06.01.06

Stephen A. Smith On The Rocket’s Phony Glare

Posted in Baseball at 12:37 pm by

Whether he composed the following on his Blackberry or his Easy Bake Oven, it doesn’t really matter. Sooner or later, Stephen A. Smith had to be right about something and today is the day. S.A.S. in the Philadephia Inquirer.

It doesn’t appear that Roger Clemens cares about much of anything, at least not with regard to the game’s integrity. And he certainly does not care as much about that as he cares about the money, the publicity, and, more important than anything else, his insatiable need to feel wanted, no matter how phony he looks in the process.

Someday soon, none of this will matter, of course. Clemens’ willingness to manipulate not one, not two, not three, but four franchises will amount to barely a footnote when he strolls into Cooperstown.

Never did Clemens just come out and say, “If I come back, it will be to play for the Houston Astros.” And never, ever, has a big deal been made of the fact that Clemens contractually is allowed to stay at home while the Astros are on the road on days he is not pitching.

In other words, he not only is allowed to play part-time, but also is allowed to be a part-time teammate.

Hey, Philadelphia! How should we feel about players who miss fan appreciation day when this kind of nonsense is allowed?

Take away a couple of championships Clemens bought with the Yankees and he sounds a lot like Terrell Owens.

Other than Smith ignoring the fact that many of us have have made a big deal out of Clemens being allowed to skip Astros road trips when his turn in the rotation doesn’t come up, I think he and his Blackberry deserve a round of applause.

9 Responses to “Stephen A. Smith On The Rocket’s Phony Glare”

  1. Rog says:

    I don’t know what’s worse: Stephen A. Smith’s damning, hard-hitting commentary (cough), or this really REALLY unfunny piece of sportswriting excrement from Big Jim Caple:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/060601&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos3

    Someone needs to find a way to hack into Page 2 and take that thing down forever, already.

  2. ben schwartz says:

    I know he’s a heel, but I’m supposed to be upset because Clemens (or any player) can manipulate owners? Yeah, it blows that people like Bonds and Clemens can demand these ridiculous perks that their teammates can’t, but how many of these guys will complain when they make the playoffs or Series with him on the bench? I don’t see any Yankees handing back rings and checks because of Giambi and Sheff’s steroids. I’d certainly take that deal to put Clemens in the Cubs rotation right now. Even to have him in the batting order …

    Ben

  3. GC says:

    Ben,

    had the Rocket signed with the Mets yesterday, I’d have forgotten the eye black wearing, ump baiting, Piazza-killing, skydome loving and leaving, frosted tip applying bullshit in about 10 seconds.

    but back to Stephen A’s point, regardless of whether or not any of the Rocket’s Houston teammates have a problem with one set of rules for him and another for the other 24 guys, it’s the rest of the sporting press that’s missing the boat. Bonds, T.O., A.I, etc. are routinely BLASTED TO BITS for their failure to embrace team culture, their selfish ‘tudes, etc. Clemens is the highest paid part-time player in history, he’s allowed to pick and choose when to turn up for games, yet there’s been relatively little outcry compared to say, the Mets bitching that A-Rod wanted a private suite.

  4. Rog says:

    I think that a major difference between T.O., A.I. and Bonds versus Clemens is that the first three gentlemen routinely open up their big fucking mouths (often with the camera rolling) and, thus, it’s easier to criticize them. Like, they’re drawing attention to their own assholeness. The Clemens deal reminds me more of the gig that Kevin Brown had with the Dodgers a while back. He had his own private jet and hotel suite and some other perks, but he didn’t go out of his way to talk about it, or anything else, to the press. There’s a big difference between the press bitching about something and the press covering a guy bitching about something.

  5. Rog says:

    Well, anyway, the backlash against Rocket has officially started now that the greatest sports radio personality of all-time has dropped this little nugget in our laps:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13075111/

  6. GC says:

    The perks of Brown’s deal were regularly cited when it came time to criticize him…though he was up there with Barry in the surly-stakes, which never helped his cause.

    The bizness about being allowed to skip road trips when he’s not in the rotation is, I think, a sticky point. Particularly when other superstars (in baseball and other sports) are routinely pilloried for the damage they’ve supposedly done to the team culture.

    Though I doubt even Stephen A. would claim that A.I. or T.O. have done nearly as much for their sports as the Rocket has for his, I can totally understand why he’s taking this stance. Both of those guys have put their bodies on the line and done everything possible (at one time or another) to bring a title to Philly. For their trouble, they’ve been villified to the max by the media and constantly been at odds with coaches, management, etc.

    Clemens’ only championships came with the talent-stocked Yankees and no one was enriched by his moves to Toronto and Houston more than the Rocket himself. When A.I. blows off practice, he’s a thug. When T.O. questions whether or not he’s surrounded by adequate talent, he’s a shitty teammate. But when Roger Clemens picks and chooses which pennant race to jump into and is allowed to dictate when he will and won’t show up for work, somehow The Ultimate Competitor is held to a very different standard.

  7. PB says:

    Well if the common thought is that AI, TO and Bonds are selfish and terrible teammates while Clemmens is viewed as an icon and competitor, it kind of begs the question that Bonds’ racially-themed paranoia might just be a little bit valid.

  8. Rog says:

    Dear PB: NO!

  9. PB says:

    Dear Rog: I guess I can’t argue with that.

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