The big news story over here in the States is this whole Roger Clemens steroids situation. For those of you unfamiliar, Roger Clemens is arguably the best baseball pitcher of our generation – he has played for over 24 years, and with the exception of a few bad years in the mid 1990’s, the man has been more dominant than a pack of pitbulls in a nursery school.
A few weeks ago, a report conducted by a former U.S. senator, named Mr. Clemens (among many others) as a steroid user. The evidence was “procured” from a former trainer of Clemens. This past Sunday night on 60 Minutes (a popular “journalism” show), Clemens proclaimed his innocence, and went on to discredit the trainer. Later that night, he filed a lawsuit against the trainer, and yesterday, he held a press conference in which he played a 17-minute “conversation” he had with the trainer (In case you are interested in finding out more, check out this link: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=3185451&sportCat=mlb).
When the Mitchell Report was first released, it didn’t shock me that Clemens was on this list. I mean, the guy is well into his 40’s, and was pitching some of the best baseball of his career at an age when most starting pitchers opt for middle relief. The allegation made sense to me, and I won’t apologize for this. After all, I reacted the same way with the Barry Bonds situation. However, I was willing to listen to Clemens because, frankly, I didn’t find him to be anywhere near the a$$hole that Bonds it.
I watched the 60 Minutes interview, and Clemens convinced me at the very least that it was possible he didn’t do steroids, and I genuinely felt bad for the guy – mainly because his credibility took a hit with the report. However, the shenanigans he pulled on Monday even made Bonds cringe. This phone call he played ruined his credibility in my eyes. What an absolute scumbag he is (and yes, I know, the trainer is probably a scumbag too, but I just didn’t expect Clemens to go to that level).
He secretly taped a phone call solely because he’s a self-centered jerk who will do anything and step on anyone’s throat to ensure that he gets his way. He is your typical grade school bully, except he was lucky enough to be allowed to continue being a bully even in adulthood. The trainer called to try and clear the air and to find a way to get Clemens’ forgiveness, even telling Clemens about his ailing son. Clemens “claims” this is why he agreed to talk to the trainer – absolute rubbish. What a jerk.
Clemens went on to answer some press questions – basically sticking his chest out and ruffling his feathers like a pissed off rooster (and yes, I deliberately made the cock reference), daring anybody to ask a controversial question. Hey, Roger, you say repeatedly that steroids are a short-term fix for people, and the health risks are too great to justify taking them – yet you freely admit that you took pain-killers like they were candy, repeatedly getting “shot-up” so that you can continue playing. Hey buddy, isn’t this a health risk? Sounds to me like you’d do anything (and yes, I mean anything) to continue pitching.
Seriously Roger, maybe you and Bonds can find a few more years in entertainment by signing on with the WWE as the “Scumbags,” or the “Needle Dicks.” Your legacy was even more tarnished by your childish behavior big guy.
Writer’s Workshop: Maybe Next Time
3 days ago