Q. You’ve been outspoken in your denunciation of Barry Bonds, whom you call “King of the ‘Roids,” an apparent and extremely dated reference to some pop song from another century. Cute. But how do you feel now that one of your idols, Roger “The Rocket” Clemens, stands accused of the same chemical dishonesty?
A. You know, I think it’s sad that a great American hero could be so easily besmirched by what is clearly a runaway ex-pol clamoring for the limelight, and–Okay, just kidding. Deep in the throes of several heavy writing projects, I haven’t had time to dredge the fine print of the Mitchell Report, but here’s my take: If they’ve got good proof of Clemens’ wrongdoing, then I say what’s clear for the goose is cream for the gander, in steroid-speak.
If Bonds gets shunned by Hall of Fame writers, let Clemens’ ghost also wander outside the shrine at Cooperstown forever, moaning “I thought it was pimple lotion,” or something. If Bonds goes in with a big asterisk, slap one on the Rocket’s tailfin as well. It’s going to be rough justice all around, but what one gets, all should get after being held to some roughly equal standard.
Q. I know you’ve got to run, but any reactions, thoughts on seeing what looked like a great story of tireless dedication and defiance of Father Time turn into a tale of steroidal sin?
A. Hmm. Well, next time I see any athlete continue to excel after his mid-thirties, especially a power pitcher who keeps his hard stuff a decade after most of his peers are golfing in Saratoga, I’ll put on the skeptic glasses a lot sooner. More on this later.