Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Well, well, well... go on a little vacation and nothing newsworthy happens. I was surrounded by Yankee fans 4,500 miles away, and the strangest thing about the Clemens/Pettitte public "indictment" was that I almost couldn't pile on with all the hell they've endured in that city this year. Think about it - everything from the Mets' collapse to the Knicks' lawsuit to their crappy football teams, to yet another trophy-less year for the Spanks - and the cherry on top is that it now appears (as if we didn't know already) that the entire 1999 and 2000 Yankee teams were on the beans. Asterisks all around.

The beautiful thing about the Mitchell Report is that it answers a lot of questions that have added up through the years. Remember when Rocket Roger fielded Mike Piazza's shattered bat in the 2000 Series, threw it in Piazza's direction, and then incredulously claimed that he thought it was the ball? We now know he was in full 'roid rage mode, and we can only hope that Piazza had been as well because he likely would have gone out to the mound and shoved the bat up Clemens' ass. The other nice aspect of the Report is that even if Clemens and all the other idiots wanted to sue, who would be the defendant? MLB? Senator Mitchell himself? The national media? You and I? Good luck with the lawsuit, Roger. As the days have gone by, you've had some notable players (Pettitte, Brian Roberts) come out immediately and say that they took HGH to help themselves heal more quickly from injuries. This is smart. They'll get a suspension, they deal with the issue directly, and they can continue playing and collecting millions. Clemens, on the other hand, as Dan Shaughnessy (for once) eloquently points out in today's Globe, is doing more harm than good by not issuing a direct, public statement. It makes you wonder what he's hiding, and whether he will soon be lumped in with Big Head Barry. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure. Clemens' reputation has taken a huge hit, one that he may never recover from. (Aren't you glad he wasn't swayed by the video Larry, Theo, and Dr. Charles put together last year? Goodness gracious, I know I am.)

Moving onto other things I missed - my entire trip would have been absolutely ruined if the Patriots hadn't won that game on Sunday. Jets fans were everywhere, and I sat next to a broker from NYC who wore nothing but his bathing suit and a green Jets' Santa hat. It would have been catastrophic to lose that game in that setting. Fortunately, thanks to the timely dogsledding of Laurence Maroney, things turned out okay. The Jets gave us a ballgame, and we came out of it 14-0. One other note: it was incredible to see how many more people crowded around the TV after the game just to see The Handshake. Old men, mothers, kids. All had some sort of opinion on it, and everyone thought they were a professional lip reader.

The other cool story from last Sunday was the Dolphins getting their first win. All you need to know about the 2007 Dolphins is that their biggest play of the year was a pass from Cleo Lemon to Greg Camarillo. Still, you had to smile watching them jump around like high schoolers who had just won their state championship. I think it's also probably a good thing that they got that win out of their system before we face them this Sunday. The story lines between the '07 Pats and the '72 Dolphins are about to be ramped up a notch. To me, though, the Pats are already the far superior team. The Dolphins played a cupcake schedule that year, and the Pats so far have beaten four likely divisional winners in the Colts, Steelers, Cowboys, and Chargers.

Turning to hoops, the Celtics also continued their winning ways over the past week and now sit at a lofty 20-2 going into tonight's big test against the Detroit Pistons at the Gahden. Should be a good one.

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