Thursday, February 14, 2008
A Valentine for Roger Clemens
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Dateless though I may be, it's been a pretty great V-day so far in that I finally managed to wake up and get myself to work after 3 days holed up on my sofa killing brain cells with a heady combination of Theraflu and daytime television. The world on the whole looks sunny and sparkly, and I'm sending lots of loverly wishes to everyone out there. In honor of the day, I encourage you to read Jean Teasdale's magnificent Valentine's column from a few years ago and have a nice, cynical laugh. As for my holiday plans, they include eating oranges and going to bed early. Woohoo.
One advantage to being home yesterday was that I got to watch the Roger Clemens hearing almost in its entirety. Honestly, I thought Roger came off pretty well until the end when Senator Ratface had to gavel him down. McNamee looked like a squirmy little liar to me. And yes, dammit, I'm biased. I've made no bones about the fact that I love Roger, and I am perfectly willing to take his claims of innocence at face value until I am presented with more conclusive evidence to the contrary. To call this whole steroids thing a witchhunt is to label it perfectly, as it seems the accused are left utterly without recourse to clear their names once they've been fingered. I detest a system so lacking in merit, and I refuse to buy into it. At the same time, I respect Andy Pettitte for his candor; the idea, though, that no response other than a full-on admittance of guilt is an acceptable one makes a mockery of our justice system. The purpose of the steroids investigation should be to foster a more honest major league baseball environment in which individuals are held accountable for their actions going forward, not to muddy and disgrace the great games and players of the past without sufficient evidentiary cause for doing so.
Roger Clemens, you get to be my valentine this year. You're my favorite athlete of all time, and even if no one else supports you, I do. I've always loved you, pinstripes or no, and I don't intend to quit now. Last month I stayed up until midnight one night to watch your 20-strikeout game against Seattle on NESN Classic. I knew what was going to happen on every pitch before you threw it, and I still clapped my hands and shrieked like a giddy schoolgirl for every fastball that went whiffing over the plate. You sure as hell weren't on steroids then; you were running on youthful adrenaline and blinding natural talent. You are an asshole, that's for sure, but history will attest to the fact that "men I love" and "assholes" are practically* concentric circles in the Venn diagram of my life. So there you have it, Roger. I choo-choo-choose you. Happy Valentine's Day.
* The exceptions, of course, being my dad and brother. Happy Valentine's Day, boys, and a big one to Mom and the little bug too!