A Rocket Full of Denial..
The denials continue, and his legacy continues to fade. His fight to prove he was clean during his career, will keep him in the ring, slugging, for the rest of his life.
A Hall of Fame career tarnished in an instant, and years of historic stats questioned and dismissed. Roger Clemens will continue to deny his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs as long as he’s breathing, but I’ll tell you this… The 41st Wraith does not believe him.
For those following the case, even with average interest, the story is rather clear. Clemens former trainer, Brian McNamee, accused Clemens of using steroids and HGH in the Mitchell Report. Clemens, vehemently denies ever using these substances, and declares McNamee a liar, spewing filth to save him years behind bars.
As we watch with relative interest and a touch of distain, it looks like two children telling their parents two different stories, because neither wants to get sent to their room for an extended period of time. Brian McNamee, has nothing to lose. He told his story and everything he knew related to steroids, based on his involvement and his experiences during his time with Roger and Andy Pettitte. The obvious question, why would McNamee fabricate a story so specific and bold, if absolutely none of it was true? To escape jail time? McNamee wouldn’t have gone to jail if he hadn’t said anything about Clemens. He didn’t need to speak with confidence and paint such a clear picture to save himself from years behind bars. He didn’t need to call out Clemens and Pettitte to every last detail and occurrence. But, simply put… He did. He told what he knew, what he went through, and sparked a seemingly endless back-and-forth battle of “he said-she said”.
The difference between Clemens and Pettitte in this instance, is that Pettitte has come clean and admitted his brief use of human growth hormone. Clemens, on the other side of the glass, has angrily denied ever cheating during his career, and will not validate anything McNamee has said regarding him in the Mitchell Report.
The one obvious factor I’ve rarely seen pointed out during this whole debacle, is that the two most prolific, notable, historic, iconic players in this generation of baseball – if not of all time – are the two players who most deny their involvement with steroids. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. These two players own records and numbers that only legends produce, and once they walk away from the game, their legacy is all they have. If Roger Clemens had mediocre career numbers, would he have admitted using certain substances during his career like a Paul Byrd, or an Andy Pettitte did? If Clemens wasn’t 8th all-time in wins (354), 2nd in strikeouts (4,672), winner of 7 Cy Young’s, and an MVP, would he have an easier time admitting his guilt? Of course he would. He has a ‘legacy’ to preserve, and inclusion in the Hall of Fame to think about, as does Barry Bonds. So there you have it. The two most famous players, are the two that are implicated the hardest, and are the strongest in denial.
Clemens worked hard for these awards and accomplishments, I won’t take that away from him. But in my humble opinion, he did some of it illegitimately and illegally, and that ruins everything he’s ever done in this great game. Every strike thrown, every ground-ball out, I don’t care about, because he’s helped tarnish the image of baseball.
Baseball will be cleaned up, it’s reputation renewed. It’ll take years and a lot of loyal fans to help overcome the ‘Steroid Era’, but it will happen, and the greatest game in the world will win the battle.
The losers of the battle are the ones who won’t own up to their mistakes, and instead sit in front of men with suits, and deny their involvement in a scandalous affair. Roger Clemens is now a man in a suit, a briefcase full of lies, and a career to protect. It’s already too late, and his reputation will forever be tainted. If only he’d realize that honesty could have saved him a little face. Instead, his face is now contorted, and his legacy is as dark as it can get.
The 41st Wraith