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October 11, 2003

Roger Clemens


Q. The pitch to Manny on replay didn't seem to be that close; did you think he overreacted?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, you guys are doing a disservice even asking the question. I mean, you guys saw it. You're doing yourself a disservice to even write about it or for me to even talk about. I was trying to strike him out inside. The pitch was actually over the plate I think. I was okay with it until I looked up and he was coming towards me, mouthing me. Anybody is going to react when that happens. But other than that, I'd really not like to talk about that because I thought, you know, again, I don't know if he was trying to get me thrown out of the game for it or not but the only time I was upset is when Timmy McClelland -- I went out when all of the stuff went on, I was upstairs changing jerseys and I said, surely you didn't warn both benches, did you? Because I didn't see it, and he was like, yeah, I did. I couldn't believe that. Before you had the chance to try and clean up a situation, you know, I'm in a tough spot there because I've got to dress and shower and this is my second family, and to keep the respect from those guys in my dugout, it's good old school, hard school baseball, whatever you want to call it. But let's let us clean it up. I know it's the playoffs and a greater setting, but gosh, when I told y'all the other day it was going to be festive, I didn't know it was going to be this festive.

Q. September 6th was supposed to be your last game at Fenway Park and you got a nice ovation from the crowd and you end up getting an extra game and not as nice an ovation; can you talk about the difference?

ROGER CLEMENS: Not at all. Less ovation, you're missing the point. I worked here for 13 years, and if you were with me on the street today, in the mall -- you're totally missing the point. These fans have been great to me. I'll stick with that until I die. These people, these fans, they rooted their tail off for me to win here. I gave them back every ounce of energy I had. You know, it's understandable today because I'm trying to keep them from somewhere where they are trying to get to. But that's my job. And I will miss this ballpark. I enjoyed competing here. You've seen it tonight, it could not be on a grander stage. The crowd was loud, into it. I mean, I think everybody got their money's worth besides all of the distractions outside of actual baseball. But we had some classic matchups. I was in a couple of spots I didn't really care to be in and had to try and get this body of mine going, to get out of those innings and fortunate tonight, I was. We really have not accomplished anything other than Andy got me the ball and now I'm giving it to Boomer to see if we can advance it a little farther. I totally understand the chance. There are some punks here -- I don't know what you would call them; they're not fans. I heard there was something going on in the bullpen. I don't know what that's about yet. The fans here, I appreciate them, because they cheered me on like you wouldn't believe early in my career.

Q. Going back to the incident with Pedro and Karim Garcia, it seemed like they were trying to restrain you from coming out of the dugout. Can you talk about your emotions talent at that time, what was going through your mind and if retaliation went through your mind?

ROGER CLEMENS: I'm not going to answer that because -- I'll answer to my emotions. My emotions were great because I was asking Timmy and I wanted to get it off my chest and Alfonso, the home plate umpire said he'd find out what went on. He said, "Well, I have to warn both benches." Basically what I told him was I can't believe that. Obviously it won't deter me from pitching inside like I've been trying to do all night. He said, "No problem." And he made a comment that -- you know, I said that when this thing needs to get cleaned up you'll know it. And he said, you'll understand the consequences. And I said, the consequences of what you have to do are far greater than what I have to go through dressing and showering. They totally understood what I had to say and they totally respected what I had to say. They are professionals. They know.

Q. The emotion of the entire performance, Joe said it maybe drained you at the end; did you feel you could go back out for another one or two?

ROGER CLEMENS: If we scored, I was going back out. That was the scenario Mel gave me. I didn't undress until the inning was over because I thought I was going back out if we scored some runs. As far as emotions and draining, it's playoffs after a long year. I'm 41 years old and I was trying to empty the tank from the fifth inning on. That's as simple as it gets.

Q. You've seen a lot of bizarre things in this ballpark; can you talk about seeing Don Zimmer going after Pedro like that?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, Andy and I went over there and I saw a bald head on the ground. We weren't sure if it was Zim or Boomer. I was like, oh, my gosh, and he wasn't getting up. We went over and Andy and I were talking to Zim, and he was just -- we were glad that he was healthy, a man of his age. But that's Zim, he's got more fire than half those guys in the dugout and that's why I love him. He's just the funnest guy to be around. You know, he's dead serious even though he can't play or get it done, he's serious. When he makes comments sitting there on that bench, you take him seriously, because he's seen a lot of baseball. We're just glad to help him up off the ground. He had a little look in his eye that wasn't right, and we helped him back to the dugout and he was fine. So we're happy that he's okay.

