The Rocket is looking through rose-colored glasses

Last week, Roger Clemens went on ESPN radio to defend himself against allegations written in a recently released book, American Icon. He once again denied that his former trainer Brian McNamee had injected him with any form of performance-enhancing drugs and his former teammate, Andy Pettitte, still “misremembered” their conversation on steroids.

And at the conclusion of the interview, you could slowly see Clemens turning into Pete Rose. Both determined to bully the public into believing their innocence, with the hopes of clearing their name and reputation.

After being banished from baseball in the summer of 1989, Rose would go on various interview shows to vehemently deny the allegations brought against him. He would laugh at the suggestion that a meeting took place between outgoing baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, incoming commissioner Bart Giamatti, and himself to discuss his gambling habits. That was his story and he stuck to it until 2004, when Rose took the money and wrote a tell-all book about his baseball gambling exploits. He wanted to beat baseball executives on their playing field, but it wasn’t game to them.

Clemens hired a media marketing firm that assists high-profile clients through PR crises, and they suggested getting his side of the story out to the press. Bad move. He said that it would be suicidal for him to take steroids with his family history of heart trouble. Clemens said that heart disease took the life of his stepdad and older brother. Hey, wait a minute! How can you inherit a genetic trait from your stepfather?

Clemens brought attention to a book that otherwise wouldn’t have received any media attention. Unfortunately, he sees this as a competition and challenges anyone to prove him guilty of steroid usage. Last year, Clemens told major league baseball to effectively “kiss his ass” following the release of the Mitchell Report. McNamee offers syringes with his DNA as evidence of steroid usage, and Clemens in turn files a defamation of character lawsuit against him. His competitive personality will eventually do him in.

A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but just like Barry Bonds, the general public has convicted Clemens of using performance-enhancing drugs. And if he follows Rose’s script, the Rocket will eventually admit to his usage in a book deal a few years down the road. Assuming he needs the money, of course.

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