I received a flood of emails concerning Roger Clemens and a column I wrote Tuesday suggesting that Clemens' extra-marital dalliance (there was, at the time, only one) did not necessarily mean he'd taken steroids, or not taken them.
I happen to believe he did. Lots of them.
As far as his character and credibility, purely from a baseball perspective, that's the beginning and end of the debate. If Brian McNamee's lawyers need Mindy McCready (and, uh, the rest) to thwart a defamation suit, well, that's their business, not mine. And business, I might add, is picking up.
Many of those who emailed – as you'll see – insisted I should have hanged Clemens for statutory rape; I figured I'd wait for more than an anonymously sourced report before making that jump.
Anyway, your say:
I have heard a number of national columnists say what you said about Clemens' alleged affair with Mindy McCready. What does this have to do with baseball? I will tell you why it matters. First off, we, as fans, help pay these guys multimillion dollar contracts so we rightfully have expectations for a guy to be of good character. And it directly speaks to his character, if true, that he had a decade-long affair with her against his wife and children. And if a guy is willing to have an affair – which is a breach of trust against his families and his fans – it isn't such a big leap to say he would do it with steroids. Also, if true, that this started when he was 28 and she was 15 it brings up a whole other set of issues of his character. Because as we have seen the last 10 years or so any number of cases where an adult has taken advantage sexually of teenagers – boys and girls – which is illegal and destructive to the victim. It doesn't matter how messed up her life is, he allegedly took advantage of her troubles to have a sexual relationship, which is illegal and highly immoral. So in my mind it does matter in a sporting sense especially in these days where we as fans pay their salaries and gave him his fame and glory. He abused his family's trust and that of the fans while keeping an image that is now less than wholesome. No different than the standards we as voters hold our elected officials to and that is the reality of all of this.
Sadly, Kent, if Clemens were still throwing 95, getting hitters out and passing drug tests, he'd not only still have a job, but he'd be waving his cap at the curtain calls.
Roger Clemens' alleged inappropriate affair with the underage Mindy McCready goes to the heart of his credibility. I need no additional proof that Clemens used steroids. You baseball writers can stick your heads in the sand all you want but the public isn't so gullible. At this point in time, the vast majority of Americans believe that Roger Clemens is a liar and a steroid user. Forty-something athletes just don't get better. Wake up and smell the juice. The arrogance of Clemens allowed him to go forward with his lawsuit against McNamee. McNamee had no reason to lie; Clemens had every reason to lie. Clemens blames everybody – his best friend, his wife, his attorney, his nanny – but himself. Roger is still trying to throw it high and tight when he clearly doesn't have it any more. From that standpoint, nobody should care.
Anyone who has children has seen the Clemens defense. You know they Magic Markered the dog. They know they Magic Markered the dog. The only mystery is how long they're going to hold out.
It's called character integrity and it's essential to testimony delivered pertaining to his steroid use.
He cheated on his wife, therefore he used steroids. OK. I'm not defending Roger Clemens but simply questioning the logic.
What does a private relationship have to do with a public reputation!?! Ask Bill Clinton. Or Spitzer. Or Guiliani. Or …
Kansas City, Mo.
I hate to ponder this, but must we hold baseball players to the same standards as elected officials? Might as well shutter the Hall.
Congrats Tim, this article about Clemens and this singer might be the only smart one you ever wrote! I guess there is always a first!
I'm on the board! Yes!
Possible affair doesn't matter to you? Well, here's why it matters to me. Roger Clemens is a pompous, self-righteous, "you're ruining my good reputation" public figure who is the darling of the political right and their family values garbage. So now what might be true? That Roger Clemens violated his marriage vows plus state and local laws by having a sexual relationship that began with a girl who was 15? Sorry man, that's news. Hypocrisy is always news. Ask Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Elliot Spitzer, the chicken hawks like Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld, and on and on.
Pile on Spitzer!
Tim: This is the first time I find myself disagreeing with you completely. His relationship with Mindy McCready strikes at the heart of his credibility. If Clemens was having a relationship with a minor, then he is no better than a Luis Polonia. He's going around saying he's a family man and an honest person. It's not looking that way right now. Unfortunately, Barry Bonds is starting to look better and better each day when compared to Clemens. Bonds has never portrayed himself as a holier-than-thou person.
Missouri City, Texas
For the record, I was not the one who brought up Bonds.
Roger Clemens is a bum. With Barry Bonds, even before we knew with 99.99999 percent certainty that he was a steroids user (Mommy, tell that big-headed man to sit down so I can see the batter. Sonny, we can't tell him to sit down – he's the left fielder), we knew he was an (expletive). Clemens in many ways is worse than Bonds because he has always been so sanctimonious about his work ethic. We seemingly had to believe him because look at the results. Now, we see where the results truly came from. The Mindy McCready affair – if it turns out to be true – will prove that not only is Clemens dishonest in his job, but in his marriage and in his life. It is relevant to the defamation suit simply because it is even more likely that the suit is unfounded. I mean, what can we really say to defame a man who cheats at his job, in his marriage, and has sex with 15-year-olds? Even if McCready is lying, there is enough evidence to damn Clemens already. If there is the slightest amount of truth in what McCready is saying, then Clemens just gets sent to a deeper circle of Dante's hell. If a situation was presented to me in which Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens were on the same Hall of Fame ballot and a gun was pointed at my head and the man with the gun said vote for two, Clemens is the one name I would not write.
