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Bob Lobel: Why Can’t We Get Players Like Roger Clemens?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Bob Lobel, GoLocalWorcester Sports Contributor

I had great plans to start listing a top ten sports moments that I have experienced in the last 25-30 years. I actually put a list together and it is pretty unique, but that can wait..

One of them was even added two weeks go when I had the opportunity to do the public address announcing at Fenway Park. So the material is fresh and not some babbling from some washed up sportscaster ending his career. But events of the past few days are literally churning around in my brain and I need to get it out before I write my top ten.

In no particular order, I start with the Roger Clemens government trial for lying to congress. The government's prosecution teams have a pretty dismal rate of conviction. If they were a team of defense lawyers, they would be out of work. The Clemens debacle is just latest. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy Clemens was found not guilty. I have heard some Clemens detractors say that “hey, they didn’t say he was innocent”. My God, its scary what the airways have produced lately.

The fact is that the federal jury of 12 plus alternates just voted Clemens into the Hall of Fame next year when he becomes eligible. The writers will do what they do but surely, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball should be given his due. Good for him, and Boston needs to soften up on him a little and remember what a great great talent he was for them. Red Sox fans are still upset he left them for Toronto and then the Yankees.

Baseball legend Roger Clemens in a trading card from his MVP season of 1986.

Sox fans, at least the tough fans of Boston baseball, always hate players who forsake them for other markets. Ask Johnny Damon, one of the really good guys who was sincerely hurt by the boos he received when he came back as a Yankee. If Clemens does come back to Fenway, what would the reception be? Standing ovation? Sitting boo? Mixed? Well, I can't speak for you, but I would give the guy a standing ovation. I might be the only one, but I don’t think so.

On the the next.

It was no fluke that Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open, but the Jim Furyk drive on 16 was the talk of golf. Will his brilliant career be forever marked by that one shot? It's possible, but the guy has been a great player. It certainly shows that nobody is immune to golf pressure. Golf may be the most perfect game of all, well, game or sport? Are golfers, bowlers, NASCAR drivers athletes or specialists at the games the play? More future arguments.

I have figured out the problem I have with the NBA Finals as a championship team event. The games are so damn predictable. Its back to the old observation that the final two minutes are the only two minutes not to be missed. The craziest two minutes in sports, but you have to get past the first 46 minutes. Tell me when its over. Have they crowned a champion yet? Has any official made a good call yet? Has LeBron James made any new friends? Same old same old to me.

Then there is the Sandusky Eight, as they are now known. The eight victims that have bared there soul in a Pennsylvania courtroom. What must it be like for Sandusky to sit there and hear that testimony? Does he get turned on by hearing it again? What is his wife thinking? I hope they both take the stand, but by the time you read this, there may already be a decision. Is this a movie in the making? Books? Absolutely on both in my opinion. 

Does he go to a psychiatric hospital? Does he go to a place like Bridgewater State? What's the life expectancy in a prison environment for this guy? You know the truth? I would have paid well over a thousand dollars to be in that courtroom during the past two weeks. it is the most fascinating story of the year by far.

Then there is Lance Armstrong. Cheater? Doper? What is the real story? I thought Tyler Hamilton, when he went on 60 Minutes to out Lance, was very truthful. Wonder how many people think Lance cheated or was just a great great athlete? Get angry with me if you need to but I think he was not legit. That is the most amazing sporting event of all. This year you could go to the tour then get on a train and go to London for the Olympics. But the tour…brutal. All cheaters and dopers, but a brutal event. It is anything but clean, but it does make for great television. Getting back to great television, maybe next week, Lobel's top ten in 30 years of living in the toy store of humanity.


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