by Robert A. Waters
I guess it’s all been said, but since I’ve been a baseball fan all my life, I thought I’d throw in a few thoughts about the Roger Clemens case. He never played for any of the teams I followed (i.e., the Atlanta Braves, and in recent years, the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays), but I always enjoyed watching him pitch. Clemens was a throw-back whose physical strength was matched by a searing will to win.
He had no mercy on batters, would fire a straight one directly at the head of anyone who deigned to get a hit off him. He reminded me of my all-time favorite pitcher, Nolan Ryan. Batters really feared these guys.
So when Clemens appeared before Congress and denied using roids, I found it ironic that a room full of serial liars would suddenly become incensed that someone might lie to them. (I’m not saying Clemens lied, just pointing out a contradiction.) I wasn’t surprised that the case finally landed in the clutches of the United States Department of Justice, a group of shysters who use the weight of the government and the unlimited tax funds of their office to bully innocent people into pleading guilty. It came as no surprise that Clemens had been offered a deal with no jail time if he would only take a charge.
When the Rocket wouldn’t be bullied, the hired guns from Justice leaked lies to the press. In the meantime, they used millions of our tax dollars like their own private slush fund to jet around the globe in an attempt to find a smoking gun. They never found it. Unless you count Brian McNamee.
To be honest, I feel for the guy. From the moment the former trainer appeared before Congress, it was obvious he was in over his head. And it got worse. The Feds almost certainly pressured McNamee to take the stand and humiliate himself before an entire nation. Something like, “Unless you testify, you’ll spend a few years in prison yourself.”
Then there are the sportswriters who just know Clemens used. Immediately after his acquittal on all charges, the ink started flowing. Guys who couldn’t throw a baseball 50-miles-per-hour began whining that he may have been acquitted but they’ll never vote the Rocket into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sounds like they’re offended that a guy who’s never committed a crime isn’t in prison. How dare Clemens maintain that he’s innocent when they all know he’s not!
While the print media gurgled on its own vomit of hatred, the ESPN talking heads couldn’t wait to tell us what to believe. These guys minimize every misdeed of the hundreds of NFL thugs who rape women and beat their wives and snort coke--now they've suddenly gained a conscience. What a joke!
So you’ve got the liars in Congress and the liars at the Justice Department and the holier-than-thou media.
And then you've got the Rocket. I'm glad he stood tall and struck out the sides.