It’s kind of amazing that there was one player to face the New York Mets in each of their World Series in 1986 and 2000. You know him. You’ve probably tried to dodge a broken bat he threw at you. It’s Roger Clemens.
Clemens was a member of the 1986 Boston Red Sox and later the 2000 New York Yankees. The Red Sox famously lost to the Mets while the Yankees took care of business against them.
This isn’t Clemens’ only interaction with the Mets. It all almost began with him as a member of their ball club.
Roger Clemens didn’t sign with the Mets in 1981 when the club drafted him in the 12th round and the stage was set
Was it an omen when Clemens didn’t sign with the Mets? It turned out to be the wiser decision. He ended up going to the Red Sox in the first round in 1983 which would have put a lot more money in his pocket from a signing bonus standpoint and also given them room to be patient with him as a minor leaguer.
Clemens was successful early on and absolutely dominated the minor leagues. He would actually win the American League Cy Young in 1986 ahead of facing the Mets in the World Series.
“The Rocket” took the mound in Game 2 and again in Game 6. The Mets handled him well in the first, knocking him out in the middle of the fifth. However, the Red Sox bats were far more active and Boston took the victory.
Game 6 was far more memorable and for Mets fans—fantastic! Clemens had the win secured after allowing two runs—one earned—in his 7 innings of work. New York was able to tie things up in the bottom of the eighth before one of the most epic comebacks in MLB history took place in extra innings.
Clemens later had his revenge in 2000 when he threw 8 innings of shutout baseball versus the Mets. The orange and blue narrowly came back to win it in the ninth inning by scoring five times. Unfortunately, the Yankees had six on their side of the scoreboard.
This could all just be a coincidence and nothing more than a baseball feud. Clemens took it a few steps forward. When the two clubs faced off in July, Clemens beaned star Mets catcher Mike Piazza in the head.
Months later, facing off in the World Series now, Clemens threw a piece of Piazza’s broken bat toward him then pled the “I thought it was the ball” defense. Clemens needs to check the rulebook. Beaning runners does not result in an out.
Is Clemens the ultimate Mets villain? For someone who spent much of his career in the American League, it’s pretty amazing that there is enough content for him to be so vilified by a National League franchise. It all started with him not signing with the club—although it had nothing to do with the actual Mets franchise.