NEW YORK -- With his record sixth Cy Young Award en route to his crowded trophy room, Roger Clemens turned his attention to the Hall of Fame.
''I'm still leaning on wearing the Yankee cap in,'' the Rocket revealed Thursday after earning the American League's top pitching honor yet again.
''I was just happy I was able to win one in the pinstripes,'' Clemens said.
Clemens, 20-3 with a 3.51 ERA and 213 strikeouts for New York, received 21 of 28 first-place votes and 122 points, beating Oakland's Mark Mulder (60 points) and Seattle's Freddy Garcia (55) in voting by a panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
At 39 years, 3 1/2 months, Clemens became the third-oldest Cy Young winner behind Early Wynn (39 years, 10 months in 1959) and Gaylord Perry (40 years, 2 months in 1978). When Clemens won his first Cy Young in 1986, Mulder was 9 years old and Garcia was 10.
''I think it was Deb who said today: 'Those young guys have plenty more time to win it,' '' Clemens said, referring to his wife.
Clemens is the only pitcher to win more than four Cy Youngs. Arizona's Randy Johnson won his fourth on Tuesday, matching Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux.
''We'll make room for it,'' Clemens said from his home in the Houston area. ''The five Cy Youngs right now are positioned, in fact, so that from every position in my weight room you can look up and see them front and center.
''I want to see them every morning when I get up in that gym and get to work.''
After he won his first four, Clemens said each of his sons would get one: Koby, Kory, Kasy and Kody. The kids said No. 5 was for their dad. Clemens said No. 6 was for his mother, Bess, who has emphysema.
''She said she wanted me to win one for her,'' Clemens said.
He called her right away and she got short of breath.
''She was so emotional, she has to really concentrate to breathe properly,'' Clemens said.
He is the first player to win a BBWAA award on three teams. He won the Cy Young for Boston in 1986, 1987 and 1991, then won it for Toronto in 1997 and 1998. He also was the AL MVP in 1986.
With 280 career wins, Clemens could reach No. 300 next season. He's still thinking about the Yankees' Game 7 World Series loss to Arizona, which ended New York's streak of three straight titles, including two with Clemens.
Since then, Clemens has been wearing his World Series rings more often.
''It makes me appreciate even more what we've done the past two years,'' he said. ''Sometimes you get a little spoiled.''
Clemens, who has always been interested in baseball history, repeatedly referred to the person the award is named after as Denton ''Cy'' Young. Clemens made a lot of history this year.
He became the first pitcher ever to start a season 20-1 before losing his final two decisions. After injuring a hamstring and struggling in the first round of the playoffs, he rebounded to pitch well in the league championship series against Seattle and was the Yankees' most consistent pitcher in the World Series against Arizona. He won Game 3 and allowed just one run in New York's 3-2 loss in Game 7.
Clemens, a six-time 20-game winner, had the second-highest ERA for an AL Cy Young winner, below only LaMarr Hoyt's 3.66 for the Chicago White Sox in 1983.
Clemens became the first starting pitcher with no complete games ever to win a Cy Young, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician.
It was the fifth Cy Young Award for the Yankees, the first since Ron Guidry in 1978. Bob Turley won in 1958, Whitey Ford in 1961, and Sparky Lyle in 1977.
Because of his late-season injuries, Clemens hasn't started his workouts in preparation for next year, routines he does along with teammate Andy Pettitte. First, Clemens is going to take his sons to the Texas-Texas A&M football game on Nov. 23 and go hunting for a few days.
''I'm trying to find a happy medium on how long I need to rest my shoulder,'' he said. ''I'll pick up a ball every now and then and throw batting practice to my kids. The first week of December, I'll start trying to move some weight around. A lot of the exercises we do for the upper and lower body will change.''
© 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us