Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Rocket's Red Glare
I don't really have much to say on this particular entry - I just wanted to post that title. (I wonder if anyone else has thought of that?)
Let's say it's been a bad year for Roger "The Rocket" Clemens. Just a few months ago, his legacy as the greatest right-handed pitcher of his generation seemed rock solid. It was even often argued that he might just be the best right-hander, ever.
Now, as I noted in an earlier blog post, his legacy is in tatters after former trainer Brian McNamee, and former pitching colleague Andy Pettite, nailed him for juicing during those fantastic, award-winning seasons a few years ago. He is also now in serious legal trouble after apparently perjuring himself in a Congressional hearing which he himself demanded be held. And just today, the New York Post broke the news that while Clemens was in Boston as a married, 28 year old father of two, he began a decade long sexual affair with a fifteen year old girl named Mindy McCready, who would go on to country music success.
Fifteen? That's young. That's illegal young. Jail young. Unforgivably young.
Clemens admitted today through his lawyer that he and McCready had been close friends for year, but denied there was any sexual component to their relationship. Taking Roger at his word, my question is: how many 28 year old guys go out of their way to become merely "close friends" with fifteen year old girls? Or...let's make it more accurate: How many millionaire, famous, 28 year old guys, go out of their ways to strike up friendships with obscure fifteen year old karaoke bar singers, just out the goodness of their heart, with no ulterior motives at all?
Or...at least we might ask: what kind of 28 year old guy sparks up a "close friendship" with a fifteen year old girl?
I think the first two answers are very, very few, and the last one is a total creep.
Clemens was always a jerk. That was his schtick on the mound. He was never a finesse pitcher. He won through bullying, intimidation, pure power, brushbacks and beanballs. But that's why people liked him, including me. He was really entertaining. It was like watching a bull on the mound.
But jerk "charm" has now given way to pure jerk horror: perjury, throwing his wife under the bus during the HGH scandal, 'roids, committing what I presume is statutory rape in the state of Massachussetts, the chronic lying...it's way over the line, and there's just nothing remotely charming about it.
Roger Clemens ought to hold a press conference and completely spill his guts - not just about these issues, but all the other things we've never heard about - and beg forgiveness from the public and by all his potential prosecutors. It's the only way now - he must obliterate himself as a sinner to have any chance at turning back into a saint.
But somehow, I can't imagine Clemens will do that. He still seems to think he's fooling people now...that people believe his lies...but no one really does now, except for a bizarre few. He really still ought to have a good conscience; but we still haven't seen any sense of shame - no rocket's red glare at all. All we've seen is an unblinking, belligerent defiance, as if the vehemence of a lie could make that lie more true.
Clemens was once a lock for the Hall of Fame. Now, it is impossible to imagine how he could ever get in.
That was fast.