Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The fine line, redux

Dan Wetzel from Yahoo Sports had the same slant as I had posted way back on February 4th when I penned the entry The fine line between bold and stupid. My belief, simply, was:

There's a fine line between being bold/aggressive and stupid. I think Clemens & Co. are crossing the line.

I think Rusty should just keep quiet and stop trying to win the battle for the court of public opinion. That will be determined on February 13th.

What if 1) Everyone universally agrees that Pettitte IS honest and 2) He tells the truth and that contradicts everything Clemens has said? Then what, Rusty? An indictment, I guess. Or, are you going to accuse Pettitte of lying under oath?

I still think Clemens has the "unknowingly" phrase packed away, but ready to use when testifying. "I THOUGHT McNamee was giving me only B-12 and Lidocaine; if he gave me anything else, he did it without my knowledge or permission." Yes, that's how I see Clemens playing this out in 10 days.

Wetzel takes my thoughts a step further, thankfully, and opened his article this way:

Roger Clemens is either completely innocent or completely stupid.

There really isn't another option, not after Clemens has so aggressively defended himself against performance-enhancing drug charges that he has, perhaps unwittingly, raised the stakes to felony levels.

A felony? Looks like someone overplayed their hand, eh Rusty/Roger?

As I have claimed many times, Clemens has done everything we've said we would want our sports heroes to do if wrongly accused. From Wetzel:

He's filed a defamation lawsuit. He's gone on "60 Minutes." He's held a news conference. He's taped a phone call. He's voluntarily testified under oath. He's welcomed his day in Washington. He's met privately with politicians. He's prepared statistical arguments. He's challenged the slightest of charges with evidence. He's had his lawyers make all sorts of crazy comments.

He's showed how you attempt to prove a negative, with a full-bore attack.

What's so interesting to me, as a fan, is the parallels to Barry Bonds, with one major difference: Barry has been beloved and almost sheltered in his home town. I know the SF fans file it under "he's our guy, for better or worse" and I can live with that 100%. Being a fan isn't easy these days. But with Clemens, he's burned every bridge in Boston. He was beloved in his hometown of Houston when he went home, bringing Pettitte, too, leading the 'Stros to a W.S. berth. But in doing so, he burned many bridges in NY. Then he turned his back on Houston to grab more $ from the Yanks. The Yanks fans, of which I am one, looked at Clemens as a hired gun, not "one of our guys", especially last year. He's got very little support amongst the Yanks fans I have chatted with.

Roger has garnered no sympathy or empathy. He's just a tragic figure these days. What a shame. He'll have to live out his days under the cloud of PED use, likely to have to pay to get into the HOF just like I do. Talk about a fall from grace. Makes Palmiero's and McGwire's fall look like a toddler stumbling rather than the dive Clemens has taken.

Let's see how Roger tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

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