After Roger Clemens threw a large part of a shattered bat at Mike Piazza in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, the Mets catcher's first instinct was to beat him up. Piazza thought better of it, though, for plenty of reasons: It was the first inning of a game in the World Series; Clemens was half-apologizing; if he started a fight maybe he'd get his ass kicked and it would be humiliating.
But in a really weird revelation in his new memoir, Long Shot, Piazza writes that he had actually prepared for this very moment: He hired someone to teach him how to beat the shit out of Clemens.
My initial intention had been to get to Clemens and throw a punch at his face. It was a strategy that I'd actually mapped out ahead of time. When Robin Ventura had charged Nolan Ryan with his head down, as if to tackle him, that had only exposed Robin. I'd been working with a friend, John Bruno, who was a karate guy, with the express purpose of knowing what to do if Clemens ever threw at me again. I would approach with my fist pulled back. I figured he'd throw his glove out for protection. I'd parry the glove and then get after it.
Maybe he should have hired a shrink first. Before Clemens clocked Piazza in the head with a fastball in an earlier game in 2000, the catcher had a lifetime batting average of over .500 against him. After Clemens threw the broken bat at Piazza? He hit below .100 against Clemens. The Mets lost Game 2 and the World Series.