Clemens behind in the count

If anyone should know better than to fall behind in the count to a hitter swinging a heavy bat, that person ought to be “Rocket” Roger Clemens.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner and fireballer extraordinaire, had that lesson down on the mound. In 24 seasons, he struck out 4,672 batters and walked 1,580.

Now, though, after throwing some chin music at Congress in 2008 — “Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH” — Clemens finds himself indicted for lying under oath in that hearing about the use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball.

Clemens fired back with heat high and inside after the indictment, Twittering that “I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress. I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court.”

The charge of lying to Congress is far more serious than feigning shock that a major-league curve was called shoulder high and outside instead of nicking the inside corner at the knees, where the catcher set his mitt.

He is looking at some serious time in stripes and not the kind worn in New York City by the likes of Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and even, yes, Roger Clemens.

Clemens wore No. 22 with the Yankees and the Houston Astros; 21 with the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

If Clemens doesn’t find a way to work himself out of this count, he could be in line for a new number, a much longer one issued by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.


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