By Mike Steffanos
I never cared much for Roger Clemens, but the incidents with Mike Piazza, culminating in the infamous World Series bad shard throwing incident, cemented a place for the large-buttocked pitcher in my Hall of Personal Enmity.
These feelings have only intensified over the years. Of particular irritation to me was the yearly brouhaha over whether Roger would pitch and for which team. I once compared him to "an aging beauty queen still desperately drinking in the attention of men." I thought it was one of the more ridiculous recurring stories of the last few years. Although there was plenty of speculation that the primary reason to start each season so late was to cover continued use of steroids over the winter, many sources treated the annual return as Roger's gift to all of us.
It occurred to me as I watched Clemens toss his wife under a bus (ironic after whining during his testimony that she felt like a pawn in his ex-trainer's game) and accuse Andy Petit of "misremembering" things that I had actually found a reason to appreciate Roger Clemens.
I believe that someday, someone who is a star player will come clean on his steroid usage. He will discuss honestly the pressures that caused him to make that unfortunate decision, and he will ask the public to forgive him. Given all of the prevarication and disingenuousness that others have resorted to, I will no choice but to grudgingly respect the courage of someone who actually has something to lose and is still willing to be honest.
I liken it to one of those Law and Order shows on tv, where the perps are put in separate rooms and told there is a deal to be made for whoever spills his guts first. The first star player -- either present or former -- who bucks the trend and comes across as honest and repentant will earn respect and gratitude that will at least somewhat offset the taint of PED usage.
I'm so glad that Roger Clemens isn't that man. I dislike Clemens because I believe him to be a bully and a blowhard. I dislike him because so many were willing to make silly excuses for throwing the bat at Mike Piazza in the World Series -- an act that would have led to an ejection in any level of the sport down to T-ball. There aren't quite so many apologists around now as the vultures circle and respect for Clemens free-falls like one of those Michael Milken junk stocks in the late 80s. Thanks, Raj... you incredible douchebag.
Back to posting everyday
Beginning next week, we will posting daily, whether it's myself or one of my co-bloggers. I'm going to make that commitment through the end of the season, and do my best to honor it.