Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roger Clemens: Hall of Famer?

I caught the end of This Week With George Stephanopoulos, where he was having his round table discussion featuring George Will, Donna Brazile, Claire Shipman and Jay Carney. For some terrible reason, they were discussing the Mitchell Report. Two points were made that I want to address.

First, George Will compared Andy Pettitte's two uses of HGH while he was on the DL to a player getting a cortisone shot. I am glad someone finally brought this up, i.e. that cortisone is a steroid. Obviously, Will's point was that Pettitte should not have his career reputation ruined over a small mistake rather than a player that had continuous use. However, I think it useful to consider that if Pettitte had received a cortisone shot and not tried HGH in 2002, there would be no problem, even though cortisone is a steroid. Heck, I've used steroids before, in a cream for treating severely dry skin on my hands. In fact, I'll use it again. Maybe tonight. Will you join me?

The other issue brought up was whether Roger Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. All of the panelists and Stephanopoulos said no. These people are wrong. From 1984 through 1996, Roger's entire tenure with Boston, he put up ERA+ numbers of 97, 131, 169, 154, 141, 132, 213, 164, 175, 104, 177, 116, and 139. An ERA+ of 100 is league average. With Boston, his K/9 rate ranged from 8.0 (1985) to 11.0 (1988), the latter a career high. He had more than 250 strikeouts nine times during that span, including his last year of Boston, at which point his career was supposedly on the decline. In fact, his 1996 numbers included 286 strikeouts (9.7 K/9) and a 1.33 WHIP.

Figuring that Clemens probably could have played at least another five years, and knowing that he had 192 wins for Boston and 2,590 strikeouts, he probably could have finished with 250 or 255 wins and easily would have made 3,000 strikeouts, and more than likely 4,000.

In other words, Roger Clemens was a Hall of Fame player with or without steroids and/or human growth hormone.

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