Joe Torre believes that Roger Clemens— who was acquitted on accusations of lying to Congress during a 2008 session on performance enhancing drugs— belongs in the Hall of Fame even though the seven-time Cy Young Award winner has been connected to PEDs.
At Sunday's Old-Timer's Game at Yankee Stadium Torre claims Clemens was like a son to him and said he was in Clemens' camp on the subject of whether or not his former player was Hall of Fame worthy.
"He is to me," the former Yankees manager said. "I can't make other people look a him. I can just tell you the way I feel about it. I was proud to have him play for me. He always gave you everything he had and I always respected that."
Clemens played for six seasons in New York for Torre and helped the Yankees win World Series Championships in 1999 and 2000 before being linked to performance enhancing drugs in 2007— when he was mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Clemens denied any connection to steroids and human growth hormone at the televised 2008 hearing.
Torre— who is now executive vice president for baseball operations for MLB— said he understands that people will now evaluate the 354-game winner's career with the cloud of PEDs surrounding Clemens' achievements.
"It's sad for me," Torre said. "Because Roger Clemens in the way he went about his business— and I disliked him like everyone else until I got a chance to know him— he was a great teammate for these guys and he was very devoted to the team he was playing on and I always respected that."
This winter, Clemens will make his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot along with Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa— two other big names associated to steroids.