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Facing Clemens: Hitters on Confronting Baseball's Most Intimidating Pitcher Paperback – March 4, 2008
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As such, baseball fans and in particular, Yankees fans, owe a debt of gratitude to Mayo for serving up what future baseball historians will no doubt recall as the last authoritative look at Roger Clemens the athlete, both for physical prowess, as much as if not more so for the terrific mental focus and awareness that he was able to bring to his game.
Mayo's intimate portrayal of Clemens is a masterful display of writing for his ability to draw us sympathetically towards the story without cheapening the experience by trying to convert that moment into sympathy for Clemens himself which has been so frequently done by lesser authors.
I would have liked to see some photos of Clemens particularly with his son as that story was the one that really stood out from the others. I can't recall another interview where Clemens revealed as much about this intimate side of his family.
Food for thought for the second printing...
The book is especially pertinent because of the many false stories about Clemens invented and passed around in the years of the charges against him for enhancing his pitching by allegedly taking anabolic steroids and Human Growth Hormone. Those charges collapsed in a heap last year when he was acquitted for perjury in federal district court in Washington, D.C. Important factors in that acquittal were the testimony of his former catcher in Toronto, Charlie O'Brien, who testified under oath that Clemens was so honest that he would not even use scuffed baseballs, and of his manager in Houston, Phil Gardner, who explained Clemens's complex arsenal of pitches, including his deadly split finger fastball, developed in Toronto in 1997.
This testimony was in stark contrast to the myth that Roger Clemens was a power pitcher, a fastball or nothing guy, who declined by 1996 in Boston and was revived only by taking anabolic steroids in Toronto and New York between 1998 and 2001. In fact, Roger Clemens was a control pitcher from his earliest days, a kid with perfect command of the plate. He had no legitimate fastball until a defect in his pitching motion was discovered at San Jacinto Junior College and had no curve ball to speak of until a pitching coach at the University of Texas realized he did not hold the ball correctly.
Many baseball authorities consider Clemens the greatest pitcher in the 142 year history of the game.Read more ›
great book to read concerning baseball's
all-time greats. Roger Clemens is cetainly
one of baseball's greatest pitchers no
matter which baseball ERA you speak about.