Ok, I admit it. I'm a sucker for a good soap opera. I don't want to hear any that figures either because I know plenty of men who are into them too.
The soap opera that has been plaguing my beloved baseball for quite awhile now is the steroids era. The most recent episode is the Clemens vs. McNamee show. I know everyone and their mother is talking about the hearing today, and I know they all probably wrote about it too. I apologize to anyone who's tired of hearing/reading about it, but I feel the need to speak my piece.
I am a diehard Yankee fan, but I am also an intelligent person who won't be blinded by her love for the team. That may be unpopular among my fellow fans, so I apologize, but I'm not going to turn a blind eye to the farce that Roger Clemens has created. I openly admit that I have never liked the man. I like the pitcher and his talent, but the man is arrogant. No situation expressed that more than his joining the Yankees last year. I was happy he decided to come back because I thought the team needed him. I was not happy about the way he did it, but it wasn't a surprise to me given what I already stated about his arrogance. He left the Astros and Yankees waiting because he knew he could. He knew they wanted and needed him, and he exploited that. A man who loves the game as much as he says wouldn't have done that. He would've made a decision based on whether he wanted to play anymore, not on how much money he could get. Dragging it out as long as he did, only made his services wanted more which resulted in the obscene amount of money he received.
Enough about that though. I was only trying to give an example of his character and motives which I have always questioned. If ever there was a day when it was in question the most, it was today.
When the Mitchell Report first came out and Clemens was named, I gave him the benefit of the doubt even though I always suspected him of using. I'll get to that later. I even argued that it was unfair for him to be accused of such actions based on the word of one man alone. I felt the reputation of a man should've been taken more seriously by having a higher burden of proof. After his televised press conference with the infamous recorded telephone conversation, I was still willing to believe his innocence was possible even though I felt he was further away from providing answers. He left everyone as confused as ever. What did all his behaviors mean?
Then, McNamee provided physical evidence. Damning for sure, but inconclusive as far as I was concerned. I believe that if a court of law can't deem someone guilty without conclusive evidence, the public should be held to the same standard. I even started to lean toward Roger's camp because I felt saving those syringes was shady at the least. That coupled with McNamee's probable rape of a woman years ago left him less than credible in my eyes.
Yesterday, I read about Andy Pettitte's testimony, and today, I heard it in depth when I listened to the congressional hearing. Yes, I listened even though this thing has been beaten to a pulp. It was like not being able to look away from a car accident even though it might cause you to have one yourself. Andy Pettitte admitted he used HGH in 2004 when he didn't have to since it wasn't in the report. Andy Pettitte is a standup guy even by Clemens' account. I believe Andy Pettitte.
I also believe it makes no sense for McNamee to tell the truth about Pettitte and Knoblauch as they've both confirmed, but lie about Clemens. McNamee may be of questionable morals and ethics himself, but it does nothing for him if he implicates all 3 when only 2 are guilty.
As I listened to Roger answer questions, it became increasingly clear to me that he was lying. I don't know how anyone could've thought otherwise. There were contradictions and inconsistencies all over the place. There were evasions of direct answers galore. I felt he insulted all of our collective intelligence by thinking he could get away with skirting the issue. Nobody wanted to hear about how you were raised, we wanted to hear you give believable explanations. I'm not going to go into all the testimony at the hearing because I'd never finish, and I'm sure you've all heard the pertinent info.
Now, I actually don't blame him for lying at this point because what else is he going to do? He can't go back. He's committed to his lies and owning up to them now would only make it worse for him. I do blame him for lying at the start.
It has always been inconceivable to me that a pitcher could pitch 200 + innings for several years into his forties without injury and without slowing down at least a little. I'm sure many people allowed for the possibility wanting to believe one of their idols. Hey, his workout allowed his longevity. After today though, I really don't see how we could allow for that possibility anymore.
Clemens lied, and I'll tell you why. He's always been somewhat larger than life, and he knows it. He is one of the most accomplished, talented pitchers anyone will ever see, and he knows it. He had a strong impact on the game of baseball, and he knows it. His self-importance made him believe he had to do whatever it took to stay in the game and on the field for as long as possible. How could he not when he was Roger Clemens. He convinced himself that HGH and steroids would accomplish that, and how dare anyone question him. He did it for his public. He thinks he did the right thing. Now everyone is saying he didn't, and he can't believe it. He's morally indignant and outraged that his public isn't thanking him for allowing them to see him pitch longer. He provided them with a service and enjoyment.
There was no way in hell Clemens was ever going to admit what he did because he felt like he didn't have to. He did enough for the sport and should be excused from having to explain himself. While he kept being forced into a corner, he continued to deny, deny, deny because he realized all of this could blow up in his face, and his legacy would be forever tarnished. He does care about that and the hall of fame. No doubt in my mind even though he says otherwise. Who wouldn't want to be voted into the hall of fame. Who wouldn't want to be remembered as one of the best pitchers who ever played the game.
Now Clemens will be remembered for using PEDs and lying about it. He's leaving a legacy for sure, but not one he ever planned or thought. Some may think that's a shame for him, but it's of his own creation, and the shame is on him.