At home at fenway

Keeping on eye on Dustin, Papi, Youk & a few good books

Archive for the ‘roger clemens’ Category

OJ, Roger & Mike: Evil walks the Earth

Posted by athomeatfenway on June 19, 2012

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It’s always worth checking the program guide to see which of ESPN’s great 30-for-30 documentaries are being broadcast on a given day.  Who Killed the USFL and The House that George Built films are two of my favorites.  I like the former because it’s a David-Goliath struggle, and the latter because it shows how train-wreck George, narcissistic & deceptive, somehow maintained the love of most of the people he over paid.

The episode titled June 17, 1994 was on this past weekend and it brought back the horror of O.J. Simpson. 

It’s not all about O.J., though.  June 17, 1994 jumps to and fro among 6 historic news developments that day:  Arnold Palmer’s last U.S. Open, the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup in Chicago, the NY Rangers parading down Broadway with the Stanley Cup, Patrick Ewing futilely pursuing the NBA title, Donald Fehr going down the path that would lead to the cancellation of the World Series…and the slow motion chase of the white Bronco on the 415.

The documentary doesn’t take a clear stance for or against O.J..  It details his seemingly guilty behavior, and then moves onto the trial and public reaction.

A quick google around the internet reminds us of two defense strategies that kept O.J. from a murder conviction:  His lawyers got testimony thrown out that placed O.J. leaving the crime scene shortly after the murders.  They also rendered inadmissible the testimony of a cutlery salesman who said that 3 weeks before the murders he sold O.J. a 15” blade that matched the murder weapon.

In both cases, the testimony was barred because the witnesses appeared in print and on TV telling their stories.  One was paid $5,000 by Hard Copy.  The other received $12,000 from the National Enquirer.

A guilty man benefitted from his fame.

Never forget.

XXXXXXX

Now comes the news that Roger Clemens has been acquitted of lying to Congress.  Tim Kurkjian see this as a good time to repeat his HOF support for Clemens.

Tim isn’t alone.  The only problem with this is that Roger obviously did cheat.  Part of his defense was that it was his wife that did the steroids, not him.  How inexcusably transparent ! 

Also, the physical changes Roger went through, his on field rage, and his improved performance as he aged all belie his statements.

The HOF requires that a player be a good sportsman.  And though Ty Cobb, Ban Johnson and Kenesaw M. Landis are not good sports (racists), that’s no reason to induct Roger.  25 wrongs do not make a right.

So today we have the final verdict.  The lawmakers have collected their autographs.  The prosecution delivered one mistrial.  The Jury chose not to send one very flawed pitcher to jail just even though his narcissism and greed obviously pushed him to cheat & subsequently lie.

Another guilty man benefitted from his fame.

XXXXXX

Mike Tyson will appear at a sports card show in August.  For just $129 you can have your photo taken with Kid Dynamite.  And, $139 to sign your magazine, $149 to sign your large poster, $199 to sign your glove, and $249 to sign your original artwork, should you own any of him.

I’m not sure my Mom would like me collecting the autograph of an ear-eating convicted rapist.

One more time.  Another guilty man benefitted from his fame.

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One last and incredible note on the life of O.J..

O.J.’s dysfunction may be firmly rooted in childhood.  While reading And the Band Played On a few years ago, I learned that OJ’s Dad left his family when the future HOF’er was a babe.  Daddy Simpson split for San Francisco where he came out and became a well established drag queen named Jimmy Lee.  He died of AIDS in 1986.  Not a Brady Bunch upbringing, but perhaps one factor that led O.J. to a criminal life when he was young.

Posted in BASEBALL, roger clemens | Leave a Comment »

Peter Gammons: Beyond the Sixth Game. Into the future without Yaz.

Posted by athomeatfenway on July 6, 2008

 

 

 

Gammons book a must-read

Gammons book a must-read

  

Beyond the Sixth Game.  What’s Happened to Baseball Since The Greatest Game in World Series History. By Peter Gammons.  Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

Do you remember when you first realized that the Size-XXL Dominican Gentleman with the big smile was a Red Sox ?

The Red Sox team that already had Manny, Nomar, ‘Tek, Pedro, Millar, Mueller, Lowe & Foulke. ?

Felt pretty good, didn’t it, Red Sox Fans ?

For the Fenway Faithful, things become aligned in a special way every decade or two.

Sox fans of a certain vintage got a similar high 33 years ago after looking in the sports section and seeing TWO Red Sox players, unknown, right smack in Baseball’s Top 10 Al Hitter list !  Jeesus ! What’s going on here, we thought.

