Friday, February 20, 2015

Goodness gracious! Why not honor Roger Clemens in Monument Park?

The fact that the Yankees are going to honor admitted PED user Andy Pettitte in Monument Park, at literally the very same time that they have decided to challenge the milestone clause in the contract they signed with Alex Rodriguez, is ludicrous. What is even more ludicrous is that the very same time, the team is still pretending that Roger Clemens was never a Yankee.

Clemens was left out of the 2008 farewell ceremony for the old Yankee Stadium. He was left out of the Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera farewell hoopla at Yankee Stadium, although he did participate with the Houston Astros when they honored Jeter. He was left out of the team's number retirement ceremony for Joe Torre. He also was left out of each year's Old Timers' Day, even though he has been eligible since 2008.

Now, when Andy Pettitte is getting his number retired, and his own plaque in Monument Park, the Yankees are still acting like Clemens never pitched for them -- a far cry from his 2007 return sitting in George Steinbrenner's box at Yankee Stadium!

But here's the thing: if the Yankees are going to drop their standards for number retirements and Monument Park plaques, as they clearly have, then why not honor Clemens in Monument Park himself? And his relatively short time in pinstripes shouldn't make a difference. After all, Clemens has the same number of seasons in pinstripes as Monument Park honoree Tino Martinez does: six.

Clemens also is one of only five Yankees to ever win a Cy Young in pinstripes, and he is the only one to do so after Ron Guidry in 1978. He was a very important part of the late 90s dynasty years, as well as the early 2000s teams. And he won his 300th victory as a Yankee, one of only two pitchers to do so.

So, given the way the Yankees have dropped standards to sell tickets, and are even honoring an admitted PED user, why not honor Pettitte's one-time best friend, Roger Clemens? There is really no moral justification not to at this point. Pettitte and Clemens were workout partners who shared the same personal trainer, Brian McNamee. But we are supposed to believe that Andy only did it twice, and that was to recover from an injury? Really? C'mon now.

The selective morality here is very interesting. Clemens, like Barry Bonds, was a Hall of Famer before he ever touched a steroid. Yet most of the media and many fans have decided that they are somehow worse than the Andy Pettittes and the Jason Giambis of the world, because Pettitte and Giambi are defined as "nice guys" while they are not. And the Yankees are still literally trying to pretend that Clemens was never a Yankee!

It's funny -- Clemens burned a lot of bridges when he left the Boston Red Sox, yet they have welcomed him back in recent years and even inducted him in to the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, the Yankees still have Clemens on their persona non grata list -- I guess he took Jim Bouton's place!

What do you think? Tell us about it! 


Gregory Casale said...

I think that Clemens and Petite are oceans apart in their use and handling of PEDs. Clemens adamantly denied ever using banned substances and it went all the way to Congressional hearings and law suits. Petite on the other hand readily admitted using HGH to rehab and for no other reason. The old adage is that admitting the crime is never as bad as the coverup is the issue here. PED use was rampant and selectively making players pariahs for being part of it is ludicrous. All the players who are most harshly judged, like Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, etc are the players who insulted everyone's intelligence by claiming innocence. If you want to strictly exclude all players who used PEDs in the last decade you may as well block out the entire era and everyone who played in it.

Lisa Swan said...

Didn't Pettitte pull a Frankie Pentangelli at Roger Clemens' trial to save him? Andy insulted our intelligence by not just doing that, but continuing the nonsense that he just used hgh twice. I personally like Pettitte and count him as one of my favorite Yankees ever. But he still cheated, just as Clemens and Arod did.

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