’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz Ortiztells us
he prayed for Roger Clemens at Mass yesterday. He also tells us we need to leave Rocket alone because no matter what Rocket has done, picking on Rocket harms the Rocket family.
Gee, Ortiz, are you referring to Mrs. Rocket, who Roger threw under the bus by admitting she used HGH? Do you mean that same Mrs. Rocket who had to sit behind Rocket while he was testifying before Congress, the same Mrs. Rocket who had to sit there as her husband exposed her secrets to millions of people?
I want to know where Ortiz’s cares and concerns were in December and January and February and March and April and May as Team Rocket went on the attack against Brian McNamee. I don’t recall Ortiz telling us to lay off McNamee because of the effect on McNamee’s family when Rusty Hardin played a tape of a phone conversation between Rocket and McNamee, a phone call where a desperate McNamee pleaded for Rocket to please call his son, an ill son who still worshipped Rocket. And where was Ortiz and his call for sympathy when Rocket and Hardin were out there calling McNamee a rapist? Or when people close to Team Rocket were calling McNamee a drug pusher?
I guess none of that harmed the McNamee family. Or is it that Ortiz is just so used to sucking up to Rocket that nothing else matters?
But here is what Ortiz fails to understand. It didn’t have to happen like this. None of this had to happen.
When the Mitchell Report hit last December, Roger Clemens essentially had three options. Option one was the Andy Pettitte: admit to steroid/HGH use and ask for forgiveness. Option two was the Mark McGwire: admit to nothing, refuse to talk about the past, and disappear. Option three was the Rafael Palmeiro: deny everything, loudly, and watch as your reputation is destroyed.
Roger Clemens and his mouthpiece chose the Rafael Palmeiro. Rocket went on 60 Minutes and told a couple of lies. Then he had the press conference where he attacked the press and played the tape of his phone conversation with Brian McNamee. Then he filed the defamation lawsuit against McNamee, claiming that McNamee had destroyed his reputation. Rocket went before Congress, tampered with a witness, and got Jose Canseco to be a character witness.
It’s really beginning to look like option three was not the wise choice.
McNamee’s attorneys have made it clear they’re going to raise all of this at the defamation trial. They’re going depose the women. And his ex-teammates. And his coaches. And Mrs. Rocket. “Every avenue will be explored at deposition,” says one of McNamee’s attorneys.
It’s going to be ugly. Uglier than it already is. Uglier than flying a 15-year old girl across the country. Uglier than Mike Piazza getting hit in the head by a fastball for hitting a home run. Uglier than when Mindy McCready’s mother figured out that Rocket was still married. Uglier than Rusty Hardin playing the tape of a pleading man asking for forgiveness.
As one legal expert told the New York Daily News, “How many women are there? A girl a day? Every 15 minutes is one going to materialize from a bar or a trailer?” This stuff is going to come out. And Rocket’s reputation will never recover, no matter how any defamation suit comes out.
I don’t know what kind of advice Rusty Hardin has given to Roger Clemens (though it’s supposedly three million dollars' worth of advice). And I don’t know exactly how much or how little Rocket has listened to this advice. But forget about his reputation as a pitcher. His reputation as a person has been destroyed, and he’s never going to recover that. If Rocket is doing as Rusty Hardin has advised, then we’ve all got to questions Hardin’s ability as an attorney. But if Clemens is doing this against Hardin’s advice, then we’ve all got to really question Rocket’s judgment – and the evidence is pointing to his having very bad judgment.
If Rocket would’ve taken the Andy Pettitte option, if he would have said he was injured and that he only wanted to help his team, he would be seen as a hero, like Pettitte, and his reputation would be intact. If he would have taken the McGwire option, his baseball reputation might have been destroyed, but his reputation as a family man would have been saved. But he chose the Rafael Palmeiro option. It’s not going to matter what becomes of any defamation suit, or any investigation into the Mitchell Report. The Rocket’s reputation is damaged, and it can never be repaired.
Rocket friends and family are supposedly trying to convince him to drop his suit against McNamee. But supposedly Rusty Hardin and Rocket’s agents are trying to keep Clemens away from them.
Clemens should probably drop his suit. And he should drop it quick. His reputation’s shot. He’s probably never going to get back his good name. But maybe if he acts now we won’t soon be reading about some 16-year-old claiming that Rocket’s his/her dad. At that point, Rocket’s reputation will not be able to go any lower.
And Rocket, apologizing for personal mistakes is not going to get the job done. Especially when you, in your so-called apology, continue to deny the McNamee allegations, and especially when in your apology you go and essentially call Mindy McCready, her mother and her father liars. Apologizing by calling yourself blameless is not getting the job done. Ortiz and his minions might fall for it, but nobody else will.
Clemens could have been out of all of this a long time ago. And I hope what he’s putting his family through now was worth it. Because, Jose de Jesus Ortiz, none of this had to happen. It’s not the public who is harming the Rocket family. It is Roger Clemens. And instead of telling the public to lay off of the Rocket, maybe you should be telling Rocket to lay off of his own family. – John Royal
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