens, and Palmero into the Hall of Fame. PEDs or not, they still had to execute. And they often had to execute against other PED users.

      • mianfr - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        That’s only because you can’t have a court case based on proving someone didn’t do something as your prosecution.

        All of the evidence was based on one guy’s words, which were thoroughly disproved. McNamee wouldn’t even win a civil case.

        Also, I’m objectively smarter than you are (we can test this however you please), so don’t ever imply that I am, or really anyone is, dumb. It’s unbecoming.

  8. ogre2010 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Hey Joe; if you let Roger in the HOF, you better let Barry, Mark, Sammy and the rest of the band in as well.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      And what would be wrong with that?

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    any hall of fame that doesnt have Clemens in it is a total joke, end of story

  10. jumpman2325 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    The history of baseball is filled with cheaters of one sort or another. Baseball had absolutely no problem with these players putting the game back on the map after the 94 strike. Once the game was revived, then suddenly the “integrity” of the game was at risk, so with a strong shove from Congress, MLB decides to put a stop to it. I don’t agree with the use of PEDs, but baseball knew what was going on and had no problem with it. Furthermore, can we update the process in which a player is voted in. It seems it’s who you know, or which media member you were friendly with, not necessarily whether or not your numbers match up.

  11. astrosfan75956 - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    I’m loving these comments.

  12. paperlions - Jul 2, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Clemens is a dick. He was also one of the two best pitchers of the last 30 years (Maddux being the other). I don’t care if he took HGH or ‘roids, 1000s of other pitchers did….and 1000s of hitters he was facing did, and we still really don’t know how those things affect baseball performance.

    Clemens should be in the HOF because he was a great pitcher. It really doesn’t need to be that complicated.

  13. chumthumper - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I think Pete Rose will eventually into the HOF, but I suspect the voters will wait until he’s deceased.

    • danandcasey - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      As I understand it, the Veterans Committee (the only body that could elect Rose as the last time he could have been on a BWAA ballot was 2006) barred players and managers on the ineligible list from consideration. The Committee would have to change its rules if Rose is to get in (or MLB would have to take him off the ineligible list).

  14. georgebrett - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    How about all of the players that didn’t take PED’s that never had a chance to play the game at the highest level for a career because it was virtually impossible to play on a level playing ground. How many of these guys couldn’t hit well or pitch well because they were facing guys on PED’s? And don’t say it didn’t happen because it did. Mediocre players that were throwing 83-85 mph were now throwing 93-95 mph. Guys that had less than 10 home runs a year were now hitting 40-50 each year. None of this was from scuffing a ball or loading one up with a foreign substance, and it wasn’t from putting super balls in a hollow bat. It was from players artificially growing muscle to get stronger and faster which enabled them to hit the ball farther and able to throw the ball way harder than they were ever able to before. Go back in time and watch a few of the games Clemens pitched while with Boston, he was throwing the ball in the mid 80’s and this is why Boston gave up on him and rightfully so. Then all of a sudden he signs with Toronto and is now throwing harder than he did even when he was with Boston and wins how many more Cy Young awards. They all cheated baseball for money and fame and the hallowed grounds of The Hall Of Fame should never allow them to be enshrined.

  15. theskinsman - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Cheaters like Roidger don’t get the HOF.I watched him lose his speed at the end of his Red Sox career…only to suddenly get it back later??? Cheating,lying POS might have gotten away with lying thanks to another serial liar,Andy Pettite, but he still doesn’t get in.

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