Sunday, January 06, 2008
A Great Competitor
To me--Roger Clemens is the Greatest Competitor of My Generation. From his very beginnings in Boston--playing for The Red Sox, I have enjoyed watching him pitch. The fact that my brother, Michael, is a Boston Red Sox Season Ticket Holder, allowed me to see Clemens in his early prime.
His dedication to the profession, his undying work ethnic, his fiery nature--watching Roger Clemens compete has been one of my favorite joys following baseball during my adult life. For many years--I have said--I would take Clemens first in any effort to build a baseball team. No one was more team oriented. No one wanted to win more. I have always admired him.
That's why The Mitchell Report's claims of Roger's Steroid and Human Growth Hormone use have bothered me--more so--than any other player named in the report. Clemens' Former Trainer, Brian McNamee's, claims to Senator Mitchell has become my personal "Say It Ain't So--Joe!!" moment.
Now--I have NO IDEA--whether Roger Clemens is guilty or not--yet, he came out FIRING TONIGHT at Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes. Clemens may never pitch another game in Major League Baseball after this evening. But, His Sunday Night Tosses were Major League Caliber Pitches on CBS. This Great Competitor took NO PRISONERS. Mike Wallace may well be one of the greatest interviewers in journalism history--and doesn't fear ANYONE. Yet, each and every time Wallace threw him a curve--Roger Clemens fired back with his High & Tight Fastball or Nasty Slider. A Cy Young and Command Performance like none ever seen previously.
This 60 Minutes Interview was a Playoff Game all its own. In many respects, it was like watching The 7th and Deciding Game of The World Series.
Who was going to win?
No one--as it turned out--right now. This Ball Game remains tied after 9 strong innings. Both starters went the distance. Now, we all head to Extra Innings on The Roger Clemens Saga. A Congressional Hearing in just 10 Days.
Roger Clemens ENTIRE 24 Fabulous Years as a Top Pitcher in the game is now on the line. A Hall Of Fame Career--unquestioned just last month--has now brought doubt. As Roger said to Mike Wallace in the interview--he's guilty until proven innocent--its The American Way of today. So Very True.
Yes, I would love to see Clemens exonerated. But, I don't know whether he will. The Real Proof has yet to be found.
The African Queen has little knowledge of Roger Clemens. In fact, when she watched tonight's interview--Sohna didn't even know what teams Clemens has played for--or whether he was still competing today. Yet, the moment Mike Wallace finished grilling him on television--she turned to me and stated about Clemens: "After listening to him, I think I believe him, more so than the other guy (McNamee). No one faces Mike Wallace so strongly if you are not telling the truth."
I hope she's right--as I wish that tonight's Powerful Performance will help prove Roger Clemens innocent. Can you possible wait for his Congressional Testimony next week? That day--will be Must See TV.
As a side note--whether Roger Clemens is guilty or not--it was nice to see ANY PLAYER take an offensive stand and not remain quiet or make lame remarks--like Nook Logan's infamous comment: "I am just trying to remain focused."