I’m not sure if that’s what this post should actually be listed under, because I’m going to talk about Roger Clemens. For me, the Rocket isn’t a ball player anymore. I’ve been inundated with too many images of him walking around Washington D.C. in a suit to remember that he actually used to throw a baseball for a living. I could try and express just how tired I am of seeing and hearing about Clemens, but I’m not sure what kind of metaphor or analogy would do the feeling I have inside the proper justice. I guess it would be like searching for your car keys for an hour only to walk outside and find that your car has been stolen.

No, maybe the car hasn’t been stolen, but instead your girlfriend is cheating on you with your best friend in the backseat. It’s just got me that disgusted. It’s not so much what the story is all about, but the media’s amazing level of redundancy in its coverage and how this story has become the centerpiece of every sports program on television and the radio. The Clemens saga has been invented by a combination of his ego, the United States Congress and in the end the media, because as a sports fan I can’t believe that this whole situation is actually that big of a deal.

Yes, he is arguably the best pitcher that ever took a mound, but the fact is I don’t give a shit about whether or not he cheated. I don’t care if any Major League Baseball player cheated anymore. The simple fact is that the substances that everyone from Barry Bonds to Rafael Palmeiro to Mark McGwire to Clemens are accused of or have been proven to be using were not tested for when they took them. If they continued to take them after baseball began testing, as in Palmeiro’s case, they got caught and rightly so. But for a large portion of the players exposed in the Mitchell Report they can lean back on the fact that what they did, while cheating and dishonest and in many cases illegal, wasn’t prevented by any statute in the league’s rules.

This is why what Clemens is undergoing and what he has done on his own to try and prove his innocence really gets under my skin. The type of guys that do the wrong thing when they know they can’t get caught are no better than the guys that break the rules and are lucky enough to get away with it. If you’re a cheater, you’re a cheater. If you’re that type of a player or that type of a person, I couldn’t care less about what you want out of the public as far as their perception of your legacy. You sacrificed all of that Roger, when you took what you took. I don’t believe you are innocent, because, well because your trainer and your best friend both say that you used. That’s all this sports fan needs really.

If you think I’m being biased towards Roger simply because I’m sick of seeing this story everywhere I go, you’re a little off. I’m being biased, but it’s because I’ve always suspected that Clemens was using some sort of performance enhancing drug and that I’ve always found him to be a rather scrupulous character on the whole. I have memories from my childhood of him flipping off fans in Boston, I remember vividly watching him throw a piece of broken bat at Mike Piazza, and I am sickened every time some team like the Yankees or Astros throw money at him to pitch and then let him do whatever the hell he pleases, damn what the rest of his “teammates” may think.

The Rocket is always interested in what’s best for the Rocket, plain and simple. I don’t think he gives a shit about the other guys on his team when he signs these mercenary contracts to pitch for a half a season and the playoffs, or only throw at home games or when his son doesn’t have a little league tournament. That makes Roger a “teammate”. He is not to be placed outside of those quotations and the other players on those teams are not his teammates, but simply his coworkers, guys who facilitate him receiving a (unbelievably large) paycheck.

His situation reminds me a lot of what Barry Bonds is going through, and I’m sure that Barry is happy that Roger is here to take away some of the steroid allegation heat. Bonds and Clemens have both enjoyed the most impressive years of their career when players of previous generations have slowed down. I don’t care how much either of them trained more than the great players of the past, if you would have given Hank Aaron and Steve Carlton steroids, I bet they could’ve been great for a lot longer as well. You don’t get better, stronger and faster as you get older; it just doesn’t happen. What Clemens and Bonds have done is gone beyond cheating in their own profession. They are attempting to cheat the American public out of their concept of reality. The average sports fan knows that what both have done on the field is beyond belief, but now they expect us to suspend that belief even further and make us think that they thrived as their age ascended without the help of drugs and substances that were not even tested for by Major League Baseball.

