Perhaps ignoring Roger Clemens’ sitdown with ESPN yesterday (in which the pitcher suggested that David Wells “look in the mirror”, and referred to Phil Garner’s golf accusations as “asinine”), the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman notes “it took only one day after the cheesy unveiling of Clemens Sunday at the Stadium for Rocket Roger to remind notebooks and microphones that we are all just residue on his pooper-scooper.”
On Monday, Clemens was selective regarding which reporters he spoke to, dropping a few verbal crumbs on those who showed up before he hit the links, but afterward sent word – through some PR lackey – that the early birds already had gotten their quotes and the rest would go home empty-handed.
Then, on Wednesday, Clemens got testy with Daily News sportswriter Christian Red and photographer Michael Appleton, who were in Lexington, Ky., to chronicle his workouts.
Even as he approaches 45, Clemens still has a lot of jerk in him. He threatened Appleton. “I’m going to take some film,” said Clemens, unaware this is the digital age.
Clemens said he wasn’t talking until he got to Tampa. In all probability, when he gets there, those following his workout sessions will wait and wait and wait until he is in the mood to, once again, deliver his wisdom. If he doesn’t feel like talking, he won’t.
At least Clemens did not totally wig on the notebooks assembled in Kentucky. In the past, Clemens, when he has had a “problem” with the media, has been known to curse out reporters and engage in other creative acts of harassment.
George Kimball, who covered Clemens as a columnist for the Boston Herald, once told me about an early 1990s clubhouse run-in he had with the then-Red Sox pitcher in Minnesota. Upset over something Kimball had written, Clemens began screaming and cursing at the writer.
When Kimball turned the other cheek, and began walking away, Clemens started throwing rolls from the postgame buffet at him. A bug-eyed Clemens charged after Kimball, but was intercepted by then-Red Sox catcher, now-Yankees coach Tony PeÃ±a before any real damage could be done.
Outside of the whole Clemens-Mike Piazza situation, and his lying about his “retirement,” the pitcher’s first time around with the Yankees was rather uneventful. Back then, he was a full-time player.
Now, considering how Cashman and Joe Torre & Co. totally caved in, allowing him to dictate his own terms and paying him multimillions to do it, there is no way Clemens will go out of his way for the local media. There is also no way anyone in the Yankee high command will dare even suggest he do otherwise.