Poor Roger Clemens.
Fidgeting and fuming much of yesterday, at the Congressional hearing into Steroids in Baseball, or, the government-produced reality show based on The Mitchell Report, Roger Rocket still doesn't get it.
Oh, he's into his Lenny Bruce defense all the way.
Deny it ... They catch you in the act, deny it ... They catch you with a chicken, deny it.
But that's just a sideshow, a little theatrics for the home audience.
They've already voted him off the island.
Roger Rocket is the dead body for The Mitchell Report.
When you document, and pull in the former Senator from Maine to really put a glossy, embossed stamp on it, your dog-and-pony show, you gotta throw a body on it, you gotta have someone take the fall, so all the other dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds can feel good, feel like something was done, feel clean.
This doesn't infer sympathy for Roger Rocket.
Sure, he's one of the greatest ever, however, during his tenure in Boston, his arrogance went beyond the typical sports stars confidence trash talking ... Roger Rocket was packing, along with that fastball of his, a whole extra bullpen of arrogance.
There's a pox on baseball ... From Bud Selig & Co., to the team owners, managers, coaches, players and ballboys, they sold out the integrity of the game to see a few more homeruns, put a few more fat fannies in the seats, to sell a bit more official merchandise.
And yes, there are scores more names in The Mitchell Report, and likely hundreds more that didn't make the final draft, but Roger Rocket has been - and, at least the American League fans will appreciate this - the designated dead body for it.
Decades from now, Roger Rocket will be winning a chosen few a round of drinks, when the subject of old time baseball comes up, and the crowd struggles with their memories of The Mitchell Report, and wasn't that a big deal and didn't someone get thrown under the bus with it ... The roto-stat-geek in that crowd will be the one to remember the dead body ... The roto-stat-geek will be the one to come up with Rocket Roger's name
Bonus Roger Rocket Riffs
Dana Milbank: Bottom Feeders
NYT: Sports of The Times - Politicians Turn Steroid Hearing Into a Partisan Squabble
Boston Globe: Clemens is hit hard on the Hill; Pitcher leaves self vulnerable as he denies steroid use to skeptical lawmakers
Boston Globe: Steroid hearing play-by-play
NYT: Sports Business - Quite a Show, Offering Something New
And if you don't know anything about baseball ...
Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?