Hey, was there any Astros-related news this weekend? (Besides dropping another series in St. Louis, we mean.)
Oh, yeah: Houstonians got introduced to the real Roger Clemens.
For years now St. Roger has been a altruistic icon who pitched because of his simple love of Houston. Anyone who suggested otherwise (like, say, the Houston Press or fans of the Yankees, BoSox or Blue Jays), were dismissed as carping whiners who didn’t understand the real Roger.
Until this weekend, when true colors emerged.
We have no beef with Clemens making all the money he wants; it can be tough to keep your kids in state-of-the-art Hummers. We’re just glad his decision to sign with the Yankees was handled with the complete lack of class that we – as a sometimes lonely voice on the subject – have come to expect from Roger.
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We also look forward to the New York media dealing with Clemens’ demands for extensive time off and limited travel, the questions about steroids, the drama-queen stunts he pulls to get attention. As long as he wins, none of that will matter, but if he goes in the tank then he won’t get the “wounded warrior” treatment the locals here lavished on him.
The best thing about the signing? It gives us a chance to revisit the infamous opening of a column by the Houston Chronicle’s John P. Lopez during the 2005 NL playoffs:
MAMA called and Roger Clemens had to listen - that's just how Houston boys are brought up. Mama was the city he called home. And Mama was the woman whose warm hug and spitfire inspiration helped carry Clemens to places he never imagined.
It was because of a mother who inspired him, a family that encouraged him and a friend named Andy Pettitte who prodded him that Clemens decided to pull on the hometown jersey two years ago.
It still brings a tear to the eye. Although maybe not in the way Lopez intended. - Richard Connelly