Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Letter To Roger Clemens

(Last week, I wrote a letter to Tom Brady. Maybe I was trying to bring a little good cheer into his life after a miserable performance in Super Bowl XLII. Or maybe I was gloating, and being a smartass. In any case, this week I've set my sights on Roger Clemens - another cocky guy who may stand to be cut down a notch or two in the coming days and weeks.)

"Dear Roger,

How have you been? Crazy weather we’re having, huh? I like your new haircut. It’s so darn short!!

Anyway, I wanted to check in with you, and make sure you’re doing okay. It seems like you’ve had a lot going on as of late. I see your name popping up all over the place. Something about growth hormones? And surreptitious telephone recordings? And a new hip-hop album you’re releasing?

Wow, you sure have been busy.

But before I continue, I’d like to remind you that I’m a Philadelphia fan, so I hold neither allegiance nor any particular ill will towards you. I do live in New York, but don’t give a hoot about the Yankees. And I only like Boston for its baked beans and tea parties. I’m a pretty objective person when it comes to the recent headlines about the Mitchell Report. And I’ll be the first to download your new rap album off of iTunes.

So I’ve been paying greater attention to you recently. Actually, it’s pretty hard not to notice. Seems like you’ve been making the rounds on talk shows, radio shows, and appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Isn’t Congress totally cool?

It must have been so awesome for you to meet your heroes of government: Chairman of the committee, Representative Henry Waxman (D - California), Representative Betty McCollum (D - Minnesota), and someone from your home state - Representative Kenny Marchant (R - Texas).

It must have been such an amazing thrill for you to answer their kind and gentle questions about your alleged steroid use. It’s like they’re your friends, and they all threw you a party in Washington. And you were allowed to bring a team of friends (or attorneys) to the party, and hang out on Capitol Hill. How neat.

So Roger, don’t worry about a thing. If you told the truth, then there’s absolutely no need to fret. And even if you didn’t tell the truth, you can still tell your buddies back home that you got to hang out with Representative Chris Cannon (R - Utah) and Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D - Maryland).

For goodness sake, you shook hands with Representative John J. Duncan Jr. (R - Tennessee) and he told you his son was a huge fan of yours! Sweet!!!

Will the guys back home even believe you?

Thankfully, Congress keeps a detailed record of all the questions asked of you, and documents each and every syllable you utter in response.

That woman in the room who’s typing on that tiny, weird typewriter? She’s a “stenographer.” In her own special way, she’s typing everything you say.

No that’s not a joke. I know it looks like the offspring of a cash register and an accordion, but the crazy contraption actually enables that lady to type up to 300 words per minute, in something known as “stenotype.” Don’t be frightened. There aren’t any hypodermic needles involved. It’s just another word for “shorthand.”

Anyway, my point is that all your hunting buddies will have to believe you when you tell them about teaching Representative Diane Watson (D - California) how to throw a split-finger fastball. After all, it’ll part of the public record once your testimony is reported to the press (which is likely to happen immediately).

By now, I bet everyone in both houses of Congress knows how to throw that nasty splitter of yours. That kind of stuff spreads like athlete’s foot between the House and the Senate, I’ve been told.

So Roger, whatever the outcome of this inquiry - whether or not you perjure yourself - you’ll take with you some fun and fantastic memories of your time on the Hill; rubbing elbows with some of the greatest politicians in the country. Heck, some of the greatest politicians in the whole world.

Who cares about the Baseball Hall of Fame, when you can say you split a Diet Coke with Dennis Kucinich in the House of Representatives Cafeteria?

Can Sandy Koufax or Nolan Ryan say the same?

I think not.

Warmest possible regards,

- The Mill

P.S. - Please decide once and for all if you’re going to retire, and announce your decision before spring training begins. Otherwise, you could really screw up our fantasy baseball draft.”

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