It came to pass that Jim Rice and Fred Lynn were young blue chippers sent by the Baseball Gods and Dick O’Connell, to join Yaz, Rico, Spaceman, and the best Red Sox pitcher ever – Luis Tiant.

Euphoria set in.   The Sox were LOADED and could win several pennants !

If you can relate, or if you just want to dig a little into an intriguing baseball book, Peter Gammons’ Beyond the Sixth Game is for you.  Gammons has captured the Red Sox of 1975 to 1983, a team history backed up to the late Sixties for perspective.

Gammons peppered this book with golden nuggets.

Here are a few of my favorites –

Rick “Tall Boy” Jones’ claim to fame came in high school, when he was suspended with 3 members of the Lynard Skynard band, caught by gym teacher Leonard Skinner.

Carlton Fisk, a well rounded New England boy who could fight; on 8-1-73, he pinned Gene Michael to the ground with his left hand while he pounded Munson with his right.

Dennis Eckersley, a cocky & talented 23-year-old, who had his own language, offering batters ‘cheese for their kitchen, and a yakker for their kudo.”

George Scott, rugged 1st sacker, who, when asked about what he thought about Biafra, said, “I never faced the muddafuka, but by the 3rd time I do face him, I’ll hit a tater.”.

The Rooster, Rick Burleson, commenting on the Sox collapse of 1978, “….the abuse we must be prepared to take for the entire winter, we richly deserve.”.

Luis Tiant, a pitcher for the ages, on the Sox brilliant run to force the 1-game playoff of ’78, “If we lose today, it will be over my dead body. …bleep those guys who want to throw in the towel.”.

There are funny & touching details on Yaz through the various stages of his career, and much on how he handled his farewell weekend.  For anyone who was at Fenway on Oct. 1 or 2, 1983, this book is meant for you to read.

Gammons measures the Sox over 9 seasons.  The Sox rose.   They promised a dynasty.  They failed to adjust to changing times.  They won a pennant, nearly won one more, then slid into mediocrity & their first losing record in 17 years.  They enjoyed an historic influx of young talent and then released, traded away and otherwise squandered the talent, as the front office lost their way in an ownership battle.

Among the leading factors in the decline was Jean Yawkey.  Why would the aging doyen prefer to sell the Sox to two jokers with $400,000 on hand rather than to men with $14 Million in cash-money ?

The Yawkeys take the brunt of the criticism for mismanaging the Sox.

In 1965, Tom Yawkey replace old drinking pal Pinky Higgins with Dick O’Connell as G.M.  Dick O’Connell designed the regeneration of the Sox from ’67 to ’75.

And when Jean Yawkey and the Sullivan/LeRoux team fired O’Connell in 1977, a costly series of stupid decisions ensued, resulting in the departure of Fisk, Lynn, Lee, Carbo, and Tiant.

  

Dick O'Connell earned respect & grattitude.

Dick O

 The Sox pushed away pitching, said goodbye to their bench strength, and hoped that the salary spiral caused by free agency would correct itself.  Meanwhile, they hung back, stayed out of the bidding, and waited for the market to cool down.

They led us into the Valley of Mediocrity.

But where there is pain, there is also JOY.  You can’t go wrong reading BEYOND THE SIXTH GAME.

 

Younger fans will better understand the burden endured by more experienced ones.  Older fans will smile with the memory of quirky talents, and the long dark road that ultimately led home.

 

Dear Captain, we miss you.

Dear Captain, we miss you.

Gammons book a must read

Gammons book a must read

Posted in BASEBALL, BASEBALL BOOKS, Bill Lee, Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Luis Tiant, Peter Gammons, RED SOX, roger clemens, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

ROGER CLEMENS GOES DOWN !

Posted by athomeatfenway on February 15, 2008

It wasn’t easy watching the Congressional hearing yesterday. The man was a near lock for the HOF before he went to the needle.  The man struck out 20 in a game  — twice !  The Man won multiple Cy Youngs.  The Man was a hoss.   And now, the hoss is at a loss for a ticket to Cooperstown.  Permanently.

It wasn’t MacNamee who landed the telling blow, though.  It was Andy Pettitte and his wife.

The hearings resonated with prior scandals.  I couldn’t help but think that Brian MacNamee is to Roger Clemens, as Paul Janszen is to Pete Rose, and as Greg Anderson is to Bobby Bonds.  A self-centered star using an enabler to break the rules.   

