On Wednesday, Bob Watson, the general manager of the U.S. national baseball team, said that Roger Clemens would not be welcome to participate in this year's Olympics.
"I have not talked to the commissioner. I have not talked to (MLB chief operating officer) Bob DuPuy, nor have I talked to his agent, but I just think the distraction that he's carrying right now, from my standpoint, we don't need that," Watson said.
Watson didn't say anything about the status of a possible Barry Bonds' invitation, though it's probably safe to assume that one will also get lost in the mail. Still, as we prepare for a Summer Games that will only rob attention from our beloved National Pastime, both Bonds and Clemens should probably be involved in the Olympic spirit. Here are five reasons why:
1. Frankly, they don't have much else to do: Despite the best efforts of the Stew's Barry Bonds Job Watch, Bonds hasn't come close to publicly flirting with a Major League team. Clemens, meanwhile, is most likely spending his nights in a backyard hammock while his wife hurls his things out the window. Heading to a country that's not so knowledgeable about baseball might finally give them the privacy and anonymity they're looking for. (So long as they don't mind the army of NBC cameras that would be following them.)
2. The IOC and USOC drug testers might finally get a little time to sightsee: How much time and money were spent in the past going after Marion Jones, Ben Johnson and the
men women of the East German swim team? Send Barry and Roger to the Games and half their work has already been done by Sen. George Mitchell and the guys who wrote Game of Shadows. Maybe that would finally give the drug testers a few minutes to get away and watch that table tennis star they met in a Sydney bathroom in 2000.
3. We outsource everything else to China: Why not the arena for controversial MLB stars?
4. Two words — Olympic. Village.: I'd love to see the look on the face of the judo champion from Vermont as Roger Clemens shows up in the room they're scheduled to share ... Or the face of the housing coordinator when Bonds requests two rooms to himself instead of sharing just one.
5. We'd finally care about Olympic baseball: Quick — Who won the last gold medal in baseball? How many has the United States won? I don't know the answer to either and I'm not going to take the time to look it up because it probably doesn't matter to 99.9 percent of you.
Having Clemens and Bonds finally get Olympic baseball on the radar wouldn't mean much, considering baseball and softball are getting the boot as official sports after these Games. But at least something would finally challenge Mark McGwire's rookie card as the only thing most of us knows about the U.S. National Team.