MLB

Piazza learned karate to fight Clemens

Image (from left to right): Roger Clemens & Mike Piazza (© Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
A feud between Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza started in the 2000 World Series.
NESN Dan Duquette Jr.
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On the list of people who hold grudges against Roger Clemens, former Mets catcher Mike Piazza has some pretty legitimate reasons to be near the top.

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After being struck in the head by the Yankees pitcher back in 2000, Piazza finally decided to prepare a way to get even with Clemens. In his autobiography, Long Shot, Piazza details how he began taking karate lessons and mapping out his strategy for fighting Clemens the next time the two crossed paths.

“I would approach with my fist pulled back,” Piazza writes in an excerpt published by the New York Post. “I figured he’d throw his glove out for protection. I’d parry the glove and then get after it.”

However, Piazza and Clemens never fought — despite the infamous bat-throwing incident that took place between the two in the 2000 World Series. The reason for that, as Piazza explains it, is that he was worried about getting beat up.

“There were complications,” Piazza explains. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my [butt] kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Piazza admits regret that he never did confront Clemens, lamenting how it became the story of that World Series. The Yankees went on to beat the Mets four games to one, clinching their third straight championship.

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