Over a month later, he’s willing to share his thoughts — but the 354-game winner is not about to start a lobbying campaign.
“I’m not going to lose any sleep over it,” Clemens said. “If those guys feel I deserve to be there, then I deserve to be there. If they feel I don’t, then that’s OK too.”
Clemens was at spring training Monday as a special instructor for the Houston Astros, and he spoke for a bit with the team’s pitchers about his mental approach to the game. Later, he watched some of the Astros throw live batting practice.
The 50-year-old Clemens seemed relaxed after a turbulent year. Clemens was acquitted last year on charges he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his career. Last month, Clemens, Barry Bonds and everyone else on the ballot fell short of the necessary votes to make the Hall of Fame. Superlative stats weren’t enough to offset suspicions of PED use.
“I’ve had a great time when I’ve gone to Cooperstown,” Clemens said. “I know a lot of people that work over there, too. If you’re around my groups of people, and the same thing when I go to the cities I’ve played in, the people have been nothing but great down on the streets to me.”
The rebuilding Astros are moving to the American League this year after losing 213 games in two seasons. Clemens said if he were a player, he’d be excited because of all the job openings available on the roster.
He met with pitchers for about a half-hour before Monday’s workout.
“I tried to fire them up and tell them that we’re not just a newcomer to the league,” Clemens said. “Hopefully we got the attention of a few of them.”
New manager Bo Porter was happy to have Clemens around.
“He had a good powwow with all the pitchers and catchers this morning,” Porter said. “Like I told those guys, when you’re able to receive that type of tutelage and advice from someone who’s been through the battles, understands what it takes, he’s done it at a high level, it’s an asset.”