Because he began his career with the Boston Red Sox, I, as a Yankee Fan -- always, Capital Y, Capital F -- found it difficult to trust him in Pinstripes, or any other way. When he told the Yanks he was retiring, then he went to Houston, the New York Post (which I usually loathe) put up a classic headline: "WHAT AN ASS-TRO!"
Now, he's been accused of steroid use. With no proof put forward as of this writing. If proof is one day shown, fine, then we'll have to deal with it. As of right now, none.
Should his Cy Young Awards be taken away? I'm not sure. Should the Yankees' World Series titles with him be vacated? Be serious. The 1999 title was won with little help from him. The 2000 title was against the Mets, and they had accused steroid users as well. And that bat was not thrown AT Piazza. (If there's one thing Roger Clemens has proven, it's that if he wants to throw something at a guy and hit him with it, especially if it's Mike Piazza, he can do it.)
That said, I hope he never pitches for the Yankees again. They've got enough drama princes on their roster. In fact, if Alex Rodriguez was the only one, that would still be one too many.
It could be worse: I could treat him the way Suzyn Waldman treated him last spring, as if he were a Beatle and she were a 13-year-old girl sitting in the balcony at what's now the Ed Sullivan Theater.
In fact... If you'll indulge me, I'd like to get into character here...
What's the matter with you people? Roger didn't do anything wrong! He's just a good Southern boy who was looking to do something about an injury!
You people make me sick! All he wants to do is pitch! You're lucky he even performs for you at all!
Seven Cy Young Awards! Almost five thousand strikeouts! Two World Championships! Six Pennants! Over both Leagues! He's the greatest pitcher who ever lived! And all you people wanna do is smack him! Smack, smack, smack, smack, SMACK!
LEAVE ROGER ALONE!!!!
Leave Roger alone! Leave Roger alone!
Okay, back to normal. Well, normal by my standards, anyway.
We should leave Roger alone. That means, instead of going after him, just don't pay any attention to him at all.
That means you, Curt Schilling. You were as big a Clemens acolyte as Andy Pettitte, to the point where you're as big an ass as Clemens, as Pettitte never has been. How do we know you aren't juicing, Curt? Huh? We're supposed to just take your word for it? Ha!
Lee Thomas, the Phillies' GM while you were there, was right: "One day out of five, he's a horse; the other four, he's a horse's ass!"
And that means you, Pete Rose. Shut the bloody hell up. For a guy who's a known compulsive gambler, you should know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. You damaged the game far more than Clemens did (if he did), and what you did was actually against the rules when you did it.
On second thought, I would like to see Roger pitch one more time. With Pete in the batter's box. Pete, you'll feel like Ray Fosse did. Or maybe like Bud Harrelson did. You'll be begging to face Gene Garber again.
Mike Piazza will probably play this season, and that might be it. Maybe the Baseball Writers' Association of America will "punish" Clemens by not electing him to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. That could mean... Clemens and Piazza going in together. Oh, boy.
But Clemens will still almost certainly get in. Rose will not go in during his lifetime. Maybe never.
Then again, if Walter O'Malley, a worse human being than any of them, can get in...
But you'll never see a "Leave O'Malley Alone!" video. Ever. I Broadway-Joe-Namath guarantee that.