Think back five or ten years ago.
We were being treated to some of the most historic, entertaining, compelling stories in 20 or 30 years of Major League Baseball. Now, it’s a media circus in which one of the greatest games on the earth is rapidly losing its credibility.
When I was maybe 9 or 10 years old I had the privilege (at least that’s what I considered it at the time) of meeting Roger Clemens. Clemens was the Boston Red Sox ace at the time, and one of two or three dominating pitchers in baseball along with Nolan Ryan (at the end of his career) and Randy Johnson.
While I was meeting one of my then childhood heroes, something struck me as odd about him. It seemed as if he didn’t want to be there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that most athletes hate public appearances and just do it for the pay check. Roger seemed even more annoyed than any other athlete I had seen.
Slowly, my dislike for him started to grow, however he was playing for the Sox, and he still performed at the cathedral I prayed at known as Fenway.
When he became a Toronto Blue Jay in 1997, I was devastated, but part of me was not surprised, as I had discovered Roger probably wasn’t the best role model I could have had growing up. Then when Roger became part of the evil empire in New York, I knew I had wasted years of collecting posters and cards, I had worshiped a greedy, overweight, selfish, downright nasty human being.
The records he would set, however, (300 plus wins, 4,000 plus strikeouts, and 5 Cy Young Awards) made me HAVE to respect him.
Now, after the steroid probe, Mitchell Report, and Congressional Hearings (complete waste of time and tax payer dollars) I’ve realized that not only was my dislike for him okay, he now deserved my total lack of respect, and down right hate.
Look at what the so called “greatest pitcher of all time” has done to the game of baseball. Not only has he made our nation’s congress take time from dealing with wars and taxes to see if he’s cheating or not, he has potentially told a lie to each and every one us to our faces.
The FBI has launched an investigation on Roger to see if he has committed perjury (lying under oath), and now a man who was once worshiped by millions, including myself, may be nothing more than a lying, cheating criminal.
While there are some people who may take Roger’s side, simply saying that he took steroids only to keep up with the hitters he was throwing fastballs to, not one single person can escape the fact that this man may have LIED to the US government, all of us, and millions of children wearing the number 22 on their back trying to be just like him.
I completely understand in today’s society, you are innocent until proven guilty, but for a man who has as much fame, fortune, and records as Roger Clemens has, you cannot help but feel betrayed as a baseball fan by what he and his stubbornness is turning the greatest game on earth into.
I know I sure as hell do.