Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bill Livingston On Roger Clemens

Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Bill Livingston is right on with his analysis of Roger Clemens in his story this morning:

Roger Clemens doesn't have credibility in his arsenal, says The Plain Dealer's Bill Livingston
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Bill LivingstonPlain Dealer Columnist
Roger Clemens lost me after he threw the broken bat at the New York Mets' Mike Piazza during the 2000 World Series, then said he thought it was the ball. He had no credibility long before Wednesday.
Only a shameless dissembler would think he could get away with that, one who has been catered to and fawned on most of his life because he could make a baseball accelerate like an exotic particle in an elaborate physics experiment.
His tactile sensation and cognitive awareness seemingly deserted poor Clemens all at once, leaving him unable to differentiate between the business end of a wooden bat and a spherical, cowhide-covered ball, an object he had spent most of his life gripping.
Either that, or he lied to cover his butt.
Two questions:
Why didn't he throw the bat to first base? And do you usually throw the ball at a runner?
It's a good thing Clemens spent the bulk of his career in the American League, where he didn't have to bat. The possibility that he would stride to the plate some day, batting gloves wrapped securely around an infield practice ball, is alarming.
No questions that came out of the congressional hearing mattered as much as that one incredible example of arrogance, although they were its distant cousins in brazenness.
What was the bat throw? Was it some ridiculous exercise in intimidation?
Possibly. Clemens, especially in the land of the designated hitter, free of retribution, loved to make "chin music."
Or was it 'roid rage?
Ever since Clemens was named in the Mitchell Report as a user of performance-enhancing drugs, I thought that was probably the cause of the Rocket's red glare in the World Series.
Tinker to Evers to Chance.
Hillerich to Bradsby to fat chance?
Before Congress, Clemens also made several statements that rang my Piazza Meter.
He said that informant Brian McNamee, as busy a needler as a tattoo artist, didn't inject him with steroids, although Chuck Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte, Clemens' former teammates, say McNamee injected them.
Clemens said McNamee gave his wife a shot of human-growth hormone without his knowledge, presumably right in her bottom, before the couple appeared in a Sports Illustrated photo shoot.
He said that when Sen. George Mitchell's staff asked to talk to him, his agent never told him. Yet, craziest thing, he still has the same agent.
It was never normal for athletes as old as Barry Bonds (43) or Clemens (45), both of them ancient for sports, to be at their best at such ages. Not without a little help from their friends.
Presumably among the "friends" would be their personal trainers, McNamee in the case of Clemens, and Greg Anderson in the case of Bonds. Anderson went to prison and never talked, which is why Bonds has not had to appear before a similar hearing. Good help is so hard to find these days.
I understand that McNamee has a trail of lies behind him in giving up evidence incrementally. I simply believe him over Clemens.
By the way, how about when the chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, gaveled Clemens down as he tried to argue? It might have been the first time he had been told no since mommy took the crayons away for drawing on the wall.
The bat/ball thrower had to face the music at last.
To reach Bill Livingston:, 216-999-4672
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