Roger Clemens was indicted for perjury Thursday. As Suzyn Waldman might say, "Oh my goodness gracious." One of the damning pieces of evidence against the husky hurler was when his best buddy, Andy Pettitte, stated to congressional investigators that Clemens told him he had used HGH. Clemens asserts Pettitte misheard him, and insists what he really said was that he saw a TV show about three older gentlemen who used HGH in order to reacquire their previous quality of life. Of course that sounds like an honest mistake to make. In fact, it happened all the time with Clemens and Pettitte.
Here are a few other things Pettitte misheard from his pal over the years: When Pettitte told his family that Clemens confessed to him that he threw that bat at Mike Piazza on purpose in the 2000 World Series, Clemens claims what he really said was that he heard an old Hank Williams song on the radio about a fat pitcher throwing a broken bat at a catcher running to first base. Pettitte also stated that Clemens confided to him about having an affair with a much younger country singer. But what Clemens really told him was that his favorite show on the Disney channel is Hannah Montana, and on Nickelodeon he admires the antics and high jinks of SpongeBob Squarepants, with Squidward being his idol. Pettitte also told a few people that Clemens confessed that he insisted on the Yankees making a special announcement in the middle of a game to announce his re-signing and needing special treatment in his comeback with the team. What he really said, though, was that he enjoyed ABC's after-school specials as a child, because it made him feel special, though he abhors special treatment for himself. And Pettitte insists Clemens once told him all his kids' names' start with the letter "K" because of his love for Klondike bars. What Clemens really was said was that he once expressed disappointment in his wife for only buying three boxes of Klondike bars instead of the usual six in that week's grocery shopping. We'll let Sammy Davis Jr. have the last word on the Clemens news, as he once sang in the theme song to Baretta: "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, yeah don't do it."
Here are the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports:
The Joe Piscopo Bowl: The battle for New Jersey (and New York) was won by the old standbys, the Giants, 31-16. The Jets starters played better than their counterparts across the line of scrimmage, but the game was all knotted up at 10 when the Giants put in the second string. Penalties and settling for field goals were the negatives for Gang Green, or else they would have won the war of the first-stringers. After his first-pass interception, Mark Sanchez was everything the Jets could have hoped for. And their starting defense was also impressive (though they flubbed a couple of turnover chances). Meanwhile for the Giants, Victor Cruz was the breakout star of the game, as he caught three TD passes, and looked like Homer Jones out there (at least that's what I think Homer Jones would have looked like since I never actually saw him play). Eli "There Will Be Blood" Manning did his Y.A. Tittle impression, but since he's one of the toughest guys around, he'll just shake it off and get back to work, though he'll miss tomorrow's game against Pittsburgh. Putting on a helmet is the only real impediment to him playing, but that's a pretty big impediment. He did quip about sporting one of those old leather jobs, though. I wouldn't put it past him. And after watching Matt Dodge punt, I have one question: Is Jeff Feagles sure he wants to retire?
The Circus Is in Town: Frankie Rodriguez returned to the Mets after a not-long-enough absence, and was met with boos as he jogged in from the Citi Field bullpen on Saturday. Asked after the game if he was curious about the reception he would receive, he answered, "No." Well, we fans don't care about you either, Frankie. And as poetic justice, he tore a ligament in his thumb during the melee at New Shea and is now out for the season, so the Mets put the ass-clown on the Disqualified List, though they insist he'll be back with the team next year. Are they just covering their bases or do they really mean that? Who knows with the Mets' "leadership." Speaking of ass-clowns, Luis Castillo said the words Met fans have been hoping to hear for years now: "I can't be here anymore." Luis, I'll bring the car around, and drive you to the airport. And we'll swing by and pick up Oliver Perez, Jeff Francoeur, K-Rod, Jerry Manuel, Omar Minaya, Fred Wilpon and little Jeff. On the field (which is pretty much an afterthought these days), R.A. Dickey provided the only highlight in the Mets' series vs. the Phillies, when he pitched an astounding one-hit shutout. The Mets had a little more success down in Houston, beating them on Monday when the winning run scored on a wild pitch, which Jeff Francoeur, of course, swung at (though he walked five times this week resulting in the earth spinning off its axis). Hunter Pence single-handedly defeated them on Tuesday, they pulled out an extra-inning win, featuring another stellar Dickey outing, in game three and in the finale, Pat Misch threw one too many pitches, resulting in a 3-2 loss.
Grumpy Old Men: What are the consequences besides fewer home runs being hit once drug testing was put into place and PED usage started to wane? Players start to act their age. Which means 39-year-old catchers have just about no chance of making it through a full season injury-free, 35-year-old third baseman get one ailment after another, 38-year-old pitchers take a long time to recover from groin injuries, 34-year-old DHs go on the DL and 36-year-old shortstops start to decline. Fans were getting spoiled by players magically producing the best years of their careers in their mid- to late 30s. Looks like those days are over. The Yankees were looking a little long in the tooth and lackluster in their four-game series split with the Royals. (KC's powder-blue road jerseys: Like? Dislike? Discuss.) But the energy and entertainment factor went up when Detroit rolled into town, and with it came the returns of Johnny Damon and Austin Jackson. But that was nothing compared to Curtis Granderson's revenge against his former team. The Yanks lost the opener, but almost came back against Jose Valverde, who was so wild, he had one of his pitches intercepted by Antrel Rolle. After whipping the tigers, 6-2, on Tuesday all hell broke loose on Wednesday, in an old-fashioned slugfest/beanball war. The Tigers took umbrage with Brett Gardner's slide into Carlos Guillen at the end of Monday's game (which was a nice hard slide - nothing wrong with it at all) so they reacted by drilling him with the first pitch thrown his way (nothing wrong with that - that's all a part of baseball). Miguel Cabrera was hit in the back, and the Tigers threw a pitch behind Derek Jeter. The only outrageous part of the game was the always-ridiculous umpire warnings. Those directives from the men in blue usually make the situation worse. Amid all that, the Bombers blasted three home runs and won, 9-5. And yesterday they romped, 11-5, which secured their first series victory since all the way back in July.
Odds and Ends: Tony Dungy was outraged at Rex Ryan's expletive-fest in the series opener of Hard Knocks. Come on, it's on HBO at 10 o'clock at night, and it's football. Ryan said it was all a misunderstanding anyway, as HBO accidentally gave him an old script from an episode of The Sopranos, and he was just reading Tony's lines. And apparently Carmelo Anthony really, really wants to come to New York and play for the Knicks (or maybe the Nets). It's no surprise as, for years, he's been promised by Denver that Alex English and Dan Issel would come out of retirement to form a Big Three with him but the team has never fulfilled its obligation.
R.I.P. Bobby Thomson: The former Giant (and Brave and Cub and Red Sox and Orioles) died on Monday, at the age of 86. Forever known for hitting the Shot Heard 'Round the World off Ralph Branca in 1951 ("The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"), Thomson was a three-time All-Star and drove in over 100 runs four times in his career. He finished with a .270 average, 264 home runs and 1,026 RBIs. The Staten Island native was also a gentleman's gentleman. Another local legend gone.
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