Sox 88 – Clemens Sounds Off

Roger Clemens' standing with Boston fans, which began a downward slide with the 1987 holdout, worsened rapidly in December 88. In separate interviews with Channel 5's Mike Lynch and the Globe's Will McDonough, the Rocket dissed the city of Boston as not being family-friendly, then corrected himself. It was the Red Sox that were not family- friendly. He also suggested that he and a few other "core" players should be getting better treatment from the team, though he named no names.

The rambling interviews touched on some unusual subjects- for example, he was not a "nightlife" guy and that the team did not provide adequate seating for his wife or a phone for him to call his family after a game. He also stated that he was "one pitch away from not having a job anymore", if his arm should go bad. The end result was that Roger came off as a spoiled, ungrateful millionaire who should be pitied.

Some highlights from the Lynch interwiew: "There are a lot of things that are a disadvantage to a family here..I know a lot of Red Sox people know about it and I know everyone on our team knows about it." Seeking damage control, Clemens then called McDonough and stated that his remarks applied to the team, not the Boston fans: "What I was trying to say is that people do not understand some of the things that go on within the organization that bothers…me and a few others." Later he stated: "We've got a group of five or six guys on the team who are really the core. These are the guys management should concentrate on keeping happy." About seating: "In the World Series the seats for my wife were so bad, I spent half my time on the mound wondering if she was OK." Concerning phones: "In any locker room in the league, you can make a phone call home. Here we have to go outside and use a pay phone." He summed it up by saying "People think it's petty when a guy
 like me (complains about these things) but to me it's important..I have a burning desire in me." The Rocket also stated that there were  only a few Sox players who "really want to bust their ass to win."

Roger got one thing right- it was petty to complain about these things. Not once did he talk about the Sox working together to win a Championship. It was all about him. In addition (he steroid problems aside) his emphasis on family seems strange and even hypocritical in light of well-publicized stories of  dalliances with several women. The Clemens we see here is nothing but a shallow, egotistical man.

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