Most everyone knows there is some sort of baseball steroid scandal going on.
This morning, ESPN aired live testimony from Capitol Hill of Roger Clemens, famed major league pitcher, vehemently denying that he ever took steroids or human growth hormone.
Honestly, I don’t care if he did. I don’t care if he didn’t. The whole thing has left a really bitter taste in my mouth. If he did, I really wish he would just man up and admit it. If he didn’t, I feel bad for him. How does he get his reputation back? His name will be forever tarnished and associated with the whole scandal.
I don’t really like Roger Clemens, mostly because my impression of him over the years is that he isn’t a very nice person. He seems to be pretty angry, and have a pretty bad temper. I will agree with anyone who says he is a great pitcher. For sure, he has carved his place in the upper echelon of men who have pitched in the Major Leagues.
But he’s not nice. Oh I’m sure he’s done nice things in his life, but he’s not nice, according to my tenet of If you’re nice to me, but rude to the waiter, then you’re not a nice person. A browse through his Wikipedia article (which, yes, I know… it’s Wikipedia… ) provides the following snippets:
Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron angered the pitcher by saying that pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP. “I wish he were still playing,” Clemens responded. “I’d probably crack his head open to show him how valuable I was.”
His reputation has always been that of a pitcher unafraid to throw close to batters. Clemens led his league in hit batsmen only once, in 1995, but he has been among the leaders in several other seasons.
Clemens has also attracted controversy over the years for his outspoken comments, such as his complaints about having to carry his own luggage through an airport and his criticism of Fenway Park for being a subpar facility.
But the incident that stands out for me, a lifelong Mets fan, was his ongoing bad blood with Mike Piazza, which culminated in Roger Clemens chucking a piece of very sharp broken bat at Piazza.
The reason why I bring up his niceness – or lack thereof – is because of his testimony today in front of the congressional subcommittee investigating steroids in major league baseball. Frank and I were watching as Roger Clemens gave his opening statement. Transcripts are not yet available online as far as I can find but during his statement he said something to the effect of, “If I am guilty of anything, it’s that I’m nice. Perhaps I’m even too nice.”
And then Frank and I peeled ourselves off the floor when we were done with our fit of laughter.