When I started following baseball seriously, Roger Clemens was one of the game's best stories—he'd just gone to the New York Yankees and, after two relatively disappointing seasons, put together a particularly awesome-looking W-L record—20-3—on his way to his sixth Cy Young Award. He probably didn't deserve it, but hey, he was Roger Clemens, perhaps the best starting pitcher since Walter Johnson—nobody was especially bothered by it. Now he's going to be part of tonight's late show Mindy McCready punchlines, and that is at least a little depressing to me.
For me, it's not about the steroids; I don't really care about them, and Mark McGwire's 70-home-run season is as memorable to me now as it was in 1998, when I watched him hit those last four at Busch Stadium. If he was actually having an affair with Mindy McCready when she was 15 and he 27 (and not, as she claims, when she was 21 and he 33)—well, yeah, that's considerably worse than steroids.
But what bothers me most is the witch hunt that's followed, as Clemens is dragged through the ESPN mud for alleged perjury in a Congressional committee that was little more, in the first place, than an excuse for star-struck, publicity-desperate members of Congress to appear on camera asking tough questions about something that was incredibly irrelevant to everyone concerned.
Clemens clearly did a lot of sketchy things over the course of his Major League career, but the only one that's even potentially done anyone material harm is his apparent relationship with McCready, although the details of that are both hazy and not exactly things I'd love to know more about. Baseball's forgiven worse people for more problems—hopefully, 50 years from now, bloggers and tabloid newsmongers are mostly bothered by Clemens for stealing a Cy Young Award from Freddy Garcia.