How Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and two Superstations influenced Bobby Jenks

Mike Petraglia
February 21, 2011 - 5:06 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Change is never easy. But Bobby Jenks has made a career out of it. The former fifth-round pick of the Anaheim Angels in 2000 came up through their system as a starter, cut from the same mold as Roger Clemens: big, strong and intimidating. The new Red Sox, who will share the late innings with Daniel Bard behind Jonathan Papelbon, acknowledged Monday that he was a big fan of Clemens and Greg Maddux when he broke into baseball as a starter. "When I was younger, I was a starting pitcher and I looked up to Roger Clemens a lot and I used to watch him and Greg Maddux a lot because I grew up a huge Braves fan," Jenks said. "You're either a Cubs fan with TBS and WGN so I had TBS and Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens were the two biggest guys that I watched." [AUDIO: Listen to Bobby Jenks talk about Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and his right elbow.] But one elbow surgery and rehab was all it took to change the course of his career. Jenks ran into elbow problems in 2004 in the Angels system and was waived before being picked up by the White Sox in 2005. "It was a combined decision in '04 after I had my elbow surgery to try to keep less innings and less stress on the elbow so the year before, in talking with the Angels, I knew I might be going into the bullpen in that '05 season with the Angels but I ended up getting picked up by the White Sox and it just worked out the same way," Jenks added. Jenks appeared in 32 regular season games for the 2005 White Sox before leading his team to a World Series title with two saves apiece against the Red Sox and Astros in the ALDS and World Series.