Roger Clemens was one famous former Yankee not at Yankee Stadium for Old-Timers’ Day Sunday. Clemens, as we all know, was recently found not guilty of lying to Congress in his denial of using performance-enhancing drugs. He will be on the Hall of Fame ballot later this year, but will the 354-game winner be a Hall of Famer?
“He is to me,” Joe Torre said. “I can’t make other people look at him.”
Torre liked having him on his side with the Yankees, but he knows the stigma on Clemens isn’t going away despite the verdict.
“I’m a little prejudiced on Clemens,” Torre said. “He was like a son to me. Unfortunately the question mark is always going to be there with him.
“It’s something that’s sad for me because Roger Clemens and the way he went about his business — and I disliked him like everybody else until I got a chance to know him. He was a great teammate to these guys. He was very devoted to the team he was playing on, and I always respected that. The closeness, I’ll always have with him. I’m just happy that he’s got a chance to exhale now.”
Willie Randolph said: “Roger, to me, is a great friend, a tremendous warrior. I’d like to see him get back in the game.”
Perhaps the Yankees and Clemens will reconnect at some point, like the team did with Torre and Bernie Williams after they left.
“That’s something that the organization deals with and they determine when the right time is,” Joe Girardi said. “I think as time goes on, they’ll make a decision on what the best thing is to do. But we’ve had a lot of players that have went through difficult times and come back, and they’ve been welcomed back. So I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen. But Roger was a great Yankee.”
How do you think fans would react to Clemens if he made a reappearance at Yankee Stadium? And should he be voted into the Hall of Fame?