Compare and Contrast

Jon Lester is already in Fort Myers and working out with minor leaguers.  Just over a month after he was declared cancer-free by his doctors and eighteen days before pitchers and catchers are required to report.  He’s there without fanfare, without a press conference.  Just working hard to get himself in shape for the season.

The same day this news comes out, we get the story of Roger Clemens and his comments as the keynote speaker at St John’s winter banquet tonight.  Laughingly he said,

"I’m failing at retirement.  Let’s just face it. I’m failing miserably at it."

Yeah, Roger, it’s a freaking riot how you’ve made yourself the story of the off-season for two seasons in a row now.  How many months in 2007 are you going to hold MLB hostage this time? (Oh, wait, according to the article, three again.) What are your plans for the Astros, Yankees and Red Sox (reportedly, yet again, the only three teams you’d consider playing for)?  Will you insist on more videos professing love for you?  Or will Andy Pettitte calling you day after day and begging you to be his binky in New York be enough?  Maybe, once again, you’ll realize that you’re old and wearing down and if you want to pitch anywhere in MLB, your best bet is in the National League?

Clemens does baseball a great disservice by treating it as his own playground. ("None of the teams are interested in seeing me before May…" He says.  As if any of the teams would DARE expect him to show up when he’s supposed to.)  Some five months ago, when Jon Lester was diagnosed with cancer, he had no idea whether or not he’d be healthy enough to report to Fort Myers this year.  When it turned out that he was, he wasted no time in getting his butt to Florida.  Clemens spits in the face of every player in MLB who busts his butt to make the team.  He waves his hands and teams hit their knees for him.  And for what?  Possibly three months of mediocre pitching?  Last season was blamed on ‘poor run support’.  If he joins the Yankees or the Red Sox, he certainly won’t have that excuse to fall back on, will he?

Every day of the off-season, I eagerly await Spring Training.  And every day of Spring Training, I eagerly await the start of the season.  I won’t let Clemens ruin that for me.  But every season that he pulls this act, he gives me, and many other baseball fans, more reasons to detest him.

In spite of my best efforts to avoid it, I got hit with what is going around and still am feeling pretty punky…but I’m hoping to be back to form in the next day or two.

Oh and congratulations to Theo and Marie – and great work hiding it from the media!!!

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