Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rocket Fuel in the Summer '01

Jeff Pearlman's book on Roger Clemens, "The Rocket That Fell To Earth," earning his sixth Cy Young award with a 20-3 record while topping out at 98 mph at the age of 38 wasn't that spectacular when put in its proper context.

Per Pearlman, the Rocket was fueled by anabolic steroids. He was alternating between Sustanon 250 and Deca-Durabolin. In '01, the Rocket received these types of boosts a dozen or so times that helped reverse time and add extra mph to his fastball. All of these injections in '01 took place inside the Rocket's apartment with the exception of one at Yankee Stadium before the final game of a July home stand. Unfortunately, the Rocket developed a blood stain that had oozed through his slacks after he changed into street clothes. A teammate, Mike Stanton, noticed.

Per Pearlman:

Clemens felt compelled to answer when Stanton quietly asked whether he had
turned to drugs.
"Hey, man," Clemens replied, " whatever I can do to get
an edge."
If that really occurred as reported, that is pretty remarkable, but not surprising. After all, "whatever I can do to get an edge" was the mindset that many of the guys had back then to compete at the highest level or just to get to the big leagues. I suspect that mindset is still prevalent today, but with drug testing in place, players will be a little more careful in how they go about obtaining that edge.

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