As the Baseball Turns

When the Hollywood writers went on strike several months ago there were many who thought that it would be extremely detrimental to the country as networks would scramble to find programming that would fill the airwaves with shows that would be entertaining and interesting to the general public. I too wondered what would happen. Outside of baseball I don’t really watch that much television so I wasn’t sure how much a writer’s strike would have on me personally but my family on the other hand was a different story. We’ve had satellite television for nearly our entire marriage. The satellite dish era began when we lived in Idaho where without such a device you were able to tune exactly two stations in. Now I would describe the area as isolated and rural but growing up there we lived in the second largest city in Idaho with a population of 40,000. Hard to believe that the entire population of that town would fit within Chase Field and still have enough room that Rally Sally could dance with her flags in the upper deck. In those days satellite television was a necessity if you wanted any programming choices. Of course this was in the golden age of satellite before paid programming and scrambling. Not only were you able to find shows to watch but at the times you wanted to watch them. You were also seeing the feeds as they were being shot without editing which always made for great entertainment as you watched a national newscaster picking his nose or a female anchor adjusting herself so she did not look so lopsided on camera.

Times changed and so did technology. Soon satellite television became a viable alternative and as dishes reduced in size, product offerings and cost increased. These product offerings now provide us with choices among 150 channels in several languages for our viewing pleasure. You would never know that from our house as the television is nearly always tuned to either a regional sports network channel or the Disney Channel depending on who is home at the time. When I pay the monthly bill I always stop to wonder whether they have a cheaper package that includes just those two channels. Today I was grateful to have those extra channels.

In the continued saga of steroids in baseball Congress has asked former pitcher Roger Clemens and former training Brian McNamee to appear and give testimony with regards to the Mitchell Report. In the report McNamee alleged that he had injected Clemens with steroids on numerous occasions. Clemens countered that McNamee was lying and sued his former training for defamation of character. McNamee has counter-sued Clemens. It has been a media circus as these two clowns dance around the ring. I seriously thought that somehow my satellite receiver had broken and was somehow broadcasting a soap opera rather than sports programming. The story line that was emerging took one bizarre turn after another and just when you thought it could not get any more ridiculous another comment is made proving that there is no boundary to the weirdness. Last week a new story line branched off where Brian McNamee revealed that not only did he inject Roger Clemens with steroids but he also injected Clemens’ wife with human growth hormone. Next thing you know McNamee will claim that Clemens’ dog was in need of an injection so he shot up the dog too. McNamee is starting to sound like some sort of crazed mad scientist running around with loaded syringes shooting up anything that even looks remotely like they need performance enhancers. Before you think Clemens is a choir boy it should be noted that his story seems to morph as if it is on steroids. First he has no idea about performance enhancing substances then he feigns shock to hear his friend and teammate Andy Pettitte has taken Human Growth Hormone. He is shocked when Pettitte suggests that Roger recommended their usage. During testimony to Congress Andy Pettitte states that he spoke with Roger Clemens in 1999 about performance enhancing substances that Roger was taking. Then in 2005 when Pettitte asks Clemens what he would do if reporters asked Roger if he was taking steroids. Clemens this time claims he has never taken steroids. Roger’s wife is the one juiced up.

Andy Pettitte is my friend. He was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this and again. I think Andy has misheard, I think he misremembers.

Roger Clemens

It has been a while since I got married, twenty-seven years to be exact so my memory may not be as good as it once was. I was trying to think back to my marriage vows and I don’t recall any of them saying it is ok to throw your wife under the bus in order to keep your reputation intact. Maybe Roger had one of those new age marriages where they got to write their own vows. I’m sure Debbie Clemens would have had no problem saying “I do” after the pastor asked, “will you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband in sickness, in health, and when he proclaims to the country that it is your backside being stuck with a needle filled with illegal steroids so you look good in a swimsuit?” I have to be honest, while I tease Trina mercilessly and sometimes it sounds as though she is picking on me during these entries; there is absolutely no way I would allow anyone to put a negative light upon her. She is the most important thing in my life and if it meant that my reputation is shattered and I am no longer to work in a job that I love I would do whatever was necessary as long as Trina was still held in the highest regard. It is inconceivable to think that Clemens would instead push all the blame of steroid usage to his wife who has stood by him through thick and thin.

So for four hours our elected Congress representatives grilled Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee with countless questions. Each was questioned and in my opinion neither of them came out looking any better. We may never actually know who is telling the truth. Both of these men seem convinced the other is lying. There will be courtroom battles and there will be battles in the media. I wanted to hope this would finally go away and we could focus on baseball but as pitchers and catchers ready themselves to report beginning tomorrow this story seems to have a life of its own. So we’ll all wait for the next episode of As the Baseball Turns.

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