Quote of the Day: Roger Clemens on Mike Piazza

I thought this was highly amusing and had to share it with everyone in case you missed it.

Roger Clemens was asked about Mike Piazza‘s claim in his upcoming book that he took karate lessons in order to exact revenge on Clemens – I guess Piazza did it in case Clemens were to ever plunk him again. Clemens, to his credit, had a few funny quips in his statement, even one where he mentioned that Piazza would have had to have gotten in line behind at least three of his Yankee teammates at the time, who also wanted to slug him. I wonder who they were. Hmmm.

Anyway, I thought the most amusing line of the whole Clemens statement was this one:

“He chased some dude around the spring training site one time, didn’t he, or something?”

Do you guys remember when Guillermo Mota hit Piazza with a pitch in Spring Training and Piazza went after him? It happened ten years ago this Spring but to this day, it is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. (Not the actual plunking but the way Mota reacted to it.) Here’s video of the incident which happened 3/13/03.

After getting plunked up by his head, Piazza chased Mota around the field, as did some of his teammates, including Jeromy Burnitz. Mota, whose Dodgers were up 10-1 at the time he nailed Piazza with the pitch, threw his glove at the slugger before running away from him. Piazza had such a crazed look in his eyes, like he was going to kill Mota with his bare hands and at one point he had to be held back by at least four teammates so the fact that Clemens remembered the incident really struck me funny. This wasn’t the first incident between them. A year earlier, Mota pulled the same nonsense and Piazza actually waited for him outside the clubhouse, asking people, “Where’s Mota?” because he wanted to confront him.

Honestly, I don’t blame Piazza. I was there the night Clemens hit him in the head at Yankee Stadium in July 2000. It was pretty frightening to witness and I can see why he’d be sensitive to headhunters like Mota. And back to the other stuff Clemens said, I really wonder who the three teammates were.

Do you guys have any guesses as to who they could be? Leave them in the comments.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

12 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: Roger Clemens on Mike Piazza

  1. Urban

    It seems more of a joke playing off her personality. Unlike Piazza, who admits he wasn't always the best teammate, Clemens had the reputation of being a good one by the time he came to the Yankees.

  2. Sabrina

    I'm going to guess one of them was Alex Rodriguez.

  3. Anders

    I'm going to guess there were actually 24 of them.

  4. lazlosother

    What's odd is that even with his rep as an ogre, Clemens' teammates seemed to love him. I would bet he was being facetious, there were probably 3 teammates he had hit at one point or another. I would bet they forgave pretty quickly when he came to NY.

    • srosegots

      Wasn't it Jeter and Knoblauch who went into the cage for batting practice against him with equipment on during his first Spring Training with the Yankees?

  5. Derpy

    A few things:

    Clemens should have been tossed from the game and given a 50 game suspension when he threw the bat at Piazza. That is straight up assault. It is illegal and completely unacceptable. Dressing in a silly uniform and standing on a baseball field doesn't make you immune to basic common law. Baseball doing nothing to punish Clemens really just highlighted how pathetic and corrupt that whole era was.

    Throwing at a player on a team with Wiggy is insane. Wiggy will break you in half, he means business. Watching him wade through like 4 guys trying to break a few Mota bones is pretty funny. You don't mess with Wiggy.

    My guess for Yankees who hated Clemens: Jose Canseco, David Cone, Tino Martinez.

    • Vengeance74

      Your knowledge of the law is dubious at best. Throwing the half a bat at him,which wasn't completely clear(although I believe he was) ,and not hitting him isn't even attempted assault,you might get someone for menacing or harassment at best.

      • Derpy

        Somehow I knew so done would make the abortion of an argument you just tried to make. You completely missed the point.

        • Derpy

          Someone, not so done.

          • Vengeance74

            Well if you knew someone would point out your idiocy why did you post it in the first place? If you're complaining that mlb should have penalized Clemens you're still a moron,the appeals process would have taken longer than the series did.

  6. Sherm

    You guys don't remember strawberry trying to get to Clemens after the roided up coward beaned Brosius?

  7. Your knowledge of the law is dubious at best.

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