Manny Ramirez disappeared. Barry Bonds wasn’t permitted to disappear. Roger Clemens refuses to disappear. The Rocket goes back on trial today after his epic Congressional misfire. His story is noteworthy, if only to recount the profound degree of egotism involved.
The Mitchell report outed Roger Clemens. Not content with a curt denial through his lawyer, Clemens used his connections to arrange his own personal Congressional hearing – in the midst of two wars and an alarming economic crisis – at our expense. He professed his innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence, subjected us to a bitch-fest with his former friend and taught us more than we ever wanted to know about hot liniment and ass abscesses.
Now, he’s on trial because the government believes, in the entirely unnecessary hearing he sought, Clemens lied. He faces two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of Congress. He will have his case heard at public expense and, potentially, will be imprisoned at public expense.
That harsh outcome shouldn’t sate us. The only proper nemesis for Clemens’ would be to repay the entire cost of this farce and spend the rest of his life working for a living. Cheating for monetary and competitive gain is understandable. Creating a costly nuisance to gratify one’s own ego is just sick.
Clemens’ verdict will not reverberate. No one with firing synapses could claim he was innocent. Most, jaded by nearly a decade of ubiquitous steroid controversy, no longer care. Roger won’t take his rightful place in Cooperstown. The few concerned will have to be content trading mawkish childhood memories of Mickey Mantle.
This isn’t about legacy. This is about arrogance, self-delusion and one man’s inability to digest a world in which he is not a god. The hubris that made Roger Clemens a great pitcher made him, in his adult life, a fucking moron.
[Photo via Getty]