Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Roger Clemens

Got this in the Astros County inbox today:

What the heck happened to Clemens? How did he not follow Pettitte/Giambi/anyone else's lead and just decide to apologize?

Thanks for the Q. I've stayed away from Roger Clemens news, because, well, he's not an Astro. And contrary to popular belief in Miller Park South, this is an Astros blog (and how DARE I have a picture of Steve Bartman on an Astros blog?!). Oh yeah, sorry.

I've been thinking about this very issue for quite some time now and have some opinions - some of which I'm sure are not my own. So before anyone jumps on me, know this: there have been so many articles/columns written about Roger Clemens that I'm not sure anyone has an original opinion anymore.

Roger Clemens got by on fastballs and the belief that the plate belonged to him, and no one else. Pound the inside half of the plate and the batter cries? Doesn't matter. Plate belongs to him. So Clemens succeeded utterly at the University of Texas. He succeeded utterly at Fenway. He succeeded utterly at Yankee Stadium, and he's treated like a god when he comes to Houston. He wins so many Cy Young Awards that people thought about renaming it the Roger Clemens award.

That bulldog mentality is what got him where he was. So when it came time to address the issue of whether or not he used performance-enhancing drugs, Roger did what he does when he gets in a jam: bulldoghed it. You don't say you're sorry. You throw the broken bat at Mike Piazza. Remember, this is a guy who intentionally walked only 63 out of 20,240 batters he faced (that includes 12 in 1991 alone).

Plus, Roger don't talk good. So he hires a guy who, I imagine, he thinks does speak well - Rusty Hardin. Except Rusty Hardin is "Slicker than deer guts on a doorknob" and Hardin doesn't see this situation as a time to back down, either, because no one outside of a 100-mile radius of Houston has ever heard of him. Indeed, more than one columnist has pointed to Hardin as Clemens' biggest problem.

Add ego and bulldogging up and voila - perjury. There's nothing Clemens can do now but wait and see what our federal government (who could have maybe been holding hearings on the economy rather than yelling at Andy Dick in Congress, admittedly) comes up with. Ain't no bulldogging it then.

Have you had a random encounter - not Mindy McCready-style - with Roger or any other Astro? E-mail it to