Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I Can See It Now
With the new book "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime" hitting shelves this week, The Rocket took some time this today to re-affirm his innocence on "Mike and Mike in the Morning". "I've seen the excerpts, they're completely false" said Clemens about the accusations made in the book. Furthermore he commented that his family has a history of heart trouble so it would be dangerous to take steroids. Why is he doing this to himself? It seems painfully obvious by now that he, and many many other players from his era used and abused steroids. Why doesn't he just admit that he did it? I don't get it. Roger Clemens appears to be headed down the same road as Pete Rose was about 20 years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years we see Roger posted up in a bookstore somewhere in Cooperstown, NY selling autographs for 50 bucks a pop.
Almost 20 years ago, the man they called "Charlie Hustle" was sentenced to lifetime ineligibility from baseball due to gambling on games that his team was involved in while he was a manager. Though the report compiled by John Dowd had a great amount of evidence showing that Rose bet for and against his own team, Rose denied the allegations and to this day still denies that he bet against his own team. It is because Rose still has not told the whole truth in my opinion that he is still banished from baseball and not allowed in the Hall of Fame. After all, there are raging alcoholics (Mickey Mantle among others) and druggies (Orlando Cepeda) in the Hall of Fame now. Why wouldn't one of the most talented and hard nosed players ever to play the game be allowed in if he admitted his mistake? Based on the old clips I've seen of Pete Rose I really admire the way he played the game and think he could have been a great role model, but Rose screwed himself over by acting so stupidly and he deserves his fate from here on out.
Now I'm not sure how this whole steroid thing is going to shake out, but it seems to me that with steroids (as with almost everything) it pays to be honest. The man they call "The Rocket" is choosing to deny, deny, deny while those who have come out and said they used are facing no impunity. However, Clemens has now apparently perjured himself in front of Congress: an act that can't go without punishment. I don't know who of the "Steroid Era" will make the Hall of Fame. Maybe they all will, maybe they all won't, maybe those who admit it will. I have no idea. It seems for now at least that the HOF voters are passing on the alleged users (McGwire only got 23% of the vote in 2008). If that continues to be the case, I can definitely see Clemens in a little shop in Cooperstown trying to plead his case a la Pete Rose while selling some 'graphs on the side.
Roger Clemens needs to learn a lesson from Pete Rose. Denying what you did when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary will get you nowhere in the eyes of baseball fans and Hall of Fame voters. Clemens is a man to whom his legacy is very important. He would be far better served to stop this charade and tell the truth than he will be by continually denying the steroid allegations against him.