home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 22, 2000

Roger Clemens


THE MODERATOR: Roger, there have been a lot of questions this evening. Please take us through what happened with Mike Piazza and the bat.

ROGER CLEMENS: When I heard somebody back there ask Skip, I'll revisit again. I wish I didn't have to. The pitch a while back in interleague to Mike, again, I don't know if anybody heard me last time, but I went directly upstairs and made a phone call. I've got four or five people that saw my emotions and how I felt about hitting Mike. I went up to make a phone call. We made the phone call to Mike. So I wish if you didn't hear that, I just said it again so you could. I expressed how I felt about that. I see that the Skipper's upset about some things. I was extremely emotional that first inning. I think probably having the fact that all the guys all day long, came up and were trying to -- thought that everything had gotten me down from all week, probably had affected me and just wanted to try and keep my confidence up. But like I told the guys, I did a couple interviews out in front of the dugout, after the first inning, I knew -- I came in and sat in the room by myself. I knew I had to get control of my emotions extremely quick to be able to continue to perform and finish that game. But, yeah, before I had let go of the bat, I had no idea that Mike had ran. I told Charlie, the umpire, that. So there was no intent. Again: Fired up, emotional, grabbed the bat to sling it towards our on-deck circle where our bat boys were at. I had no idea that Mike was running on the foul ball. So there was no intent there. That really wasn't the substance of the game. I mean, as you can see, late in the game, I'm glad we got the runs we did. Their guys put a great push on there late, and those guys were battling me. There were two or three guys in the line-up I had to be careful with when the game was still 3-0 at the time.

Q. So there's no intent. But when Mike stopped to ask you what happened, why didn't you say right there and then, "Hey, I didn't mean that"?

ROGER CLEMENS: Nobody stopped or anything. I went right to the umpire. I think at one point, with my emotions running high, I was asking the umpire for a ball. There was no intent. I'm not going to talk about that. There was no intent there. My emotions, like I said, I was running extremely high. I went in and really, really had to calm down. I mean, I was just extremely fired up. I just had to calm down. Calm down and stay focused. I think that was the hardest thing to do leading off that inning, because it was such -- I wanted to -- I mean, it's bad enough when you're out there and you know you want to pitch him in, but you know you can't afford to miss up-and-in. I'm almost going away from what I feel my strength is to Mike, and to try and open up the outside part of the plate. But you're just trying to be -- I mean, I know we're going to pitch him in, and now you're trying not to miss up-and-in. I think I missed up-and-in against Alfonzo late in the game, when I was getting tight. That's another reason why I ended up coming out of the game. My back was getting tight -- the coolness in the air. But like I said, I had to really get control of my emotions after that inning.

Q. Some of the Mets said that they thought it did look like there was intent.


Q. But because they thought that --?

ROGER CLEMENS: Not at all.

Q. Are you glad you're not pitching at Shea?

ROGER CLEMENS: I'm not going to answer that. Again, there was no intent.

Q. Would there be any fear batting against him?

ROGER CLEMENS: There was no intent.

Q. The amateur lipreaders among us, it looked like you said, "I thought it was the ball."

ROGER CLEMENS: I might have said that. Some of my guys said that, too.

Q. What did you mean by that?

ROGER CLEMENS: My emotions. I'm telling you, my feet were off the ground. I'm trying to let you all know. I went right to either Charlie or to the umpires, it was great that they just said, "Hey, just relax a little bit." And I said, "Give me another ball. Let me get back up on the mound here."

Q. Could you explain or clarify a little bit the source of those emotions and why you were so sky-high?

ROGER CLEMENS: It's not too hard to figure it out. I don't think it's hard to figure it out.

Q. Is it because of what you've been reading and hearing?

ROGER CLEMENS: I haven't been reading it. I've been hearing it. Everybody in the clubhouse, leading up to today, was continually trying to keep me pumped up. They thought I might have been a little bit down. I was trying not to let it get me down. So, to be honest with you, if I didn't have the stuff I did tonight, it would have been hard work. I mean, I was fortunate. I had similar stuff that I had in Seattle. And I have seen many times late on TV how these guys have made rallies late and came back in games. So once they got the two runs and got some momentum, it wasn't comfortable.

Q. Piazza said that he had said to you after the bat had gone in his direction, he had said to you a couple of times, "What's your problem? Do you have a problem?" You didn't answer at all. Was there a reason why you didn't answer at all?

ROGER CLEMENS: Because I didn't hear him, to be honest with you.

Q. You didn't hear him?

ROGER CLEMENS: I wasn't hearing much there, to be honest with you. I was pretty emotional. Fault me for that. I didn't hear Mike. I heard the ump, a couple of the umps, they said, "Stay right here, let's go. Let's get back on the mound." I remember telling the ump, "Give me a ball." But again, guys, I was pretty pumped up and emotional.

Q. Did you realize that the bat had hit the ground and come up to you? Did it frighten you at all?

ROGER CLEMENS: It was just a reaction all of a sudden. That's why I said something about the ball, I thought it might have been the ball at that time. I was so locked in and trying to be focused. When it came, I thought it was coming towards my shins. To be honest with you, I didn't know if it was the bat or the ball. I think that's probably why I said what I said.

Q. Were you successful in calming yourself down, and what do you think it was that kind of drove you in innings two through eight, if you did calm down a little bit?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, I did. Like I said, I had to get control of my emotions. I went and sat for about seven, eight minutes away from everyone, and just said, "You know, I need to get refocused and stay focused." Again, I was forcing -- my split was extremely , almost too hard. I think the guys got me over 90 a couple times on my split-fingered. That's a little too hard, even though it helped me in a couple situations. Fastball was moving pretty good. The slider was just okay. I used it a few times in situations. But for the most part, I was battling the coolness in different innings, just trying to stay in motion, where I could stay loose. And the eighth inning was probably the hardest point. I know I took several extra warmup pitches to try and make sure that I was loose. So when I turned the ball loose there in the first inning, somebody didn't come out quick and try to jump me quick to give them any type of momentum at all. So that was really it. I just feel really blessed. Just to keep a few of these guys off of base with their big bats.

Q. 24 strikeouts, 3 hits, no runs in your last two playoff starts here. What does this mean to you at this stage in your career to go back-to-back like that?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, it's two good hitting ballclubs. Like I said, tonight, to be successful, I knew I had to have something close to what I had in Seattle. And, again, real fortunate the fastball was hopping, and just trying to really curtail it the best I could. At that rate of speed, when the ball's coming out of your hand, you really got to concentrate on what you're doing, especially when you're going to pitch inside. I think that was the hardest thing that I really had to concentrate leading into the day. I knew I was going to pitch a couple of their guys inside. Again, from all the factors that were leading up to it and everything that had been said, that was probably my -- the thing that I had -- it would enter my mind during the day, and I would have to put it in the back of my mind and say, "I can't allow this to affect the way I'm going to pitch." And it did, it did. The first inning, I'm telling you, my body, I was just like -- I mean, it was hard to relax it in the first inning, to be honest with you. It was like I was getting so -- just intense into the game. I was trying to channel that the best I could. After everything that happened, I had to go off, and it was great. I was able to have a little peace of mind and get focused to win the ball game.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297