Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bad As Bonds -or- Just Plain Bad

Here's what I think about Roger Clemens: I don't like Roger Clemens. Never have.

Not my kind of pitcher I suppose, and that doesn't mean that I don't like me some power pitchers. Randy Johnson, Justin Verlander, Dontrelle Willis, hell yes. I mean, I guess I'd take a good knuckleballer over any of those guys in most cases, as far as aesthetics go, but still, nothing against power pitchers. That just doesn't enter in to the equation.

And neither do steroids, obviously. If I've pretty much disliked him since as far as I can remember, back before he took steroids, then the steroids obviously don't have anything to do with it. Sure, now he takes steroids, or he did and now he's stopped, and whatever, and sure that makes him a dickhead, but, it, again, does not enter in to the equation.

Not like there is an equation to begin with, just a sour taste in my mouth. Chemistry goons might say, "hey you've got yourself an equation there, son. a chemical equation," and maybe they're right, but the point is he always seemed to me like a jackass with no loyalty to anything who would take steroids and play for the Toronto Blue Jays for no reason, for the New York Yankees to stomp on reason and for the Houston Astros to attempt to clothe himself in an aura of reason, and who would be a jackass.

He should've stayed in Boston. Maybe not forever, and certainly not until now - he should've retired a couple of years ago no matter how good he's been, it just isn't worth the distraction his incessant waffling creates - but at least, I mean. Some athletes say, "it's about the money" and they're done with it. Some say, "it's about winning" and sometimes it is, and that's enough, because anyone who does anything the slightest bit contrary to the idea that "it's about money" deserves some sort of notice. Clemens never said shit. When obviously the only reason he would leave Boston, who, for whatever reason, loved the guy, to go play in Toronto during a period where it was pretty clear they weren't going to be winning, was the money, he acted like it was just some sort of arbitrary decision. Boston should spit on him, I think.

Then he goes to the Yankees? Shit on sticks. At least there he could say it was about winning, though it obviously wasn't. At least Johnny Damon owned up to being a greedy bastard. That way you can hate him or love him and leave it at that. He's ditched his past, whereas Clemens never did. It doesn't seem that it never mattered to him much.

Most puzzling is his most recent phase as a Houston Astro, where he at least acts as if he's doing it to be near his family. Which makes a lot of sense, and you can look at that, and then look at bigger ticket offers from Boston and New York and then look at him turning those down and think here's a man with some principles. But it isn't that simple.

Maybe no one deserves this kind of scrutiny, but the key here is that, every year, he still entertains those offers. Even though he's in that stage of his career where playing for money is just super tacky, it's still a factor, no matter how he denies it.

Now, I'm not sure why I'm saying any of this right now, but it might have something to do with the fact that I was reminded today by Deadspin about the fact that he was accused last year of having abused anabolic steroids. I saw pictures of him as an Astro and as Red Sox (Red Sock doesn't work here actually, since Sox, despite homophony, is not the word Socks, really) which made the 21st century Roger look like the motherfucking Hulk, by which I mean a man on anabolic steroids. Like I said, this doesn't change my opinion of him, but it reminds me of why I wish he would just stop.

I saw him pitch in Detroit last year. He pitched very well and left with the game tied, if I remember correctly, though Detroit ended up winning, I think, because Houston's bullpen is and has always been atrociously really bad. When he left the Detroiters gave him a standing ovation. Even me. I guess I didn't really think about it too much at the time, but now I kind of wonder why.



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