I have been a Red Sox fan since I was a kid. I jumped on the Sox after the Braves left Milwaukee and before the Brewers moved to town. I was the only kid in Mr. Sickler's 6th grade class at Franklin school that was rooting for the "Impossible Dream" Sox to beat St. Louis in the 1967 World Series. They didnt win that series of course, and suffered heartbreak after heartbreak through the 70's, 80's and 90's before the "idiots" of 2004 broke the "curse" and won a title. Some have said the 2004 championship is tainted by the cloud of suspicion hanging over Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz over the steroid issue. For some reason, I am not letting the possibility of their steroid use mess with my memory of that fabulous season...not when possibly up to half or maybe more of the players in the league were also using.
The case of Roger Clemens is different. Clemens was aquitted of perjury charges by a jury yesterday. He had been accused of lying under oath about steroid use. The jury said they couldnt get past the shadyness of the government's star witness, former Clemens trainer Paul MacNamee. All of the circumstantial evidence pointed to Clemens guilt. The stats he put at an age when he should have been in decline are the elephant in the room as well. I don't think many people believe that Clemens didn't use performance enhancing drugs and if they do...they are in a large pile of denial. But I don't think it matters anymore. I believe, as baseball fans, we just need to forget all about the steroid era and move on. And coming from me, that's a big decision. I abhor the fact that baseball's sacred numbers have been cheapened. I abhor the fact that players like Bonds, McGuire, Sosa and yes Clemens have moved past names like Aaron, Mays and Williams . But it seems the public doesnt care anymore and we should stop wasting time and money to pursue these cases. I realize that lying under oath is a serious matter and I believe Clemens got away with it. So be it. The jury system is flawed in this country...it always has been and that isnt going to change anytime soon.
There was no bigger fan of Roger Clemens than me when he was mowing them down in the 80's. I saw him pitch in person many times. He was masterful and powerful at the same time. But he was also a jerk. The way he trashed the fans of Boston when he left was shameful, and the fact that his huge numbers and Cy Young award seasons after leaving were artifically enhanced makes his jerkiness even more maddening.
Clemens knows what he did...and he cant lie to the man in the mirror...even if he could convince a jury of 12 .
The Woodchucks broke a 5 game losing streak last night as Jack Fischer and the Chucks bullpen were masterful. Fischer combined with 2 relievers in a 4-0 shutout win over Lakeshore. the two teams play again tonight at Athletic park. It's Woody Woodchuck bobblehead night at the park and you can hear the game on Foxsports1390.
A number of area baseball players were named to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association all-State team. Alex Cordova of Merrill was named first team...Logan Mallek of Spash and Nick Yenter of Rosholt made second team...Zach Iverson of Rib lake was 3rd team. Other recieveing honorable mention include Wyatt Brown of DC Everest, Joe Zuiker & Lucas Michlig of Rhinelander, Willie Doll of Amherst and Nick Buntrock of Rapids Assumption.
Legion baseball on the schedule tonight includes Wausau at Marshfield, Stevens Point at Wisconsin Rapids, Merrill at Plover and Nekoosa at Vesper.
Songs of The Day (from my I-pod)
Jerry Springer-Weird Al Yankovic (1999) Weird Al uses the Bare Naked Ladies song One Week to skewer the biggest guilty pleasure of the 90s'.
Jersey Girl-Tom Waits (1980) from his LP "Heart Attack & Vine". in a few years he would descend into atonal music that even I had a hard time listening to...but here he could still bring the closing time vibe and the loneliness of a big city street at 3am.