You’re 24 years old. It’s the bottom of the eighth, down 1-0, you and Clemens. ‘Visualize,’ you tell yourself, ‘visualize.’ You need this, because the fear still keeps you up at night. What if some young kid coming up takes away your at-bats, then your position, then your father’s approval? It’s the reason you watch endless hours of tape, keying in on every pitcher’s tendencies. That’s why you know a fastball is coming — inside. You can still see the threads spinning. In your darkest hours, this is what you cling to, like a child sucking a pacifier. Head down. Hips turn. Boom. Rounding the bases, your feet never touch the ground.
Early in 2003 , Clemens announced his retirement, effective at the end of that season. On June 13, 2003, pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in Yankee Stadium , Clemens recorded his 300th career win and 4,000th career strikeout, the only player in history to record both milestones in the same game. [ citation needed ] The 300th win came on his fourth try; the Yankee bullpen had blown his chance of a win in his previous two attempts. He became the 21st pitcher ever to record 300 wins and the third ever to record 4,000 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136). Randy Johnson (4,875) has since also joined the 4,000 strikeout club. His career record upon reaching the milestones was 300–155; his record at the end of the season was 310–160 with 4,099 strikeouts. Clemens finished the season with a 17–9 record and a ERA.
How witness credibility plays into the NFL’s disciplinary process is unclear. In a letter to Elliott informing him that he had been suspended for six games, the league said that advisors to league commissioner Roger Goodell had found “substantial and persuasive evidence” that Elliott had been violent toward Thompson. (The NFL’s personal-conduct policy says that a player who has not been charged with a crime can still be disciplined if there is “credible evidence” that he violated the policy.) An NFL spokesperson, asked what the “substantial and persuasive” standard means and how it compares to a preponderance-of-evidence one, was unable to clarify the issue for Deadspin.