There’s an ugly societal dymanic that allows the Superstar to bulldoze the rules while getting the benefit of the doubt.  We could be a bit more careful with our adoration, trying to focus it on the Phil Rizzutto’s, Dustin Pedroia’s, Gene Tenace’s, Jorge Posada’s  and Troy Tulowitzki’s of this world.  Give me a skinny player who can play over his head.  Or a slightly chubbed-out Tony Gwynn look-alike.  I’m starting to look sideways at anybody with an acutely mesomorphic build.  And we’ve got a few on my beloved Red Sox.

May Roger, Debbie and the four K’s accept the truth in short order, admit what has happened, and find peace in the support that will flow.  There’s really no point in being vindictive.

That said — I’m afraid that The Rocket has dishonored the game enough to be permanently barred from the HOF.

 I have complete faith that the BBWAA will never elect Roger.  I am somewhat old school in these matters; I want Clemens, Rose, Bonds & McGwire BARRED from the HOF.  But the BBWAA is way, way beyond old school.  The scribes have memories like elephants.  There’s no chance Roger gets in.

 It’s a sad day for Baseball.  But, we fans will move on and flourish.

I trust that Baeball has not been entirely depleted of its Good Guys.  I believe, as you may, that money has not corrupted every Player and Owner – but, surely has corrupted many.  I believe, as you may, that people that have been raised to have Integrity can earn the bucks and play legit and clean for the love of the game, honoring the life lessons, moved by the remarkable way that Baseball connects us, teaches us.   Folks like you who care about the game deeply are the very proof that Baseball will cleanse itself and survive.

Posted in Barry Bonds, BASEBALL, congress, RED SOX, roger clemens, steroids, Uncategorized, yankees | Leave a Comment »

Roger Clemens : time for action, Bud.

Posted by athomeatfenway on December 22, 2007

Dear Commissioner Selig,

You have established a proud legacy, though you don’t get much credit for it.  Your reign has seen the creation of 16 mind-blowing MLB ballparks.  You’ve overseen the expansion of the divisions & playoffs. Under your stewardship,  Baseball revenue has increased to $6 Billion per year.   You have continued development of Latin American players, the world wide promotion of the sport, reached record attendance of 78 Million, and an average team attendance of 2.6 million. 

Even  Pittsburgh drew 1.7 million, a gate that creates about $76 Million before even one beer commercial is aired.

The steroid era is not your fault, Mr. Commissioner.  Steroids are soley the Players’ fault.  Steroids were undertaken & spread throughout Baseball by the players.  And when the problem became too grand to ignore, the Union blocked progress with aggressive, able Lawyers.  And that has made all the difference in the world.

 So, what to do with Roger Clemens ?  Whatever you do, you need to do the same to all others like him.

1.  Complete the investigation on a player-by-player basis.  Make a determination of guilt or innocence, and the degree thereof.

2.  Banish players or dealers/trainers, strip awards, and censure on an individual basis.

3.  Remind Hall of Fame voters that Integrity, Sportsmanship & Character are election criteria that should guide their decisions on a level equal to Championships, Statistics & Records.

 4.  Advise Hall of Fame voters to block the election of men of low character, men whose cheating goes beyond gamesmanship.  Pay no mind to those who would allow a steriod cheat in because the Hall has already welcomed racists and others of low character.  Two wrongs do not make a right.

 5.  Earmark $30 Million ($1 Million per team) for the development of an effective HGH test and apply it, along with other drug tests, on a weekly, mandatory basis to all MLB players.

6.  Publicly request that the Union accept a clause in every contract that states use of Winstrol, HGH and all other banned or illegal performance enhancing chemicals will result in the forfeit of all salary and bonuses.   Play it in public, let Don Fehr and his brother’s be exposed for what they are.

Make them forfeit the MONEY.  That will stop steroid in its tracks.  Money has been the reason the steroid train jumped the tracks to begin with.

Again –  Make them forfeit the MONEY.   The MONEY is their GOD.  Think Roger may have been motivated by the $150 Mill he has earned since allegedly starting to juice ?

Roger could be innocent, there’s a slim chance of that.  So, give him the benefit of the doubt along with a full investigation.  Make the determination, then banish, strip awards, and censure on an individual basis to the degree warranted.

Baseball may have fallen down again.  But it will get up and it will walk straight again if you take action, Commissioner.   And that will be some legacy to leave.

Posted in Barry Bonds, BASEBALL, Bud Selig, Commissioner, RED SOX, roger clemens, steroids | 7 Comments »