(father of the year)

Of L’affair Clemens/McCready, Newsday’s Wallace Matthews opines, “aside from the age of his alleged mistress at the time of their meeting, this is one big non-story.” And that’s a very important distinction, as Matthews seems quite fixated on the age of the Rocket’s alleged mistress.

A ballplayer who cheats on his wife? I am shocked. A young girl who is seduced by the “charms” of an older man, said charms consisting mainly that he has his picture on bubblegum cards and an obscenely outsize paycheck? I am double-shocked.

The fact that she was 15 and he 28? Well, that one is a little tougher to get around, but these days, 15 is the new 30. Ask Miley Cyrus and her dad, who had no problem posing for an Annie Leibovitz photo spread with his scantily clad teenage daughter — looking creepily like his girlfriend — which, of course, was the only way that has-been was ever getting into Vanity Fair.

I’m going to have a much tougher time explaining that one to my 7-year-old daughter, who worships at the altar of Hannah Montana, than I am the reality of a warped world in which supposedly grown men feel they can avail themselves of anything and everything they want whenever they want it. Besides, if the State of Tennessee wants to pursue the matter of the Rocket and the Schoolgirl, I say have at it.

We don’t know if Clemens was having “an affair” or “a romance” with the underage McCready, the two coy terms applied to the association by the Daily News, or if Clemens was simply assuming a mentoring role with his young friend, knowing as we do how strongly he feels about serving as a role model for young people.

“I pride myself as an example for kids,” Clemens said under oath to Congress in February. “If I am guilty of anything, it is of being too trusting of everyone, wanting to see the best in everyone, being too nice to everyone.”

See, it could be as simple and innocent as that.

Then again, to believe a 28-year-old man could strike up a platonic 10-year friendship with a winsome 15-year-old is kind of like believing the only member of the Clemens family to use HGH was Roger’s wife, Debbie.

Though I’m somewhat comforted to know Wally finds the voice behind “Achy Breaky Heart” as worthy of a cheap shot as say, Jose Reyes, I don’t see the parallels between the Clemens/McCreedy allegations and a veteran entertainer’s photo session.

On the other hand, if Matthews were to lose his Newsday gig when and if NewsCorp purchases the Long Island paper, he might have a future in the marketing department of a minor league baseball franchise.