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An Open Letter To Roger Clemens

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIMay 13, 2009

This is a new world you have found yourself in, is it not Rog?  You still have more money than you know what to do with, but it gnaws at you down deep in the wheelhouse, where nobody can see that things have changed.

It is difficult, if not impossible to feel true compassion about someone who threw their own self under the bus.  Yes you did, you know you did.

Take a look out there now Roger.  Take a good long look.  You actually broke a whole bunch of hearts of the fans who revered you.  Mine?  No, of course not, I never really liked you anyway.  No offense, you have just never done it for me.

I have always been a fan of players who do not talk a lot but let their craft do their communicating for them.  You know, people like Tommy John, Roger Maris, Jim Thome.  People who played the game straight up, asking for no quarter and certainly giving none.

Now more about you and your uh, what shall we say, predicament? 

You had the world by the onions.  You were destined for the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, maybe the first 100% ever.  And if you had retired when you should have, I would not be penning this letter just now.  You would still be America’s sweetheart, The Rocket!  Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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The thing that gets me is this - you brought this entire scenario upon yourself.  Nobody compelled you to go in and lie to Congress.  You just could not stand it that you were caught up in the cyclone which I now call Steroidmania.  When I say caught up, I mean found out. 

Brian McNamee let people know that you were not what you were perceived to be.  You could have just said, “Hell with him, let people think what they will.”  But not you, no, you had to be public, and worse, you had to be a spectacle. I remember when you said, “I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Hall of Fame…”.  Remember that?  Or did you forget that as well?

I wonder if you will be saying that five or ten years down the line.  I bet Mark McGwire regrets telling Congress, “I’m not here to talk about the past.”  At last count he has been on two HOF ballots, outvoted on both of them, and actually fell in rank from bad to worse on them.

Does it matter not that you were a hero, a legend, a player kids looked up to for an example to follow?  Or are you like Bob Gibson?  “Why should I be an example for your kids?  Be an example for your own kids.”  I thought that was flippant but Gibson was Gibson, and he is a Hall of Famer now.

Lying to Uncle Sugar is serious business son. Ask Barry Bonds.  Remember now, they did not come after you, you sought them. 

Bringing legal action against McNamee was a very bad thing to do.  I always use to hear that the more you stirred s*it, the more it smelled. I believe that is true, so does anyone else who has fallen down a flight of stairs with a “thunder mug” in his or her hand.  But I digress.

The real sad thing is you took part in ruining a whole generation of players who have played clean and above board.  We cannot trust anyone anymore.  A-Rod fessed up after he got caught, so did Manny, sort of.  And you still, still, STILL deny it.  What is up with that?  They have got DNA on needles with blood that said it belongs to you.  Blood does not lie Roger, people do.

Deny on Roger, deny on.  I guess you will be like Pete Rose.  Do your time, watch your life played on TV, then come out with a best-seller, “I didn’t use ‘roids, bit if I would have….”.

Kids loved you man.  They idolized you. What are their parents supposed to tell them? Should they drop a dime on you?  I mean what is next for them?  “Here Kids, Daddy needs to tell you something.  You know the stuff they said Roger Clemens did?  Well, he did it.  Oh, by the way, you know what we told you about Santa, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy……..”

Nothing is sacred anymore.  Damn it, you need to confront the issue.  There is no healing when pain or disease is not confronted. And between you and me, now it does not even matter if you did it or not. 

People will always think you did what you were accused of doing, that's the reality.  Just like a person being charged with being a pedophile.  Even though they are innocent, the condemnation rages on so far that the truth does not matter anymore.

Tell us the truth Roger.  Yes, we can handle the truth.  The truth will set you free.

Please visit my website for this and many other sports articles.

© 2009 Clifton Eastham. All Rights Reserved

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