Roger Clemens, probably the best right-handed pitcher since the days of Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson, almost became a member of the New York Mets. Imagine if Tom Seaver,
The Mets drafted Clemens in 1981. He had attended San Jacinto Junior College, where a Mets scout that watched him pitch recommended that they should sign him. Always cautious with Nelson Doubleday's hard earned money, the Mets send a second scout to watch Clemens. The second scout was not impressive.
New York's director of scouting, Joe McIlvaine, decided to see the right-hander. Luck intervened as it rained each time Clemens was scheduled to pitch.
The Mets decided that all they would offer him was $10,000. Clemens asked for $25,000. The University of Texas had a new student.
Since he didn't sign, Clemens was in the 1983 draft. The Mets intended to draft him with their 20th pick, but the New York Yankees' friends from Boston had the 19th pick. Guess what happened.
It's not difficult to imagine how baseball would have been changed.
Gooden's first season with the Mets was 1984. Clemens became a big leaguer with the Boston Red Sox that season, but it wasn't until 1986 that he had his full major league season.
That year Clemens was 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA, a 169 ERA+ and an almost unimaginable 0.969 WHIP. It was, to steal a Mets phrase, an amazing performance, but what if Clemens had been with the 1986 Mets?
The team won 108 games to win the pennant by 21.5 games. Bob Ojeda's 18 wins led the staff, followed by Gooden's 17 wins.
It is almost unfathomable to think how many games the Mets would have won if Clemens, instead of fifth starter , had been part of the rotation.
The Red Sox won 95 games to finish 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees. We all know how the World Series ended.
If the Red Sox didn't have Clemens, the Yankees might have won the division and they would have played the California Angels in the playoffs. There is no guarantee that the Yankees would won the playoffs, but if they did….