Today, I was reading Yahoo! Sports columnist, Les Carpenter’s take on Roger Clemens day in Federal Court. Just before appearing before a Federal Grand Jury in an indictment titled “The United States of America vs. Roger Clemens,” Clemens was described as booming to everyone within earshot “I’m doing great!” Wow. Does he not know the entire United States is against him? So, he enjoyed a casual lunch, laughed and shared stories with his attorneys and happily signed autographs. As Carpenter wrote “same old Roger, dazzling them all. Who’s the jury going to believe?” Aha! I know this story!
In fact, not only do I know this story, I’m already looking forward to the Broadway musical “Clemens!” After all, this rings right along with the musical Chicago, which holds the record for the longest running musical on Broadway. It’s a simple story of a married woman (Roxie Hart) who is accused of murdering her lover (an act that she’s guilty of). Despite the wealth of evidence, Roxie pleads her innocence and goes on to hire her tap-dancing attorney, Billy Flynn, who tells Roxie that it’s “all a circus,” and “even the trials are show business.” I can almost imagine Clemens breaking in to song (just as Richard Gere did in the movie re-make) “give ’em the old razzle dazzle. Razzle dazzle ’em. Give ’em an act with lots of flash in it and the reaction will be passionate. Give ’em the old hocus pocus. Bead and feather ’em. How can they see with sequins in their eyes?” (from Chicago Soundtrack).
I mean what else can he be thinking? Wouldn’t all of us like to believe that he’s telling the truth so we can remember the Roger Clemens, who won seven Cy Young awards (more than any other player), who is one of only four pitchers with more than 4,000 strike-outs, and who’s career spanned almost a quarter of a century?
Despite the many allegations about steroid use, as well as the 34 pages of evidence collected by the the government, Clemens has continued to insist that he did not use performance enhancing drugs – to Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes in 2008, as well as before a Congressional Committee in 2008, and again to a Federal Grand Jury in 2009. So, he now finds himself in front of another Federal Grand Jury, after being indicted on charges of making false statements to Congress (one count of obstruction of Congress; three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury) – charges that could result in up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1.5 million.
So, in familiar fashion today, Clemens confidently stepped up to the microphone and stated “Not guilty, your honor.”
I don’t know. With all of the reported evidence and multiple accusations, it’s hard not to imagine looking back (sometime in the near future) and wondering “Roger, what were you thinking?”
Then again, I’d like to see the “Clemens musical” with a happy ending. Something with lots of “razzle dazzle!”