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Clemens versus Piazza
2000 World Series
Individual and team rivalries are part of the sport. Going back to Ty Cobb versus John McGraw, the Giant’s Juan Marichal versus the Dodger’s John Roseboro in 1965, and in 2000 it was the Yankee’s Roger Clemens versus Mets catcher Mike Piazza. The Clemens/ Piazza standoff started in a July 8 interleague game. Piazza was one of the few who had little trouble batting against the heralded Clemons. Enough success, that reportedly Clemons announced to some of his teammates that he was going to knock Piazza down when he came to bat and he did just that, but with devastating results as Piazza was removed from the game with a concussion. Piazza ignored Clemens attempts at an apology. The next match up would happen again in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series at Yankee Stadium. In Piazza’s first at-bat he hit a dribbler down the first base line, which broke his bat. Clemens rushed off the mound towards the ball, which was drifting foul, and instead of picking up the ball, he picked up the piece of the detached bat and threw it towards Piazza, who was running down the first base line. Clemens claimed he thought the partial bat was the ball and after grabbing it, he threw it toward the on-deck circle and not at Piazza. Piazza made a move towards Clemens and both benches emerged from their benches prepared to battle. The umpires restored order, but there were few believers in Clemens’s explanation, including Commissioner Selig, who fined Clemens $50,000.