Watching "60 Minutes" Sunday night, I couldn't decide which was sadder: Roger Clemens channeling his Inner Bill Clinton ("I...did...not...shoot...steroids...with...that...man"), or the scratchy, 16RPM version of Mike Wallace in the other chair.
And then there's Monday's press conference, turned listening session, turned freak show. (Enough said.) Next, it's off to The Hill...and not the kind with a wad a hard rubber nailed to the middle.
For me, the question isn't did he or didn't he. (We'll probably never know.) For me, it's why Clemens chooses to play this out so fiercely, and so publicly.
From a retirement transition standpoint, The Rocket was stalled long before the Mitchell report's allegations. And that is why this fight looms huge for Clemens. It's all he's got right now. His take-no-prisoners defense is filling a vacuum created by his failure to find something new to do with his life. Yes, it's about salvaging his reputation and any hope of Hall of Fame enshrinement. But this fight gives him even more: a sense of purpose that even he may now realize pitching can no longer provide.
By his own admission, Clemens has flunked retirement repeatedly.