« Amateur Draft Hits And Misses Through The Years | Main | Amateur Draft Hits and Misses - Part 2 »

Lies and the Lying Lard Butts Who Tell Them

Mike SteffanosWednesday, January 9, 2008
By Mike Steffanos


(With apologies to Al Franken for the title)

As someone who believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, I find myself in a dilemma. As a person who hates the way society is always looking for a scapegoat for a problem rather than a solution I am faced with a terrible conundrum. I've always been someone who strongly believes in principles and the rights of the individual in a culture that is constantly eroding at the edges of those rights. For all of those reasons, I have found myself defending Barry Bonds and others in this space for whom I have no personal liking. I probably should feel the same way about Roger Clemens.

I don't.

Don't get me wrong. There are many of the same forces in operation here. Roger is taking the heat for the vast majority of cheaters who never wound up in the Mitchell report. Once again, thank to Bud Selig's megalomaniacal need to somehow erase his own historical culpability in the steroid mess we are talking about the past rather than putting resources in to better testing and detecting methods that would ensure the cleanness of the game going forward. As much as that bothers me, I can't help but enjoy this whole sideshow that is Roger Clemens' clumsy, bombastic, desperate attempts to clear his own name. I should be ashamed of myself.

I'm not.

For all of the ways that what is happening goes against my principles, I always enjoy seeing a bully get his comeuppance, and in this case it trumps that aforementioned ideology. You see, I can't help but flash back to the 2000 World Series and remember an almost cartoonish buffoon flinging a piece of a broken bat at Mike Piazza. I sat there watching the dugouts empty and thought, "He has to be tossed out of this game". After all, that kind of idiocy isn't tolerated from athletes on any level from t-ball on up. Yet with the whole world watching such a clear-cut display of egregiously poor sportsmanship, plate umpire Charlie Reliford allowed Clemens to continue pitching -- simply because he lacked the spine to eject the "great" Roger Clemens from the big stage.

After that, I guess you can't blame Clemens if he felt he could get away with anything. Despite all of the red flags of enhancement that made for as compelling of a circumstantial case against Clemens as there was against Bonds, Clemens for the most part got a pass from the press. They fawned over his "workout regimen" and ignored the inexplicable career resurgence at a time when clean athletes decline. Mirroring the silly, implausible excuses that were made for Clemens by his apologists in October of 2000, the obvious tell-tale signs of a cheater were glossed over and ignored.

Now Roger is outraged by the "unfairness" of it all. Not surprising, as there is no one who feels himself more deeply wronged then the bully who is finally reaping his retribution after years of getting his own way. The more he screams his innocence, the less believable he seems. Pathological liars are never more self-righteous than when they are caught in a lie.

I still believe in my principles, but I have lived long enough to understand that they can survive an occasional exception. For now, they're on vacation as I enjoy watching the "great" Roger Clemens squirm. Sometimes it takes a while, but there is justice in the world.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

Support Mike's Mets by shopping at our Amazon Store

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Continuous Mets Coverage:
MetsBlog
Hot Foot

Comments (7)

I totally agree with you Mike. Like you, I still remember like it was yesterday how Clemens imploded on the mound in the 2000 World Series and how Piazza handled the situation with class and yet some people in the media and talk radio criticized Piazza! Prior to that event I remember when Piazza was beaned probably because Piazza owned him. Even with all that said, if Clemens would have handled this situation better I may have felt some compasion and possibly have some doubts about his steroid use.

I never thought the day would come when I would say that Clemens behavior off the field has trumped his behavior on the field. The day has come and Clemens is getting his due! For that I say, There truly is a God! Ed

I totally agree with you Mike. Like you, I still remember like it was yesterday how Clemens imploded on the mound in the 2000 World Series and how Piazza handled the situation with class and yet some people in the media and talk radio criticized Piazza! Prior to that event I remember when Piazza was beaned probably because Piazza owned him. Even with all that said, if Clemens would have handled this situation better I may have felt some compasion and possibly have some doubts about his steroid use.

I never thought the day would come when I would say that Clemens behavior off the field has trumped his behavior on the field. The day has come and Clemens is getting his due! For that I say, There truly is a God! Ed

Mike and Ed. Kudos to squeezing eloquently stated points into an hopelessly politicized and already saturated topic.

