Friday's Morning Mashup: Roger Clemens insists Hall of Fame 'doesn't really make a difference in my life'

July 24, 2015 - 4:17 am

Welcome to Friday's Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire. FRIDAY'S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM) MLB: Nationals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network) Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN) AROUND THE WEB: [caption id="attachment_36785" align="alignright" width="150"] Roger Clemens[/caption] -- Roger Clemens stopped by the NESN booth during Thursday night's Red Sox-Astros game in Houston and continued to claim that he played the game the right way despite evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs, adding he does not need the validation of the Hall of Fame to feel complete. "Congratulations to the guys that go," he said of the Hall, which will welcome fellow Sox legend Pedro Martinez this weekend. "It doesn't really make a difference in my life, not that it would matter." The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has never received more than 37.6 percent of votes (75 percent is needed for induction) despite his 354 wins and 4,672 strikeouts for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. He said he appreciates those who have written his name on the ballot but claims it's not a big deal to him. "It's not something that I went to, to play -- play the game to make the Hall of Fame. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I played the game because I loved to play it," Clemens said. "I knew early in my career that once I seized that moment that I could make a little money and take care of my family. Then it started to get to a World Series and playoffs in Boston and the history that came along with it. That's really it." -- Another player likely to be kept out of the Hall is Alex Rodriguez, who continues to have a stellar comeback season, helping the first-place Yankees to a 9-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday for a sweep of their three-game series. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre credits Rodriguez for turning things around after missing last season while on suspension for his role in the Biogenesis PED scandal. "I think what's surprising is Alex," Torre said from a charity golf tournament in New York on Thursday. "I'm happy for him. Miss a whole year at that age -- there was never an issue of his ability to work at it. But with all the physical problems that he's had and missing a year, it's been, I think, remarkable how consistent he's been and his power numbers." Torre, now an MLB executive, said Rodriguez called him in January as he reached out to people in baseball trying to mend fences before his comeback. Torre, in his autobiography "The Yankee Years," was critical of A-Rod, but he says they now are "friendly." "I had heard that he was calling some people, so I really wasn't surprised," Torre said of their offseason conversation. "Actually, it started out with a text and he asked me if it would be all right to call me. I said, 'Sure, anytime.' I'm there for any player who wants to pick my brain over anything and for any team. He had some issues with what he thought I said in the past. I think he just wanted to make sure that all the air was clear. He asked about some advice and I said, 'Just go play baseball.' " Added Torre: "He paid his debt. He was suspended. He did that. Hopefully he learned something from it. He's been determined to come back and play the game that he's loved. I know baseball's been a huge part of his life. He just craves it. He's been a force, no question. People in New York love it. That's what's important for us. Once people pay their penalty, you can't root against them. It's not the right thing to do." -- Outgoing ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd drew the ire of Blue Jays star Jose Bautista for a disparaging comment he made about Dominican players Thursday. During his midday show, Cowherd was trying to make a point that baseball is a relatively easy sport to manage. He went on to say: "The game is too complex? Like, I've never bought into that, 'Baseball is just too complex.' Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have. Baseball is like any sport, it's mostly instincts." After Cowherd's comment made it around the web, Bautista, a Dominican native, tweeted: Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please. Cowherd is headed to Fox Sports when his contract with ESPN expires later this year. He discussed his departure during Wednesday's show, crediting ESPN for taking a chance on him in 2003 and calling his stint with the company "the best 10 years of my life." ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 24, 2004, Jason Varitek fought with Alex Rodriguez as the Red Sox and Yankees played an intense game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got the last laugh when which player hit a three-run home run off Mariano Rivera for an 11-10 Red Sox victory? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The results haven't been nearly good enough. We're responsible for that and we have to get better quickly." -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during a Thursday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan, on the team's struggles STAT OF THE DAY: 8 -- Consecutive losses by the Red Sox, a season high, following Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Astros on Jose Altuve's walkoff home run in the ninth inning 'NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez makes a diving stop behind second base and throws the ball with his glove to get the out against the Indians. A's right fielder Josh Reddick races into foul territory to make a diving catch against the Blue Jays. A Japanese high school baseball player puts on a show in the batter's box with a series of creative and artistic movements. Spurs guard Tony Parker gets up close with a tiger during an appearance on a French game show. TRIVIA ANSWER: Bill Mueller SOOTHING SOUNDS: Former Extreme drummer Paul Geary was born on this day in 1961.