January 28, 2008

Clemens Releases 18,000-Word Statistical Rebuttal

Unfortunately, for those of us who enjoy a good laugh, he did not write it himself.

Roger Clemens' agent released an 18,000-word statistical report Monday to refute allegations that the pitcher's career rebounded around the time period he was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.

"Clemens' longevity was due to his ability to adjust his style of pitching as he got older, incorporating his very effective split-finger fastball to offset the decrease in the speed of his regular fastball caused by aging," said the report, created by Randy Hendricks and two associates at his firm. ...

"Of the six years that feature Clemens' best ERA margins, two occurred in Boston, after he had been in the major leagues for several years; two occurred in his two years in Toronto; and two occurred after he switched leagues and pitched for the Houston Astros," the report said. ...

Clemens went 40-39 in his last four seasons with the Red Sox, and when the pitcher left Boston's general manager at the time, Dan Duquette, said Clemens was in the "twilight" of his career. Clemens was 192-111 with the Red Sox and won three Cy Young Awards and an MVP, then went 162-73 with Toronto, the New York Yankees and Houston, winning four Cy Youngs.
Ummm, that's exactly what people who believe Billy did PEDs point to -- his unprecedented ability to improve his performance in his thirties and put up the best seasons of his entire career after age 40. (And for the 39,765,187,603rd time, Duquette never claimed Clemens was in the twilight of his career.)

Fat Billy's age during his best ERA+ seasons: 42, 34, 27, 43, 31, 29, 35. Two of the best four ERA+ seasons of his career came at ages 42 and 43.

Could a decreased workload have helped? He did pitch only 113.1 innings in 2006, his age 43 season. But in 2005, at age 42, he threw 211.1 innings in 32 starts and turned in what could arguably be called the finest performance of his 24-year career.

Is something like that possible without any illegal enhancement? Yes, it probably is. Still, it's one of bigger oddities in baseball history.

You can read the report here.

No comments: