Burnt Out Rocket
Enough is enough already.
The steroids scandal which has been the unpoppable zit on the face of baseball continue to fill with puss, and that puss as far as i’m concerned is making that zit bigger and bigger thanks to one man in particular.
Because I am editorializing, I will come out and say right off the bat that I don’t like Clemens as a player and I like him even less as a person.
However until the release of the Mitchell Report in which his name was by far the biggest surprise to most, I was still willing to give the man credit for being one of the greatest pitchers in history.
Unfortunately, the whispers which have followed Clemens for much of the ladder half of his career grew just would not go away, and so his reputation along with his ticket to the Hall of Fame seem to be slipping out of his reach faster than that shattered bat he mistakenly took for a ball during the 2000 World Series.
Now it doesn’t take somebody with any sort of knowledge in sports or even the human body to tell how Rocket’s body has undergone a similar trajectory as Steroid Poster Boy Barry Bonds.
Of course another question raiser for Clemens is his longevity and continued success as he entered his 40’s.
There were certainly factors at play which contributed to his career being so successful as he entered the tail end of hsi career, whether it was his insane work out regiment (steroids or no steroids the man has always been in great shape) not to mention the fact he switched leagues and joined the lighter hitting, pitcher friendy National League where facing 8th and 9th hitters is always a break from a designated hitter.
However, even if you were on the fence as to whether or not Clemens was in fact guilty of using performance enhancing drugs or HGH, you have to look no further than the actions (or inactions) that have taken place since the release of the now infamous Mitchel Report.
Whlie it came as no shock to see names like Bonds and Giambi in the report, there were a pair of Pinstripes which raised eyebrows. Aside from the inclusion of Clemens, the name of teammate Andy Pettitte was really out of the blue and caught everybody off guard.
Now i ripped Andy Pettitte a few months ago for his actions, even though he apologized and took responsibility for his wrongdoings. However the more i thought about it, the more I realized that while there is really no way to make up for cheating, the man did deserve some credit for doing what most other accused players could not, which was to stand up and take some blame.
However, any respect I had for Andy Pettitte (and we’re not talking about a whole lot) went completely out the window tonight as it came out that he has decided not to testify on Wednesday in front of a Congressional Committee.
In chosing not to do so, Pettitte is avoiding the awkward situation of having to answer questions about his good buddy’s alleged steroid use, which Clemens of course has denied.
Now the real twist here is that the Mitchell Report brought to light the fact that Pettitte and Clemens were sort of in the whole thing together, as it was the same trainer who gave the information to Senator Mitchell. The report alleges that Clemens was injected with HGH over a dozen times, while it has also been brought to the forefront that the two reportedly spoke about the use with one another.
The following appears in Tuesday’s Newsday:
According to sources, McNamee has told investigators that in the winter of 2002 he, Clemens and Pettitte were working out together at the gym in Clemens’ Houston home. The sources said McNamee claims that during a break in the workout, Pettitte went over to McNamee by himself and asked: “How come you don’t give me the stuff you give Roger?” McNamee supposedly replied, “Because it’s illegal.”
Pettitte has already admitted to his use, yet Clemens continues to deny, deny deny.
Further adding to the Clemens saga is the fact that he seemed to make a complete ass out of both himself and members of this Congressional Committee last week when he personally went to meet the men who hold Clemens’ fate in their own hands. Using his celebrity status, these Congressional Members seemed as interested in taking his picture and getting an autograph as they did in the facts at hand.
The one thing which continues to bother me in this whole thing was the delayed reaction by Camp Clemens following the release of the report.
As has been the case with all of these athletes involved in the steroids scandal, if you were accused and have nothing to hide, get your face in front of a camera and tell us the things being said about you aren’t true.
Plain and simple. Not bullshit. No wavering.
However Clemens waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, he came out and made a foolish video proclaiming his innocence.
He then released a recorded conversation between himself and trainer Brian Mcnamee in which McNamee continues to ask Roger what to do, and Roger is only able to respond by saying “do what’s right” and to ‘tell the truth’.
But he waited, maybe at the request of his overpaid legal team, however since the release of the report Clemens has done little if not anything to help himself in this situation.
And on Wednesday, when he appears before this joke of a Congressional Committee, it won’t be his appearance which generates the most publicity, it will be the absence of Pettitte which is heard loudest.
Pettitte chosing to avoid throwing Clemens under the bus proves two things-
The first is that Pettitte is absolutely gutless.
I can appreciate sticking up for a friend, however when it comes to a situation like this, Pettitte had the chance to not only set the record straight about Clemens, but win himself back a lot of credibility he desperately needs. Pettitte has admitted to his own use, and was given the chance to confirm what was already written, however is hiding like a coward.
The second thing Pettitte’s absence on Wednesday proves, at least as far as i’m concerned, is that Clemens is as guilty as the day is long. By avoiding the questions, Pettitte is avoiding the power to destroy the life and career of his friend, which unfortunately does nothing but create a much darker cloud of guilt over Clemens.
And so as the 2008 baseball season is on the horizon, the career and legacy of Roger Clemens seems to be falling off it.
It’s really a shame because Clemens, for as big a prick as he is, probably could have gone about handling this whole situation in a way which might have salvaged his immortality.
Instead, being the big competitive jock he is, he had to come out swinging, and the most ironic thing of all is that Clemens, in all likelihood, will suffer the same fate as many of the batters hes faced throughout his career.
Swinging and missing.
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