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Umpire: It's Same Old Clemens

October 25, 2000|From Associated Press

BOSTON — The umpire who tossed Roger Clemens from a 1990 playoff game said the New York Yankee pitcher should have been ejected for throwing a splintered bat near Mike Piazza during Game 2 of this year's World Series.

"It's a tough situation, due to the fact that it was the World Series," Terry Cooney, who retired from umpiring seven years ago, told the Boston Globe. "But I guarantee you that had it been, say, somebody from Detroit and they were playing Texas, and he picked up the bat and threw it at the runner, he would have been ejected."

Cooney was behind home plate for Game 4 of the AL championship series 10 years ago, when Clemens was pitching for the Red Sox. Clemens came out wearing eye black and, Cooney said, he began cursing, apparently about called balls and strikes.

"I very seldom take off my mask, but I remember saying to [Boston catcher Tony] Pena, 'I hope that guy is not talking that way to me,"' Cooney recalled. "Pena said, 'Oh, no, no, he don't say that to you.' And then he said it again."

Cooney ejected Clemens, who grew so angry that he had to be restrained. Clemens, who has maintained he did not curse at Cooney, was given a five-game suspension, which he served at the start of the following season, and was fined $10,000.

"He's never grown up," Cooney said. "He's a grown man who can't handle his emotions."

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