We are not that stupid guys. We do not adore you to that extent. Don’t tell us that you didn’t use steroids or that you only took them because your trainer said it was okay or that “the cream” and “the clear” aren’t really steroids or that your best friend and training partner was using and that you miraculously weren’t. I don’t want to hear anymore about these guys and their innocence or guilt. My common sense tells me that you are a steroid/HGH using, selfish, dim-witted jock Roger and that’s all I need for now. ESPN can give you all the attention that you want, but I’ll probably only pay attention again when you’re being sentenced for perjury in front of a federal judge. That’s the least this do-nothing Congress can get accomplished for me, putting some overgrown jock behind bars and keeping his smug face away from my daily highlights.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, with reactions from the televised hearings along with a few thoughts on the NBA West now that it looks like J-Kidd will be heading to Dallas.


  1. i didn't read that. why don't you write about girls or something?

  2. Most sportswriters (guys like KC's Joe Posnanski excepted) have the originality of the C-students in English courses who wrote Hamlet papers on the "to be or not to be" soliloquy thinking no one else had ever written such a paper and with no idea that the teacher was going to have to read five such papers in that semester alone. Like those teachers sick of those papers, I just wish the Clemens topic would go away.

    Still, I always hated how Bonds got so much attention from said C-students as some sort of a cheater from the get go and Clemens nothing. So if nothing else, I am enjoying that these two obsessive pricks are in the same company finally.

    But in ignoring the unoriginal, uninspired and repetitive coverage of this situation I realized, thanks to your point of Clemens' idiotic attempts to convince us that his later years were somehow natural (a point I read for the first time here I believe), that the miserable C-student/failed athletes covering this situation deserve the equally miserable and unlikeable figure of Clemens for the sheer lack of enthusiasm that has been displayed by both sides. Not just in this situation but on the day-to-boring-day basis they have shown for their otherwise lofty and desirable positions in the world of sports.

  3. P.S.
    I'm back in Portland and have also left behind the many sports fans I used to be able to discuss these sort of things with. So you got a reader in me from the similar situation you described.

    Love the name of the blog, especially considering his injury occurred one week before the Bills beat the Raiders 51-3 for their first Super Bowl berth in franchise history. And up to that point, Bo was the only worry I had about the Bills' chances.

  4. J-Kidd....thats my boy from way back when he was rookie of the year (co-rookie with Grant Hill).....believe it or not, I know a couple things....

  5. this wasn't SO much sports talk, kind of.

  6. Mark, I side with you on Clemens. It just really sucks that Clemens doing steroids is such a big ordeal, and as much as I'd like to think he will serve some time, I just don't see it happening. I really feel like the last 10-15 years of baseball has lost a lot of the innocence that made me love it as a child (with the strike and steroid use). I think baseball really felt untainted as a child. It may have something to do with less money being involved, and players actually having an overall love for the game unlike today. I guess thats why I I'm a big fan of the NBA now because even though more than half of the players are overpaid I know what to expect, (besides the first round of last years playoffs) so get to writing about the Kidd trade because personally it kind of scares me being that Dallas is my team . I only wish Clemens would have left is alone so maybe I can get something out of the 3 pages of his baseball cards I have.

  7. Did you watch Jon Stewart's coverage of the televised proceedings? Very funny-the Democrats are lining up anti-Rocket, while the Republicans are pro-Rocket. He then reasoned that the Republicans are doing this because he's like another Texan man-child, stubborn and bratty-George Bush.

    The thing that irks me most about this is the INSANTIY that happens during these drug accusations and trials. Remember last year, Landis and the Tour de France? His manager threatening Greg Lemond? Lemond coming out, on the stand, confessing to be abused as a child-so Landis wouldn't expose him???? WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?

    And here, you get Rocket recording phone converations, the trainer SAVING GAUZE AND NEEDLES IN A BEER CAN FOR YEARS. Just in case....the lengths that these fools go to is enough to lock em up, or forget about them. Sports can be so sad these days.