Q. After everything that happened, how were you able to comport your emotions again and throw three or four zeros up on the board, and now that you look back on it, how satisfying is it that you were able to do that?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, I mean, it's what I do. I'm trying to -- again, at my age, to have to go up against Pedro. I just wish I had the energy that I had when I was 25 years old sometimes. On a cooler night, my legs did stay under me. Emotions , we didn't start it. Whatever kind of baseball they want to play, we're going to play, but we didn't start that. Sometimes when you get knocked around the ballpark, you get your ticket punched. I've had it many times ; these guys have done it to me. If you don't have electric stuff and you're not on and guys are hitting balls they shouldn't be hitting you might stand somebody up, but just because you are getting whipped, you don't hit behind somebody's neck. That's part of baseball. The hitters don't like it. Karim definitely didn't like it. I wasn't a part of all that. I went in there and I was trying to strike Manny out, and bottom line is he started mouthing me and the ball wasn't near him. If I wanted it near him, he'd know it.

Q. Was it about you guys keeping your composure and they didn't?

ROGER CLEMENS: You'd have to ask them. To me, it's baseball. I know Reggie was smiling, somewhere, Goose and Gator and Guidry were probably smiling. Great theater, whatever you want to call it. I think everybody got their monies worth. After the first inning, I did pitch to Damon, that's how I'm able to keep my composure because I'm able to get out some pretty good hitters. If I leave a ball out over the plate regardless if it's Manny or Nomar or Trot, pretty good hitters. I made a good pitch to Damon. I think he caught Wilson by surprise, slapped that ball over there, and here we go. I thought I made a pretty decent pitch to Walker and he got enough of it -- I didn't think he had enough of it to get it off the Monster and he did. So now he did, I'm back in the corner, I made a really good pitch to Manny and he got it out in the outfield and I'm down 2-0. Once we were able to get up 4-2 against Pedro, I know that that's it. That's probably it. So I was real fortunate to be able to get through six innings. The guys came in and did a great job behind me. Jete was awesome. Jorge was awesome. I mean, pick your two most favorite superheroes and I'll put Rivera up against both of them. Mo is the best. What he did tonight, to come in again, for two innings, he could take on anybody.

Q. Once Manny had that hit in the first inning, you retired 13 of the next 14 batters, you came in with a game plan, you said that you pitched well when they did get those hits in the first inning; any adjustments or did you stay the same?

ROGER CLEMENS: Pretty much stayed the same. I was just able to make pitches and I got them out. Again, they are a good hitting ballclub. For me to be able to hold them down in this ballpark, I feel real fortunate. I was able to make some key pitches. That was really it. You know, the times that I haven't pitched well against them, I really believe I had pretty close to the same stuff. Jorge did a great job back there handling the ball. It just worked out for us tonight. I'm glad it worked out, with everything else that went along with it, I'm glad it worked out.

Q. Are you at all disappointed that this epic match-up between and you Pedro deteriorated into a sideshow or is this another chapter?

ROGER CLEMENS: You didn't pay attention. If you thought it was a sideshow, you didn't see me and Pedro working or you didn't take a close look on TV at my face when there were runners on second and third. It was all about that. I don't care about that or sideshow, whether they like it or not, they want to see great baseball. It was a great match-up, it always is. I'm glad I was able to somewhat hold up my end of the deal because I wasn't able to do it last time way back when.

Q. Before you faced Ramirez in the sixth with men on first and second and one out, infielders came in for a conference on the mound, what were you guys talking about at that point?

ROGER CLEMENS: I think -- when did Mel come to the mound?

Q. He came to the mound earlier before the strikeout.

ROGER CLEMENS: Okay. I would love to tell you but I don't remember. I just remember Mel coming out -- you're right. I walked Walker and that's when Mel came out and then I think I just -- they came in to hear what I was telling Jorge, how I wanted to try -- how we wanted to try and start Manny off to see how we were going to get the out. Double-play was a bonus. I made a good pitch, he topped it, went right to Jete and double-play was a bonus.

End of FastScripts...

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