Roger Clemens: Not Guilty. On all six counts.
I took this picture at Yankee Stadium last month. Bet this guy is happy today.
After yesterday’s post I realized it was time to stop evading the steroids/P.E.D “witch-hunt” issue and address it head-on in a helpful way. What follows is a case-by-case look at the evidence and facts in the cases of prominent players who have been suspected or accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and a careful evaluation of their guilt or innocence.
Evidence: Named in the Mitchell Report and accused by former trainer Brian McNamee, currently under federal indictment for lying to Congress about his P.E.D. use. Head the size of a zeppelin. None of that is definitive, however: we need to look deeper.
Roger Clemens’ win-loss record is 354–184. 3+5+4+1+8+4 = 25. As we should all know from our studies of numerology, 25 symbolizes the Law according to Saint Augustin and the Universal Word of God according to Abellio*. In addition, “According to visions of Ann-Catherine Emmerich, the duration of the trip of the Three Magi was 25 days,” and “Mahomet was 25 years old when he married a widow, named Khadidja.”
Furthermore, one of Roger Clemens’ attorneys is Rusty Hardin. Hardin earned his law degree at Southern Methodist University in 1975. 1+9+7+5 is 22 – that’s right, Roger Clemens’ old uniform number. There are 22 letters of the alphabet in the Pentateuch, and Jeroboam reigned for 22 years. Taking it one step farther, 2+2 is 4, and “number 4 people” tend to be “hard workers” and “dependable” with “a higher purpose in life.”
(*Yeah, I don’t know either. Cursory research indicates that Abellio is either an ancient god worshipped in the Garonne Valley in Gallia Aquitania (now southwest France), or a British bus company. Either way I think that’s pretty conclusive.)
Evidence: Palmiero was born on September 24th, 1964, making him a Libra. Libras are “desperate for the approval of others,” “crave new knowledge” and “set out to accomplish their chosen goals and will find ways to succeed one way or the other.” Ruh-roh. On top of that, Libra is the only inanimate sign of the zodiac.
Verdict: Guilty, and possibly inanimate.
Evidence: He turned me into a newt!*
Verdict: Burn him!
(*I got better.)
Evidence: Back acne, per veteran blogger Murray Chass. In Salem back in the day, midwives used to check suspected witches for “black marks” on the body which might indicate their guilt. So, what we really need to know here is, did this “bacne” consist of whiteheads or blackheads? I have emailed Mr. Chass and eagerly await his response. Until then, we can reach no certain conclusions. (Disclaimer: Chass is not currently a licensed midwife. As far as I know).
Evidence: With Bagwell, we are lucky in that we can apply the immutable laws of tasseography, or tea-leaf reading, to his facial hair over the years. I can clearly see an icicle in many photos of Bagwell’s beard, signifying his being frozen out of the Hall of Fame. In addition I can make out an upside-down Christmas tree, symbolizing Bagwell’s pact with Satan, and wavy lines, which symbolize an uncertain path. According to tasseography experts, owls symbolize gossip, scandal, and aliens, while an ostrich represents travel and “not seeking a truth.” I don’t actually see an owl or an ostrich in Bagwell’s beard but I’m just saying.
Also, while I hate to use guilt by association as an incriminating factor, the following picture is too revealing to ignore:
Verdict: Sorry Jeff.
Fresh direct from the Lo-Hud Yankee oven, today’s line-up:
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Austin Kearns DH
Ramiro Pena 3B
Also, Lance Berkman has been placed on the DL. Drag. Eduardo Nunez was been called-up.
Meanwhile, tough day for Mr. Clemens.
[Picture by Bags]
The last time a sense of newness and expectation this powerful converged with the New York Yankees was 2002. The YES Network had been clear for takeoff — it launched on March 19 on Time Warner Cable and RCN in New York (Cablevision would be left out until March 31 the following year). The major signing was a power-hitting first baseman brought to New York from an American League West stalwart.
This year, a massive new stadium — in size and cost — sets the backdrop for a Yankee team that has brought in another powerful first baseman from the AL West, but two stud pitchers to solidify the starting rotation.
The Yankees opened the 2002 season on a Monday afternoon in April, in Baltimore. The same scenario comes to the fore today. Seven years ago, Roger Clemens took the hill and was tattooed in a 10-3 loss. Clemens injured his pitching hand trying to snare a hard-bouncing ground ball with his bare hand.
What will the outcome be today? Will history repeat itself? Will C.C. Sabathia, the highest-paid pitcher ever, try to barehand a line drive and damage the investment the Yankees have placed in him? Will Mark Teixeira, the topic of much discussion over the weekend, particularly after Saturday’s two-home-run performance, do what Jason Giambi couldn’t: get off to a great start in New York and convince the fans that he can hang in New York?
The greatest differences: the 2002 team, while starkly different than its predecessor, was coming off a Game 7 loss in the World Series and a potential four-peat. This Yankee team, at least in the makeup of its core players, is not that different than last year’s, and is coming off its first playoff absence since 1993.
How about the season? Will history repeat itself there also? The opening-day loss didn’t faze the 2002 group, which went on to finish 103-58 and coasted to a fifth straight AL East title only to get complacent and lose to the Angels in the first round. A 103-58 record is possible, but the intradivision competition is tougher. The Angels lurk again.
From everything I’ve read, seen and heard, I sense the air of purpose from this team is as strong as the Joe Torre championship teams. I’m as curious as the rest of you to see how it all plays out, and I can’t wait.