A Democratic congressman asked the FBI on Wednesday to drop its investigation into Roger Clemens because the pitching great had suffered enough from the probe into steroid use.
In a letter to US General Attorney Michael Mukasey, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner said, "Roger Clemens has been shamed. I think the public record is replete with examples of how he did not likely tell the truth. What is the public benefit of continuing with an FBI investigation? Whether or not Roger Clemens may have committed perjury should not compete with real national security threats for the FBI’s time, attention and resources."
Um, OK. Whatever.
Maybe I’m naive in thinking rich, famous, influential people sometimes don’t get prosecuted for certain crimes because of the fact they are rich, famous, and influential. But give me a break. Drop the charges because "he’s suffered enough?"
Let’s think about it this way. I am an influential, rich, and famous sports, political, or Hollywood figure. I murdered someone. I am feeling incredibly sorry and guilty about it. I want to take back what I did. I wish it had never happened. But instead of admitting I committed the crime, which would show that I truly want to make things right and humble myself, I lie about it. I find the best attorney money can buy, and we present a good case, lies and all. Bad news, though. I talked about the crime to my friend when I was drunk one night, and he remembers. Oops. I don’t change my story, but I wish I could. Instead, I lie more because I am prideful. I am in great emotional, mental, and maybe even spiritual and physical, turmoil. Does the turmoil I am in make up for the crime I committed? Is the suffering I endure justice? I would dare to say the family of the murder victim wouldn’t consider that justice enough.
Lying under oath is not as serious a crime as murder, but by not pursuing the investigation, wouldn’t the Justice Department just be encouraging people to lie under oath? Roger Clemens may not have murdered anyone, but he took illegal drugs, most likely lied about it, and all for what? He was already a great pitcher, but he was greedy; he wanted immortal status. Now he has lost the respect of generations of baseball fans, writers, and maybe even the Hall of Fame, set an awful example for kids, and brought his own crimes upon his family. His immortal status is gone.
What do you think? Do you think Clemens is being punished too harshly, or being made an example of? Do you think law makers should leave the situation alone and let Bud Selig and Major League Baseball handle it? (Excuse me while I have a good laugh at that one…)
I envy those people who blog professionally. Some of us have real jobs that prevent frequent posting due to surf control restrictions. Darn banks.
Much has occurred this past week in MLB and Red Sox Nation. And yes, Hank, it is a Red Sox Nation after all. I have tried to remember all my witty comments and observations, but so much is always happening. I will have to blog more frequently!
In probably less covered but equally important news, Bruce Hurst, left handed starting pitcher (145-113), who played for the Sox from 1980-1988, was hired to evaluate minor league talent, and help players develop.
An interesting quote from Hurst reflecting on the Red Sox organization then and now: "This is my own belief, that this is the elite organization in baseball. In the 20 years since I’ve been gone, what I’ve seen from when I left to what we have now, it’s the epitome of what this place can be. I think every player back in my generation, when they left, there was always a certain amount of frustration, for whatever reason, and I think the frustration was the fact that they saw what it could become and it never reached its potential and now I think it’s reached its potential."
Speaking of being an elite baseball franchise, how ’bout them Yankees? I feel sorry for poor Brian Cashman, whom I actually respect. If Hank and Hal had it there way, they would have sold their best young arms for Santana, and gotten stuck with another bloated contract. Instead, Hank and Hal both like to open their big mouths; they must be every publicists worst nightmare. As if there wasn’t enough whining going on in Yankeeland, Hank said the following to the New York Times Play magazine.
"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."
Right. Hal had to add his two cents.
The defending World Series champions have "a lot of talent, and [have] done very well the past few years, but let me put it this way: I don’t think [they] wanted to play us in the ALCS. So I will concede nothing. I think we’re better than [them]."
Right. The Yankees were outmatched by Cleveland, we were almost evenly matched with Cleveland, and yet, we didn’t want to face the Yankees in the ALCS? Excuses, excuses. Don’t get me started on the midges.
The 2004 comeback was, to this date, the greatest comeback in sports history. Period. I think Derek Jeter is still mental over it. The Red Sox Yankees rivalry has officially heated up, and it is not even Opening Day. Crazy.
Continuing on, the Red Sox 2007 team visited the White House Wednesday. Quick trip. They left that morning after an abbreviated workout and returned in the evening. Must be nice to have your own team jet; thanks John Henry! Say what you want about politics, but I think it would be cool to visit the president no matter if you liked him or not. It’s the flipping White House, for Pete’s sake!
Best stories out of the trip were Bush making quips about the players. He thanked Papelbon for wearing pants, said Manny’s grandmother must have died again. Manny’s excuse for not showing up in 2005 was his grandmother passed away. She didn’t, and is still kickin’. I buy into the whole "Manny being Manny" life style, but not showing up to meet the president and lying about it? That’s not cool, and I let Manny slide on a bunch of stuff because, well, he’s Manny.
One great story from the White House trip was Ortiz riding with the detail in the motorcycle side car. Helmet, GQ suit, chic eye glasses, and all. Tito tried it out first. He said between the exhaust, bouncing around, and 38 degree temperature, he could have thrown up. He told Ortiz, "You’ll love this." Ortiz took it in Big Papi stride, because, as he said, "I’ve got all my bosses watching me."
The Red Sox also took time to visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a hospital for wounded veterans. Beckett had the following to say, "I think the most rewarding part of the trip — I think you can ask anybody that went on that trip yesterday — was visiting the hospital," said Sox ace Josh Beckett. "I know I got to hear several stories, and as terrible as those stories are, it’s something like that that you get to hear that puts everything in perspective for you and makes you realize how fortunate we are to have people like that will go and do stuff like that. Those are heroes. Like I said, it definitely puts it in perspective for you."
Schilling cut to the chase with this quote, "You know what it is, hopefully, for some of the younger guys — it’s a chance to put ‘superstar’ and ‘hero’ and ‘brave’ to context. Seeing multiple amputees that are 22 with a wife and three kids, these guys are the true warriors, the true heroes. It’s staggering to see. If you don’t already have perspective, have it when you walk out of there. For me, it’s a chance to truly acknowledge them and tell them, ‘I’m not just telling you it’s an honor to meet you, it really is an honor to meet you.’ These guys, a lot of them are Red Sox fans. When they’re sitting there and they’re missing both legs and they’re in a wheelchair and they’re trying to get something signed for the buddy that saved their life that is still over in Iraq, it’s like, ‘OK, how bad are my problems?’"
Right on, Schill. Right on.
More to come tomorrow where I actually talk about baseball instead of human interest stories. Mostly.