10.02.2006

BREAKING: Plaschke is right, blind dog finds bone

Bill Plaschke is one of the worst columnists I've ever read, so I all but spit-taked all over his column today:

The news that the drug hounds have finally been unleashed on Roger Clemens sent me to the guy who knows something about being chased.

So, I asked Barry Bonds, do you think Clemens will have his heels nipped and his neck poked and his breath shortened like you have?
"I like Roger, I respect Roger, so I won't comment on that," said Bonds, smiling. "But I'm feeling your question."


On the eve of the steroid era, a 34-year-old pitcher is sent packing from his longtime team because, his boss says, "He's in the twilight of his career."

One year later that pitcher increases his strikeout total by 35, throws the most innings in the last 10 years, and wins a Cy Young Award.

And Roger Clemens is not above suspicion?

In the middle of the steroid cleanup period, a 44-year-old pitcher sits out the first two months of the season while contemplating retirement.

Then he shows up in June and fashions the fourth-best earned-run average of his career, finishing decimal points short of his career average of strikeouts per nine innings.

And Roger Clemens skates?

[...]Although Clemens' and Bonds' careers have taken the same arc toward eternal athletic life, they are perceived as differently as, well, white and black.

America does not want to believe the dirt on Clemens because he is a nice guy, a family guy, a good ol' guy and, let's be honest here, a Caucasian guy.

America likes its sport villains dark and moody and everything that has always been Bonds.
(Note that he hasn't become a better writer just because he agrees with me.)

But, here's the other thing I think: how evil is this? I was reading this SI.com piece and this quote jumped out at me:

Both Clemens and Pettitte are notorious workout freaks, and both have many backers among teammates and close friends. Some Houston teammates were stunned that Pettitte, especially, was named in the Grimsley affidavit.

"Andy Pettitte is one of the finest individuals I've ever been around," said Lance Berkman. "You could knock me over with a feather if this is true."

I have no way of knowing if Andy Pettitte is a fine individual, of course, but the point is that I can't figure out how bad this is. I'm sure it's not as bad as the MSSM (mainstream sports meida) are making it out to be.

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