JANUARY 7, 2008
CLEMENS AND CONGRESS
I have a confession to make…and it’s actually a little bit embarrassing.
I’ve never actually watched an entire baseball game; in fact, even though the only baseball team I like is the New York Yankees (because I grew up in New Jersey, a state without a team per se), the only game I’ve ever been to was a Mets game (with my Uncle Bob and my cousins). This was about a decade or two ago.
Since then, I’ve read about half a dozen books on Baseball (Moneyball, Juicing the Game, The Juice, etc…), and still haven’t sat through a full game. In fact, the only time I’ve ever actually swung a bat at a real baseball was in a batting cage (medium pitch). I was told by a girl who was at the cages watching me that I have an awkward swing (she was in the fast pitch cage).
This confession is embarrassing because New Jersey, if you didn’t know, is the birthplace of baseball (the organized version as we know it today) was born.
I wonder how many Congressmen actually watch baseball. I further find myself wondering how you can watch a game of baseball, as a United States Congressman and somehow think that it’s your responsibility to make sure that the person who just hit a homerun (or threw a no-hitter) isn’t using steroids.
I must have missed the memo when Congress was vested with the responsibility to clean up professional sports of their steroid “problem”. I feel like I fell asleep at a party and just woke up with something written in permanent marker on my forehead (you may need to have been to college and done a copious amount of drinking to understand that reference). What happened when I was asleep?
And of course, now Congress wants to haul Roger Clemens into a Congressional hearing to ask him the million-dollar question:
“Did you use anabolic steroids?”
Apparently Congressmen don’t watch television. If they did, they’d have seen an obscure show called “60 Minutes” that interviewed Clemens last night. He had all of the usual replies to the questions he was asked…almost like he was choosing answers off of a multiple choice test – where every answer was correct.
Question: Mr. Clemens, what do you think about the recent allegations concerning you and your alleged use of anabolic steroids, and the mainstream reaction?
A. I don’t get the benefit of the doubt.
B. I was shocked, I was angry.
C. That’s our country, isn’t it? Guilty before innocence — that’s the way our country works now.
D. [That’s] Ridiculous.
E. [I] Swear.
F. ALL OF THE ABOVE
Think I’m joking? I’m not. Those were actually Clemens’ answers to the questions he was asked on 60 Minutes. He chose D, if you’re wondering. I’m assuming that he will have some new material by the time the Congressional hearings roll around.
None of this makes me any less embarrassed for not actually being able to sit through an entire baseball game for the first 30 years of my life, and none of this makes me any less curious as to why Congress feels that they need to interview Clemens about his steroid use (or lack of steroid use).
Why is this a Congressional issue? Is everything else in the country more or less taken care of? I mean…on a scale of importance, relative to oil prices, the war on terror, education, poverty, etc…where does a professional athlete (even one who has won a Cy Young award) using steroids fall in importance. Without being irreverent for irreverence’s sake, may I pose the question “Doesn’t Congress have something better to do?”
Or have they already answered that?