I am still waiting for a questioner to specifically ask Clemens about the Subway series in relation to recent accusations.

Who knows what turns the fate of teams in the world series, but I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering what would have happened without that deflating bat throwing incident. It is indeed a sad statement on our sports culture that Piazza took the heat when Charlie Reliford and Clemens laregly avoided the consequences of their cowardice. I admit to being shortsighted in my reactions at the time, but as Mets fans, perhaps we questioned Piazza's heart so easily perhaps because we always took it for granted that Clemens was a roided out mercenary animal.

The fact that Clemens can drag this out for so long is a testament to how he snowed over the fawning sports journalist community. Asked to call his ex-trainers sick son, he took the opportunity to try to set up his old friend. Despicable, no? Yet i still saw talking heads on espn declaring the press conference a real triumph for Clemens.

Finally, I am skeptical that the scapegoat argument, although important, is totally germane to this case. Clemens is paying for being who he was all these years, a man who's word was meaningless, a man who's strange habits (having a shady trainer inject him with) are STILL not getting questioned to the degree they should be, a man with no compunction about demanding an entirely different set of rules to play by, a man who threw at his own son. What we know about Clemen's character--the many stories that are coming out now during the media feeding frenzy--has resisted aggregation because of the pass he got for years from the press and fans. Maybe stories like these do not rise to the level we normally use to evaluate public figures, but I sure wouldn't want this guy as a friend/father/etc.

Clemens is the big fish here, maybe the biggest baseball scandal ever. His symbolic status is enough to guarantee some structural change. Personally, as much as I lament the passing of the creditability of our entire generation of athletes, I plan to enjoy watching Clemens drive his (original) Yankee retirement vehicle into the sunset.

You're right, Mike.

There is Justice in the world.

And he only got one HOF vote.

Here's to the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, and Clemens getting just as few votes in that one.

We can only hope that somewhere out there is conclusive evidence of Clemens' guilt, just waiting to be exposed. We can only hope that despite knowing such evidence exists, Clemens is making all his noise driven purely by the only thing larger than his head - his arrogance.

The entire Mitchell Report amounts to nothing but a giant, overly expensive pointed finger in a weak attempt to exonerate baseball from an entire decade of looking the other way. But like you Mike, I can't help but enjoy watching this colossal prick squirm.

one more athlete who defied the laws of sports and "somehow" got better as he got older.i'm 56 and been a baseball fan since i was a little kid.until the steroid and personal trainer era of baseball began, when a pitcher hit his late thirties he retired.he didn't start winning cy young awards.same thing with position players.i don't need clemens and bonds to go before congress or the feds.they cheated and now they will tell lies and act like the fans are idiots.i'm not fooled and i'm sure most of the readers on this blog know what's up also.twist in the wind roger and go back to texas and stay there.u siad yesterday u don't need the hall of fame.i hope all the idiot writers who vote for the hall remember that in the future..

Oh, hell, I'm late but I'll join the chorus here.

I too count myself as one who fairly despises the search for a scapegoat, particularly when the ones doing the searching had recently been playing the role of enabler for the wrong committed. Taking such a stance lands one in bed with many unsavory characters, of course; but those are the persons who generally provide the battleground for tests to the Bill of Rights. You get more Larry Flint's in the courtrooms for obsenity trials than you do Johnas Salk's.

But Clemens can do his own lifting as far as I am concerned. He's Lefty Grove without the charm; and Lefty Grove had no charm. So screw him, the liar.

About Mike's Mets

Please support Mike's Mets:

Disclaimer: Mike's Mets is an independent, unofficial fan site, and is not affiliated in any way with the New York Mets or Major League Baseball.

Other Links

General Baseball Links
Internet Radio Shows
Video Blogs
Other Team Links
Other Sports Links
Non-Sports Links
Video Direct

Looking for great deals on MLB Baseball Tickets? Visit JustgreatTickets.com for Cubs Tickets, NY Mets Tickets and a huge selection of Red Sox Tickets, Yankees Tickets and plenty of great concert Tickets for Dave Matthews Band Tickets and Buffett Tickets

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.1