Re: RedSox announce Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra and Joe Castiglione selected for team HOF
posted at 2/6/2014 9:45 AM EST
In response to Soxdog67's comment:
In response to JIMMYPROFFER's comment:
Do you have any proof that Clemens "milked" his contract?
Has there never been any other pitchers that went through some down years?
Do I have proof...only what I saw with my own two eyes...
But let's see..during Clemens final contract with the Sox, he put on the most weight he ever had, snubbed his manager (Butch Hobson) in Spring Training...complained about having to carry his own bags in the airport...had close to a .500 record for 2 1/2 seasons...then magically in July of his final contract season he pitched lights out again and added a 2nd 20 strikeout performance against the Tigers in Detroit....coincidence or playing then for free agency??
My money is on the 'Texas Con Man' (as described by the late Will McDonough of the Globe) playing for the new contract.
I've been as hard on Clemens because of the PED stuff as anyone, but I also try to be fair.
His attitude with Hobson is a fair criticism. The .500 record isn't completely fair because the Sox had lousy teams. The weight gain is only a little fair. Yes, he put on weight, but I always felt that he was the textbook case of a guy who reached his 30s and it took him some time to realize that what he did to stay in shape and be good in his 20s wasn't going to work in his 30s.
The conventional wisdom is that Clemens was mediocre his last four years. So let's look at his last years in Boston.
1993: 11-14, 4.46 ERA. That was the year he turned 30 and really was his first bad year. Whatever the reason, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt because that was the first bad year of his career, especially when you see what he did going forward.
1994: 9-7, 2.85. Was second in ERA, second in WAR for pitchers, second in K/9 IP, FIRST in fewest hits per nine innings, FIRST in adjusted ERA and third in WHIP. He was having a great year. Had just 24 starts because of the strike. W/O the strike, he would have had 10 more starts and could have ended up with about 15 wins.
1995: 10-5, 4.18 ERA. It really wasn't a bad year. Had 23 starts because of the lockout, so with 10 more starts, he night have salvaged his ERA. Really, what killed his ERA were two horrifics starts in July (4 IP, 8 ER, 1.1 IP, 8 ER). In his other 21 starts, his ERA was 3.27. So overall, he was pretty good in 1995, basically a lot better than he's given credit for.
1996: 10-13, 3.63 ERA. It's too simplistic to use the contract year thing. As I've shown -- in his previous two years, he was very good. Take out two starts and his ERA for his other 45 starts was right around 3.10. In 1996, his ERA was 4.03 for the first half, not terrible, especially for that era. Was just 3-8 because of no run support. Take out his two worst starts the first three months, and his first-half ERA was 3.53. He was great the second half -- 3.15, but that's more in line with how he pitched overall for the previous two years. It's a vast overstatement to say he magially started pitching better. He already was pitching pretty good. He pitched better all season than the 10-13 record would suggest.
So Clemens might have had attitude issues, but I think what you see is a pitcher who reached 30, had a bad year (1993) and realized he had to start doing things differently to stay on top. His last three years were much better than given credit for. People like to whip out that .500 record for his last four years, ignore the fact that the worst year was the first of those last four years, which was his first bad year of his career, and also ignore that he pitched for some lousy or medicore teams, except for 1995.
One last thing about 1994. He didn't get any Cy Youn votes, but is ERA was lower than everyone else who did and I already mentioned his other stats. He easily deserved votes. And had he gotten those last 10 starts, it would have been interesting to see how it played out. The votes focused too much that year on W-L records.