SPORTS w/The Jock 7/7/11

by Tom Weppel
As you may or may not know, former Major League Pitcher Roger Clemens is now involved in a federal trial, being held in Washington D.C. In this trial, Clemens is being accused of six different counts, all of which pertain to his appearance in front of Congress back in February of 2008.
During that time, it is believed Clemens lied and provided false statements, primarily to Congress, saying he never used HGH or steroids, nor was he ever injected with Vitamin B-12 by trainer Brian McNamee. He also says he never did steroids or HGH when he was playing in the Majors.
In past situations such as this, the media attention has been much stronger, it seems, then the way things are now for Clemens. I’m talking about cases involving former high-profile athletes O.J. Simpson and, more recently, Barry Bonds. Those cases got a ton attention and interest, both from the national media, as well as the public, pretty much on a daily basis.
But things now for the Roger Clemens case seem to be a little tamer than what we’ve seen in the past. I believe there are a number of reasons why.
When Clemens testified in front of Congress in 2008, he wasn’t the only one. A number of other players were also there to share their thoughts and experiences, as well as answering questions being thrown at them by Congressional representatives. In the end, most of those players, including guys like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, admitted to doing steroids, HGH, and other substances considered performance-enhancing, without question.
And so for Clemens to be the guy who says he did NOT do any steroids or whatnot was, in the eyes of the public, absurd. Without question, the opinion of those both directly connected with the situation, as well as the general public, all believe Roger Clemens did steroids, HGH, and/or Vitamin B-12 at one point in his career.
Of course, it doesn’t help when guys who played with Clemens during his career, including his former close friend P Andy Pettitte, have come out and suggested they knew or even saw Clemens do those substances.
And so, for all intents, most people consider this Federal case is not very relevant, since it is out to confirm something already known.
The fact it happened three years ago also takes a little sting out of the whole deal. In this age of dealing with everything that goes on NOW, things that happened a while ago might carry little relevance.
With all that said, here’s the bottom line…regardless of whether Roger Clemens is convicted of any of the six counts he is dealing with or not, his reputation seems to be trashed. I would throw him into the same group with McGwire and even Pete Rose. It is a damn shame, considering he can easily be considered one of the ten best pitchers to ever play the game. You can now put an asterisk by his name…

Going into their weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays, Derek Jeter is three hits away from # 3,000! He has without question received a tremendous amount of attention, media, and publicity, especially since he will be the first Yankee to ever reach this pinnacle.
And so the question arises…is Jeter receiving TOO MUCH attention? Despite the fact he is a future Hall-of-Famer, the guy is having everything thrown his way from all different angles as he gets closer and closer to hit No, 3,000. Memorabilia sales have gone through the roof! Even HBO is doing a short film on Jeter’s career and pursuit of this milestone.
But let’s face it…there is such a thing as overdoing it. Hearing his name, having pundits discuss his fortune and his prowess, and even possibly criticizing his future, have gotten to be overkill. Assuming he takes care of business this weekend, before the All-Star break, perhaps coverage, of both Jeter and the team overall, will die down just a tad.
But the Yankees are certainly a team full of stars, and they obviously pull a tremendous amount of coverage, no matter what the case. But it will be interesting to see how Jeter and the team produce AFTER he knocks his hit. How many people will care about hit No. 3,001? Just curious…