Long ago, a slam dunk first ballot Hall of Famer got caught doing a no-no. It doesn’t even matter what he did. What does matter is that he lied about it. And, though he technically got away with it, everybody knew that he lied about it. In that moment of lying he became tainted. Nothing mattered anymore. The thousands of hits, the courageous base running, the sheer exuberance of play all disappeared. And we were left with a lie. He didn’t become tainted because he did the deed. Lots of people gamble. It was a no-no for him, but lots of people gamble, for Pete’s sake. He became tainted because he lied.
America lost a little of it’s innocence the day Charlie Hustle lied.
Well, last week, Roger ‘The Rocket’ Clemens, the greatest pitcher of all time, looked into a man’s eyes and lied. And in that moment, everything he worked and sacrificed for disappeared. In that moment, once again, a lie chipped away at the innocence that used to be the birthright of America’s youth.
No Hall of Fame for Pete. No Cooperstown for Roger. No joining the authentic heroes of the game – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson, Cy Young.
What a pity. You were great, and now you’re an asterisk.
I guess the lesson is that you can’t lie to kids and have them say, ‘I love you’. And baseball is for the kid in all of us.
Roger; there is a way out. It won’t be easy, but you’re a big ol’ tough guy and you can do it.
Roger, ‘fess up. Don’t become another Pete Rose.
We’ll get over it and understand if you just clean it up. We know you would like to reel it all back in and start over, but it’s too late for that. You’re going to have to man up and tell the truth. Some people will be holier-than-thou jerks, but most of us will understand. After all, we’ve ALL lied ourselves. Most of us lie every day. It’s just that the stakes aren’t as high as they are with you.
This is the highest stakes game you’ve ever played in. Don’t blow it.
You’re going to have to take your medicine. But it’s either take it now, or, a lifetime of people pointing at you and talking behind your back. Don’t put yourself through that. Don’t put your family though that. I promise you, if you get straight, even your kids will get over it. And in this matter, kids are the only thing that counts.
We’re still on your side and we’re still pulling for you – hope dies hard, but time is running out – next week someone else will dominate the headlines and you will be old news. Let’s work together to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat. Please, Roger, it’s too late for Pete, but there’s still time for you.
Of all the great things you’ve ever done, telling the truth could be your all-time Humanity Hall of Fame greatest accomplishment.
Just Do It!