I think I'd take that bullet. That is just a hypothetical, right?
Tim: Sports is now at the level of Dr. Phil/Oprah/Ann Landers? An athlete's personal life is just that – personal! Why do people go after personal lives? People, like yourself, are simply cutting legs off a dead man! Clemens is dead! The stigma is there! Move to politics – same! What happened to the play of sports?
But Meehan, how does that make you f-e-e-e-e-l?
Why do you cover for Roger while talking about Barry like a dog? There seems to be a double standard in the media just like in this country when it comes to issues involving players of different color. Whites tend to justify and make excuses for each other, then use an issue as a cover of their real true feelings to terrorize a black! I have a test to see if you have a problem with skin color: Your daughter comes home and says, "Dad I'm going to marry a black man and have his kids!" How do you really feel? Stop giving white athletes the WP "white privilege" privilege and report things the same why as you do when you talk about others like a dog! America will never treat Roger the way they did Barry. Just awful.
Baseball's a mess thanks to the last strike, a complete bobble-head of an owner/commissioner and rampant steroid use. I gave Clemens the benefit of the doubt, but if he's been messing around on the side with this "country" singer, his credibility is shot. Not to mention his "taste" in women. Good grief, is this the best he could do? (I know, I know, this is in poor taste but he needs to hang out with NBA players). Of course, in today's media, who knows what's true and what is not. If Miley Cyrus can have a "shocked reaction" to photos she sat through, should anything surprise us anymore? Geez, I sure miss the good ol' days of Nolan Ryan's no-hitters, Giants/Dodger fights and Billy Martin.
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
You know, I'm starting to think ol' Rog's taste in women is, uh, women.
Mindy McCready has now confirmed the accuracy of the Daily News report. Maybe the Rocket will accuse McCready of "misremembering." Roger Clemens is now a cheater, a liar, and a child molester, and not necessarily in that order.
That's Ms. Remembering to you, Jonathan.
What this proves is that Clemens is capable of long-term deception and dishonesty. Roger Clemens demonstrates his primary motive as doing whatever he feels to serve his own best interest, no matter what the cost may be. Certainly this type of behavior coincides with Clemens' egomania to also cover up his marital indiscretions. He's deceived himself, his wife, kids, and the game of baseball for years and it's time he paid the penalty for being a scandalous, lying cheat!
On the other hand, he could go into the private sector, open a nice eatery and live a quiet life away from all the accusations and haters.
Any idea why Clemens has decided not to open his touted new restaurant in the Memorial area of Houston? It was hyped and has since shut down construction.
If this belongs in the gossip column – which it does by your own admission – what the hell are you writing about it for? I am no Clemens fan. He is arrogant and self important. Having said that, you guys (media) make a living on this crap. If you let it go away, guess what? It would not be sports news at all. Write about the scores and the games, dammit!!
Roger, is that you?
"Should we care?" No.
That would have been a very short column.
If this were Barry Bonds, you'd care plenty.
An affair with Mindy McCready doesn't prove or disprove allegations of Roger Clemens' steroids use. However, it does indicate that poor Roger's eyesight is gone!
If half-a-Louisville Slugger can look like a baseball …
McCready could use a little HGH herself.
Overland Park, Kan.
Pile on Mindy!
Suggestion: Maybe you should center a story on where have our sports role models gone?
They're still out there, Paul. I believe that. There's, uh … and … Wait, that guy from Kansas City, what's his name? …
Tim, No one has come up with this slant on Clemens. If he had an affair with Mindy, then he COULDN'T have been doing steroids! He should make this point: "Yes, I had sex with her, every night. Therefore, I could NOT have been on the juice because sex and being on the juice are mutually exclusive." The Juice keeps you out of Cooperstown. But the Strange will not. If I were him, I'd run on the Strange ticket in order to water down the Juice allegations. Remember when Barry Bonds' juice article came out in SI? It talked about how he was impotent. So, he was on the juice. In Clemens' case, ask him to choose which one. Mindy needed cash. She is trying to extort Clemens. In the past, it worked. Then he put his foot down. Of course, women will do ANYTHING for money, when desperate. In this case, she is extorting Clemens. He's no saint – I have a 14-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old Smith and Wesson – his messing with a 15 year old ANYTHING makes you cringe.
Fort Worth, Texas
Best letter ever.
Tim, good column about the Clemens fiasco. What is it that makes some people feel that continuing with lies is to their benefit? The good news: Greg Maddux will "cleanly" pass Clemens in wins and go down in baseball lore as a miracle man – doing it all with determination, smarts, and class.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
And no run support.
Give it 30 days and his wife will turn on him and spill the beans on all the steroids he took. The affair will make her crack. She'll be the next one on 60 Minutes.
Bowling Green, Ohio
Rocket to-do list: Buy massive diamond ring for Deb, get huge tattoo …
Why don't we just drop it about Roger? I don't care to hear about his affair. I don't care to hear about him anymore. He's been revealed as a liar and a cheat, with an ego so over-inflated he apparently came to believe his name alone could supersede any apparent "oversights." He's a pathetic case. Let's move on to something relevant. Roger isn't relevant anymore.