Dead spots and forgiveness

Had the common pleasure of having my radio frequency turn to the sound of a drain snake upon entering the northbound Tip Tunnel this morning. It was a very charming effect that added to my experience while listening to the post-mortem of yesterday's Sox season opener on WEEI. For some reason known only to the Mass. Turnpike Authority, certain AM frequencies are jammed from the tunnel's entrance to the downramp from Albany Street, which is almost half of the tunnel. Both WEEI 850 AM and WRKO 680 AM were blocked. WBZ 1030 AM was loud and clear, though.

When the radio started working again, I got to hear talk about Roger Clemens meeting with Sox brass to discuss the possibility of him returning. I was mad for a long time at Clemens when he left, but then again, I was mad at him for a long time before he left, too. I was more mad at him for leaving than I am now at Adam Vinatieri for leaving the Patriots for the Colts. I forgave Clemens since he joined the Houston Astros, and would actually like to see him return to a Red Sox uniform.

I can't say why I felt it was the right time to forgive him finally, but it just seemed right. Clemens was the star of the Red Sox ball club for a few years during my most formative time as a baseball fan, and I always felt he should have set a better example. While he was here, I believed him to be lazy, overpaid and egotistical. It didn't look like he trained all that well and basically gave the impression that he didn't give a damn about the Red Sox. He knew he was good enough to pitch well for any team and he held that over Jean Yawkey's and Lou Gorman's heads. So, he took the dough and went to the Blue Jays. Then to the Yankees, where it seems like he learned how not to be a primadonna crybaby.

Despite that, I still had no respect for him. I was glad Grady Little messed with him when he was trying to win his 300th, and that the Sox shelled him out of the game early. That was the Clemens I knew well as a Red Sox fan; he flubbed the big game (anyone remember his Oakland appearance in 1990?). I was also glad to see him retire from baseball right when it seemed like the Yankees needed him most. It made me even happier to see him sign with the Astros in that same offseason.

But in his first season with the Astros, he went 10-0 and even last year was in the top five or 10 pitchers in the league. And I realized that I may have disliked his personality, but I couldn't ignore his numbers or his contribution to baseball. And now I'm greedy with the idea of a healthy Curt Schilling, a still-powerful Roger Clemens, a reliable knuckler in Tim Wakefield, Josh Becket and Matt Clement (for the first half of the season).

So, I cast my vote to bring back the Rocket.


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