Ten Years After

Forgot completely about this.

October 22, 2010 (now yesterday) was the tenth anniversary of the Clemens-Piazza World Series Game, in which I had three cameo roles. I was the dugout reporter charged with trying to find out what the hell had happened, I was the guy who first interviewed Clemens after the game, and I wound up with the smallest piece of the bat.
For the record, I’ve always actually believed Roger Clemens’ story, though he articulated it so poorly. When Mike Piazza’s bat shattered, at least four projectiles left the area of his hands: three pieces of bat, and one ball. Clemens couldn’t be certain that the blur coming at him was not the ball. In the split second he had, he grabbed it, found it indeed wasn’t the ball, and tossed it. Supporting evidence: What? He tried to break Piazza’s bat in hopes of getting a projectile at him (rather than using the ball again)? And as crazy and hopped up as he was, if he had aimed the bat shard at Piazza, wouldn’t he have hit him?
Hopped up?
Check this scan of a print of a freeze frame from our interview. Ten years after, it still makes me laugh:


  1. yankeefans@comcast.net

    was in the stands at that game. my reaction was, “Oh my God, he just threw the bat at him!”. great screen shot! is there a still shot of Clemens testimony in congress -possibly same expression to some of th questions. thanks for the blog. wish you still did sports on regular basis! miss u on nfl on nbc and yep hate to admit and you hate to hear it but miss u on SC too – u and Dan made this chick watch every night!

  2. ashoein@att.net

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! I’m reeling.
    Keith Olbermann, my men’s fashion hero, the last guy of my generation who actually dresses well, the guy who does justice to the colors purple/lavender/lilac and the tuxedo . . . photographed in a leather jacket and TIE? And a spotted tie, no less. No wonder Clemens’ eyes are about to burst right out of his skull (chortle).
    Well, all is not lost: At least you rid yourself of the worst fashion accessory of all: That FOX-emblazoned mic.

  3. todus@comcast.net

    Apropos of the fashion faux pas in this shot (forget Roger’s hoodie, that’s the worst of all) – don’t you guys remember Keith in the early days of the deuce – Leather was required (as were port moustaches). Miss them, and the real deuce, too.

  4. jwin214

    Hee! Funny picture. Clemens too. 😉
    For those getting spam a lot (heh), I’ve never been spammed. Maybe it’s because I use a nickname instead of my email address on my posts. May be worth a try.
    Oh, by the way, GO GIANTS!!!

  5. one@mailinator.com

    Disagree. I felt it was intentional. Aiming a baseball and aiming a baseball bat shard are two different things. He was aiming for Piazza, why else would he have thrown the shard Piazza’s way? The catcher wasn’t nearby to catch it. If it was a baseball he wouldn’t have thrown it at Piazza, he would have thrown to Posada or the first baseman. It’s clear he aimed for Piazza and missed. And lest we forget Clemens also beaned Piazza at another at bat.

  6. one@mailinator.com

    I just reread the blog. Clemens didn’t “toss” it, he threw it. A toss would’ve landed it closer than the 60+ feet it travelled. He should have been able to feel it in his hand instantly and drop it. He would have hit Piazza if Piazza didn’t slow to a stop.
    P.S. Piazza suffered a concussion from a drill to the head Clemens dealt him earlier.

  7. jeterandiborn62674

    I was watching the highlights of the 2000 World Series on MLB Network last week and I started a sort of sick game: who is on steroids, who isn’t? Can you tell by looking at them? I do that with a lot of old footage of games from the late 1980s to as recently as 2004 or 2005– who’s juiced? So for all we know, half the Mets lineup could have been on something, including Piazza, when the juiced Clemens was mowing them down. What strikes me about highlights of those Steroids Era games is how often steroids may have cost a team the win– like in 1998 when the muscle-bound Ken Caminiti threw the ball away allowing a Yankee rally to start. In the end (no pun intended) it was the Rocket’s work ethic, maniacal drive to win (even if it meant cheating) and natural talent that set him apart. I’ll still take him over the mediocre talents who had a bit of success mainly because of steroids.

  8. rochdalian

    A thought:

    Through some miracle of time-travel, that Yankee team was playing the 1967 or 1968 St. Louis Cardinals and Clemens had thrown a piece of Tim McCarver’s bat at him. The Cardinals’ pitcher is Bob Gibson. What would have happened to the first few Yankee batters in their half of the inning?

    Go back a year or two before that and they’re up against the Dodgers and Don Drysdale is pitching. Imagine the carnage.

  9. rxnelson@mac.com

    Didn’t Roger say, ” I thought it was the ball.” after he threw the wood at Piazza? Made no sense. Why would he have thrown the ball at Mike? They weren’t’t playing dodgeball.

    Roger should have been tossed that game, right after he “tossed” that chunk of wood at Piazza.

  10. mikepiazza

    How can you even begin to argue it was anything OTHER than roid rage? Who in their right mind grabs a shard of lumber and launches it towards the dugout and a human, in the middle of a baseball game? How does what Clemens did make any logical sense? It cannot be explained.

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