Roy Halladay rips Roger Clemens, Clemens rips Halladay right back

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Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay were, very, very briefly, teammates. Clemens won the Cy Young with the 1998 Blue Jays as Halladay made his first two starts in the bigs. I would assume that, given Halladay’s fleeting presence on the Jays’ roster that year, they didn’t become good friends or anything. On the off chance they did, however, consider that friendship over.

Early yesterday morning, Roy Halladay took to Twitter and offered his view that Clemens and Barry Bonds should not be in the Hall of Fame:

This got a lot of play throughout the day yesterday, with most people praising Halladay for his unvarnished opinion on the matter of performance-enhancing drugs.

Last night, after the Hall of Fame results came back, Mark Berman, the sports director of Fox26 in Houston passed along Clemens’ statement in response to his falling short of induction once again. A statement in which Clemens took a swipe right back at Halladay:

It’s rather surprising that Clemens directly responded to a critic like this as his going after critics strategy proved disastrous for him a few years back. It’s especially surprising that Clemens makes this accusation of Halladay given that, as far as I can find and as far as I can remember, Halladay has never been accused of being a PED user, amphetamines or otherwise.

Which, to be sure, is also the case with lots of players who have used amphetamines — they are said to have been ubiquitous in clubhouses until very recently and no one has really focused very hard on the history of that — but it is still eyebrow raising to see Clemens make this accusation at a former player. It’s especially eyebrow raising that he’s using “the strength coach” — almost certainly Brian McNamee —  as his source, what with Clemens spending the past several years in litigation claiming that McNamee is a big fat liar. Any weapon at hand, I suppose.

Oh well. Passions run hot at Hall of Fame time. Go back to sleep you two retired men. We’ll wake you up this time next year and you can swipe at each other again.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.