Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2008

Commentary: Latest Clemens report a non-story

May 4, 2008


Now I know how Joe Torre felt.

No, I don't suddenly have four World Series rings, a gazillion dollars in the bank, a winter home in Hawaii or my own table at Rao's.

But, like the former Yankees manager, today I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to defend Roger Clemens.

I mean, I know the guy's dishonest, arrogant, a bully, a perpetual teenager and quite probably, a steroid cheat. But a little perspective here, please.

A ballplayer who cheats on his wife? I am shocked. A young girl who is seduced by the "charms" of an older man, said charms consisting mainly that he has his picture on bubblegum cards and an obscenely outsize paycheck? I am double-shocked.

The fact that she was 15 and he 28? Well, that one is a little tougher to get around, but these days, 15 is the new 30. Ask Miley Cyrus and her dad, who had no problem posing for an Annie Leibovitz photo spread with his scantily clad teenage daughter - looking creepily like his girlfriend - which, of course, was the only way that has-been was ever getting into Vanity Fair.

I'm going to have a much tougher time explaining that one to my 7-year-old daughter, who worships at the altar of Hannah Montana, than I am the reality of a warped world in which supposedly grown men feel they can avail themselves of anything and everything they want whenever they want it. Besides, if the state of Tennessee wants to pursue the matter of the Rocket and the Schoolgirl, I say have at it.

With all due respect to my good friends at the New York Daily News, aside from the age of his alleged mistress at the time of their meeting, this is one big non-story, important to all of four people on planet Earth - Mindy McCready, the woman in question; Brian McNamee, who is being sued by Clemens for defamation; and Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clemens of Katy, Texas

And beneficial to only two of them.

Because the truth is, we really don't know what we got here. We don't know if Clemens was having "an affair" or "a romance" with the underage McCready, the two coy terms applied to the association by the Daily News, or if Clemens was simply assuming a mentoring role with his young friend, knowing as we do how strongly he feels about serving as a role model for young people.

"I pride myself as an example for kids," Clemens said under oath to Congress in February. "If I am guilty of anything, it is of being too trusting of everyone, wanting to see the best in everyone, being too nice to everyone."

See, it could be as simple and innocent as that.

Then again, to believe a 28-year-old man could strike up a platonic 10-year friendship with a winsome 15-year-old is kind of like believing the only member of the Clemens family to use HGH was Roger's wife, Debbie.

All we know for sure is this story couldn't have come at a better time for McNamee, who needed McCready the way Hillary Clinton needed the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and for McCready herself, who, like Billy Ray Cyrus, wouldn't have made it to the front page of a New York newspaper even if she had died. She simply wasn't famous enough.

Which puts me in the same position Torre found himself in so many times as the Yankees' manager: Having no choice but to feel a twinge of sympathy for Roger Clemens, Victim.


Naive 10 years ago

Your definition of a "Victim" is a little different than mine...mine usually doesn't include a 28-year old man involved in an inappropriate (is there any other kind?) relationship with a 15-year old girl. I'm glad Jason Whitlock at the KC Star finally has a rival for most mind-numbing columnist....

david33957 10 years ago

The article said: "if the state of Tennessee wants to pursue the matter of the Rocket and the Schoolgirl, I say have at it."Actually, the "alleged" first encounter happened in Ft, Myers, Florida, when McCready was a 10th grader. She was a long way from a "Nashville star" when she was under age.(Red Sox train in Ft. Myers, and Clemens allegedly took her to Sanibel Island for the night, while she was 15.) Tennessee isn't involved with the under age issue, but Florida certainly is. I'm sure the Lee County, Florida people are going to look into this. As they should.

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