The Baltimore Sun’s Bill Ordine, eschewing the Eric Bedard trade rumors for a moment, has reviewed agent Randy Hendricks’ statistical report defending Roger Clemens’ late career performances (“a convergence of Bill James, Moneyball and the TV detective show Numb3rs, where the brainy sleuth catches the bad guys using mathematics”) and announces, “it gives me a headache, but I’m impressed with the effort.”
In short, the argument seems to be that the flow of Clemens’ career follows peaks and valleys that would occur in any exceptional player’s career and comparisons are drawn to other outstanding pitchers who have had long careers, including Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. You’ll see references to an array of pitchers from Dizzy Dean to Sandy Koufax. Be prepared to wade through three dozen or so charts.
In partial conclusion, it is being argued that Clemens’ adaptation to a somewhat different pitching style (split-finger fastball) and essentially a careful reduction in workload by contract and careful pitch counts were important factors in his longevity.
I’ve not read the report yet but I’ll presume the Rocket staying home on road trips helped a bit with wear and tear during his final stints in Houston and New York. Well, that, and the unyielding support of a broadcasting legend.