"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Great Balls of Fire

Why is this man hot?


One of my favorite moments in the Verducci/Torre book is about Roger Clemens as he prepared to face the Mets in Game 2 of the 2000 World Serious. Verducci writes that Clemens’ usual pregame preparation included taking a whirlpool bath at the hottest temperature possible.  “He’d come out looking like a lobster,” Yankee trainer Steve Donahue  told Verducci.  Donahue would then rub hot liniment all over Clemens’ body.  “Then Donahue would rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles,” Verducci writes. 

“He’d start snorting like a bull,” the trainer said. “That’s when he was ready to pitch.”

Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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1 NoamSane   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:22 pm

Yeah, that and a handful of greenies.

2 thelarmis   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:32 pm

TMI !!!! yikes!!!! stop it, alex!!! : /

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:34 pm

You'll never look at Steve Donahue the same way again.

4 thelarmis   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:38 pm

[3] i'll never look at him, PERIOD!!! : ~

if that's what trainers are doing nowadays, i hope they're at least earning "baseball money". eeeeewwwww!!!!!

5 knuckles   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:40 pm

And Donahue has the nerve to wear white...

6 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:45 pm

Well, the cat's out the bag now, huh?

Or should I say (hot) dog?

Cat on a Hot Thin Roof?

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag? Hot Pants?

Red Hot Chili P@#%s?

if he were ever a reliever, would he be a Hot Meatball Sub?

Okay, y'all can play volleyball with this, I'm going to sleep...

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:45 pm

always hated Clemens, but now am starting to be afraid of the guy...

he also bears a terrifying resemblence to my brother-in-law..

8 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:54 pm

[7] Does your brother-in-law have someone rub Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce on his benihanas before work?

9 thelarmis   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:00 pm

[6] i hope your dreams are tainted, chyll !!! ; )

10 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:07 pm

[8] Bada-bing! US-in-law inthis case..
the Sumo guys do somthing similar for their training but that's a topic I'll leave for the "Sumo Saloon" blog comments section...

[9] thelarmis, classic "Speak No Evil" today...

11 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:19 pm

[9] Wowzers, you don't even know. I was gonna post one of my latest dreams on my blog, but haven't had time to type it up yet; lucky for all. A tainted dream would be a break for me, haaaa! (and if you think [6] was the A material, you wouldn't believe what I wrote to Alex about it >;)

12 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:26 pm

Is it wrong of me to hope that none of the younger pitchers adopted this part of the Clemens workout? Cripes! Every five days for six months . . . did this happen in Spring Training too? What about in the minors when he was on rehab/get ready assignments? I don't think they pay trainers in the minors enough to cover that kind of duty.

13 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:27 pm

[6] Chyll - hot cross balls!

14 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:38 pm

[12] Get ready assignments? That's worse than I could even imagine!

[13] Or maybe not...

"And I think it's gonna be all right.
Yeah, the worst is over now,
The trainer's rubbing ointment on my Red Rubber Balls."

15 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:41 pm

I'll never hear Simon & Garfunkel the same way again... g'nite!

16 tommyl   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:41 pm

You know, the more stories I hear coming out about this book, even the so called "entertaining" ones just upsets me. Torre told all his players to come to him, to tell him anything and that what happened in the clubhouse would stay within. I'm certainly not Rocket's biggest supporter but this is a betrayal of trust, and on a rather personal level. It really makes me rethink how I feel about Torre. I could hate him calling on EDSP over and over again, but at least I respected his class and the way he carried himself. I don't know if I can do that anymore, and that makes me sad.

17 Dimelo   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:49 pm

"on his testicles" - WTF!?!?! I should do that before getting on the 'A' train every morning, at the very least it would always guarantee me a seat.

18 PJ   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:55 pm

Sort of gives new meaning to Cramer Atomic Balm or Red Hot, doesn't it?


19 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:59 pm

[16] I hear you tommy, but something tells me not to think too much on the idea of Joe talking out his experiences to Verducci and saying, "Hey, you know what Rocket would do that would really tick me off? He'd go in the trainer's room before every start, and Stevie would rub him down with some icyhot from his wrists all the way to his ankles, and then you know what he'd do? He'd rub mustard gas on his bojangles! Whaddaya think of that??"

Talking about Damon's depression bothers me a lot more than this if it were a third person account, but this just goes to show how absurd it is to take this book as seriously as I tried not to at first. In the relative scheme of things, both of these guys ought to be embarrassed to put their names on it. Well, as Bill Gallo drew in his cartoon yesterday, if I got eight of the questions right, I don't need to read the book...

20 PJ   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:00 am

I'm suddenly reminded of Jerry Lee Lewis!

21 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:01 am

[17] I'll be looking for the guy with "restless legs syndrome"...

22 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:06 am

[21] you're on "fire" tonight, Chyll...

ok, that's enough now...

23 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:11 am

[22] You're right. I need to go to bed, too. Hopefully Sliced will come out of hibernation and pick this up in the morning, but if not...

well, I'm off to bed. Nikki, if you're reading this too, you should go to bed as well >;) G'nite!

24 tommyl   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:15 am

[19] Yeah, I think its just the idea that players were told everything (whether it be depression, or rubbing tobasco sauce on yourself) was private. I'm sure all of us have done things we're not too proud of at one time or another, I know I wouldn't want those things suddenly plastered all over the place.

I also wonder how the Dodgers players must feel now. If I were a player, I wouldn't talk to Joe about anything at this point. It really kills his credibility and legacy. As I said before, when he left, I felt it was time for him to go but I still had a tremendous amount of respect for him. Now, I'm not yet sure what I feel.

25 3rd gen yankee fan   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:35 am

If I was a piece of sushi, I'd be Spicy Tuna.

[0] Y'see, THIS is why I loved Clemens. Because he was SO HARDCORE!

26 The Hawk   ~  Jan 29, 2009 8:10 am

I didn't hear about the Damon thing, but it doesn't sound like Torre outed Clemens here. It says clearly that Steve Donahue did.

Sick stuff though.

27 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 29, 2009 8:13 am

If you can't beat 'em, scrotum!

28 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 9:52 am

[27] But that's the thing, you CAN beat 'em, and Donahue proves it!

29 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 9:53 am

[28] And to all you hip-hop fans out there, there is no change in perception of "The Beatnutz" >;)

30 rbj   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:27 am

Wow. Remember the 1998 Yankees' ad, when Cone had his arm in a sling and so some fans were doing everything for him and then he needed to use a urinal and so one guy had to, er, lend a hand? Funny joke, but this is for real, and real disturbing.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:39 am

[24] I feel the same way...perhaps we shouldn't be surprised though. Torre did the same thing in the Verducci article when he revealed private conversations he had with Arod.

Torre made a huge mistake with this book. I am sure he thought he had enough teflon to pull it off, but when he returns from Hawaii and see the overwhelming criticism, I have a feeling he'll have a lot of regret.

32 jkay   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:19 am

Great balls of fire!

33 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:32 am

[31] On that, I agree with you and Tommy.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver