Roger Clemens, seemingly free of any controversy that hounded him in the past, is happy to be teaching the art of pitching to the next generation — not just with the Houston Astros, who employ him as a special instructor.
Clemens is now six years removed from being named along with 88 other players in the Mitchell Report, which accused them of using steroids.
He briefly played in an independent league for the Sugar Land Skeeters in 2012. He’s settled comfortably into his role as a pitching consultant, preferring it to the idea of being a team’s pitching coach.
And with baseball again in the middle of jarring re-evaluations about players and performance-enhancers, Clemens - at Fenway Park on Tuesday to take part in a ceremony honoring ex-manager Joe Morgan - distanced himself from the situation.
“I’ve got my own feelings about particular people in the MLB, how they approached my situation without learning facts,” Clemens said. “But I can’t comment on that because I don’t know about it. I’m extremely busy. I’m not too worried about it either way to tell you the truth. And I’m sure they’ll handle it the way they see fit. But I hear a lot of people making comments off the cuff that just don’t know the facts.
“And I know — I never do that anyway — but how hurtful it was over the period of time with us until we had to get in a fair setting and do it our way and stop all the ‘he said, she said’ and maybe this and maybe that and speculation this. So I would never comment, because I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on there.”
He was unfazed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America not voting anyone into the Hall of Fame this year. Clemens got votes from 37.6 percent of the voters, with 75 percent needed for election.
“It’s not going to change me as a person or as a man, how I go about my life, how I treat other people,” he said. “Whatever floats your boat, you know, go for it.”
It meant enough to be able to return to Fenway and recapture memories.
“It’s where I got my start,” Clemens said. “I think [the media] and my teammates and the city made me who I was as a person and as a player. There were so many fun games, important games, big games here.
“There’s no doubt I got my start here. This is where it began for me. All the great memories. We worked our butts off. We knew the passion was here.”