Ever since the day the Mitchell Report was released the baseball world has dealt with constant drama. Admissions and apologies have been offered and denied. Fingers have been pointed and judgments have been passed. Reputations have been thrown into question and fans have been thrown into unrest. But one quality of the report has reigned supreme over all others; it’s entertainment value.
It’s no secret that America loves a good Soap Opera. Not a drama, but a Soap Opera. As in a drama where all rationality and reason disappear and the story becomes a delightfully hilarious mess of childish idiocy… and for whatever reason, it’s enthralling!
While superstar athletes are being labeled as cheaters or victims left and right, the biggest name in the report remains on the fence; The Rocket. Thanks to heaping helpings of lawyers, lawsuits, accusations, allegations, refutations and recordings, the battle between the superstar pitcher and his former trainer/current accuser has churned out the greatest “did he or didn’t he?” in years!
Each day the most current goings on of Clemens vs. McNamee are found all over the airwaves, newspapers and internet. And sure, this is a tale we have all heard before; the accused vs. the accuser. So why is this particular case more amusing than others? Because it’s falling apart! Each successive revelation and tactic seem to be making things inordinately worse for every party involved, and there is nothing more entertaining then a nationally televised embarrassing mess.
For starters, McNamee, a known lawbreaker, is accusing a potential law breaker of breaking the law in order to avoid facing the consequences of his own lawbreaking. Yeah, it’s okay. Feel free to read that again…. Done? Alright, then here is the best part… his word is being taken for Gospel! A man being asked to rat on people to save himself is serving as the primary witness of an investigation. Now we all know it’s been done before (we haven’t forgotten you Henry Hill), but under normal, sane circumstances the plaintiffs accusations would be based on, um… I don’t know, evidence? Not in the Mitchell Report baby, this is all nice and informal. But what if it’s all just a big lie? What if McNamee is the kid who really ate all the cake but blamed his fat cousin that everyone already suspected? He says Roger did it, so he must have done it… right?
“Not so!” says the Rocket, in a devastatingly useless interview on 60 minutes. In what most assumed would be the opportunity Clemens takes to indisputably convince his innocence, he served up a slightly more believable denial than Michael Jackson. Clemens did admit allowing McNamee to inject substances into his body, but claimed the injections were that of Happiness and Sunshine (or something to that effect). Although to be fair, we should credit him for the “pulling a tractor with my teeth” comment which was both hilarious, and an informative look into the everyday activities of real steroid users. Plus he did say he might be willing to take a lie detector test despite believing it would do nothing, so he clearly has his conviction.
On the flip side of this journalistic masterpiece was the man with all the tough questions, Mike Wallace. Given the chance to really grill Roger into explaining himself truthfully and thoroughly, mastermind interrogator Wallace instead chose to read excerpts from the Mitchell report, which resulted in roughly ten straight minutes that went something like this:
Wallace: On page blah blah of the report it says “McNamee………………steroids…… Clemens… rear end.”
Clemens: Didn’t happen.
Wallace: But it then goes on to say “Roger…… Cy Young………needles……Andy Pettitte best friends forever.”
Clemens: Nope… nuh uh. Untrue.
And it continued this way until I was actually 27 IQ points dumber, and ended with a resounding……. well, nothing.
And now, the whole thing has spun out of control into a whirling tornado of moronic bliss. Angry press conferences, unconvincing lawyers, vague explanations and brutally uncomfortable (while also stunningly inconclusive) telephone recordings have been the trend in the days since the interview. Suit and countersuit have also become imminent, all but assuring us of continuing entertainment for at least a few more months. And I’m sorry… but I love it. The baseball off season is almost always notoriously boring, but not this year. Because we have a good old fashioned Soap Opera to keep things interesting.
It’s the story of the year folks, pumpkin eater vs. pants on fire and they’re both lying until they’re both crying! … Check your local listings