Roger Clemens has nothing to prove.
He has 354 wins and 4,672 strikeouts and seven Cy Young Awards and two World Series titles in 24 big-league seasons. And he pitched one of the finest postseason games in history against the Seattle Mariners in the 2000 American League Championship Series.
He is the greatest pitcher of his generation and probably the greatest of any generation.
The guys gathered around Juan Carlos’s coffee cart this morning hadn’t forgotten any of that.
“I’ll always remember that Seattle game,” says Javier. “I started watching it alone in my apartment and after the seventh inning I went down to the bodega on Gerard Avenue and found some guys that were listening on the radio. Roger was dominating and intimidating. It was incredible. I just couldn’t be alone for something like that.”
No one in this neighborhood is going to abandon Clemens because he was blacklisted by George Mitchell.
“We’ll always be behind Roger,” Javier says. “He was always there for us and he always gave his best. What else can you ask from a man?”
Some have taken his career and life apart in the last week.
“There ain’t much to say for people who run others down,” Javier says shaking his head. “I guess anyone can say anything about anybody, but that doesn’t make it right.
“Roger has already responded to the allegations in Mitchell’s report,” Javier continues. “He said he didn’t do any of it. People out there can believe whatever they want to believe, but Roger’s got nothing to prove around here.”