Roger Clemens is arguably one of the greatest pitchers ever in Major League Baseball history.Clemens has built an astounding and exciting career filled with impressive statistics that may rarely be duplicated.
His career extends from the early 1980â€™s into the new millennium, and continues today.During this stretch, nicknamed â€œThe Rocketâ€, he won more Cy Young awards, seven, than any other pitcher in MLB history.The Cy Young award is given annually to the Leagueâ€™s best pitcher.In 2003 he won the 300th game of his career. He is only one of four MLB pitchers in all time to pass the 4,000 strikeout mark. Roger Clemens started his dominance of baseball in 1981 at San Jacinto junior college.That year he compiled a 9-2 record and was drafted by the New York Mets.
He chose not to sign with the Mets and instead continued his college career at the University of Texas.There he again showed signs of brilliance.In two seasons at Texas he compiled a 25-7 record, was a two-time All-American, and led his team to a College World Series title. Again, Major League Baseball came calling and this time Clemens would answer.
In 1983 Roger Clemens was drafted in the first round, 19th overall, by the Boston Red Sox.In 1986 he won 24 games, received the American League MVP award, and his Red Sox played in and lost the World Series.Within that same year Clemens struck out 20 batters in one game.He was the first of only three pitchers to accomplish this feat and he repeated it again in 1996 just before leaving the Red Sox.
The Twilight of His Career Many considered Clemensâ€™ best years the 13 seasons he was at the Red Sox.After 1996 he was not re-signed by the Red Sox because they felt he was in the twilight of his career.He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays where he struggled a lot early on.Despite these early struggles, his career had a resurgence that many did not see coming.
This resurgence is what caused the speculations of steroid use.After two years with the Toronto Blue Jays he won had the Cy Young award and the pitching Triple Crown both seasons.The triple crown is awarded to the pitcher that, at seasons end, leads the league in the three major categories: earned run average, wins, and strikeouts.In 1999 Clemens was again traded, this time to the New York Yankees.While there he led the Yankees to win two World Series in 1999 and 2000.
In 2001 he became the first pitcher ever to start a season 20-1.At the end of the 2003 season he retired. Roger Clemensâ€™ retirement was very brief as he signed a one-year contract with the Houston Astros in 2004.He then renewed his contract with the Astros the following year and became the highest paid pitcher in major league history.Again, Clemens came through with a spectacular performance when he ended the season with the lowest ERA in the majors, the lowest in his career and the lowest since 1995.Clemens continued his career with the Astros until he went back to the Yankees in 2007.His career continues today but with more uncertainty then ever before.Amid baseballâ€™s steroid scandal, Roger has been mentioned as one who has taken them, which seriously puts his future and past records in a compromising position.The Steroid Scandal For the last few years Major League Baseball has been rocked by a steroid abuse scandal.Many books have been written accusing several players of doping over the years.There have been former players and trainers who have come forward to accuse players, active and inactive, of taking steroids during their playing days.Many of the heroes of children have been implicated for cheating and steroid use.Some of the most notable are Mark Mcgwire, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, and most recently, Roger Clemens.All of these playerâ€™s careers have been forever stained by allegations that they used performance enhancing drugs during their careers.Some have confirmed their use while others, such as Roger Clemens, firmly deny ever taking such drugs.Without a doubt, this steroid scandal will hurt the game and its image for years to come.Steps have been taken by Major League Baseball officials to try and stop the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs but this scandal will definitely have an adverse effect on MLB for the foreseeable future.The Mitchell Report: The Beginning of the End? Roger Clemens had largely avoided all of the steroid talks and investigations until the Mitchell Report was released.Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell wrote a report from an investigation he had been doing on steroids in MLB since 2004.The 409-page long report identified 86 baseball players to varying degrees but Clemens was the biggest name.