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Astro naught

Sports blotter: "More trouble for the Clemens family" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  September 10, 2008

Astro naught
Always a darned shame when we hear that the Clemens family has fallen on hard times. Not like we harbor any bitter feelings toward ol’ Rajah for eating himself halfway out of the league and laying around on the Winter Haven grass like a beached whale in Spring Training of 1992, on the heels of signing that last $20 million contract with the Sox. Or for bolting to Toronto with a bag full of magic syringes in ’97. Or for finagling a trade to the Yankees two years after that. Or for the rest of his sorry biography. Nah, we’re fine with you, Roger. You. Fat. Pig.

There have been many wonderful things for the Boston fan to celebrate over the past seven years: the cosmic losers-to-rulers makeover of the Red Sox, the ascension to dynasty status of the Patriots, the KG trade and its championship aftereffects, the precipitous $200 million collapse of this year’s Yankees, the spellbinding passing of the reptilian-villainy baton from George to Hank Steinbrenner . . .

But almost nothing has been sweeter than seeing the “legacy” of Roger Clemens go up in dense clouds of acrid death-smoke amid revelations of everything from steroid use to adultery with country-music stars to apparent perjury. Watching Roger weepily beg for redemption before an impassive, stone-faced, clearly disbelieving Mike Wallace was one of the most gorgeous things seen on TV in this part of the world since Walt Coleman’s “tuck rule” replay call in the great Snow Bowl of 2002. Roger, underneath it all, was simply a greedy, bloated hog, and if there is any justice he will spend his last days drooling into his lap while private male-nurses wipe pools of liquefied squash off his many chins.

That said, nobody in these parts has ever felt any particular animosity toward Roger’s eldest son, Koby Clemens. Back before Roger was an American pariah on par with Osama bin Laden, his desire to stay with the Houston Astros in the hopes of someday playing with his son (then a minor-leaguer in the Houston organization) was considered a “touching” human-interest drama, one of many agent-crafted inventions designed to make him look human.

These days, Koby still plays in the Astros organization, for the high-A Salem (Virginia) Avalanche. He actually made the Carolina League all-stars this year, batting .268. And he scored his first bust. This past week Koby and two teammates, Mark Ori and James Goethals, were arrested at a restaurant in Salem called Mac and Bob’s. It appears there was a big disturbance in the parking lot early on the morning of Sunday, August 31, and — well, the details aren’t really out yet, but it seems there was a fight of some kind, and police were forced to intervene. Koby and Ori got disorderly conduct charges while Goethals was hit with misdemeanor assault and battery.

Parking-lot fights are part of the minor-league experience, and there’s no reason to hammer Koby too hard for this one. Give him 10 points, plus an extra 30 for the crime of being Roger’s son, minus 30 for the pain of being Roger’s son. Meaning 10 overall.

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  Topics: Sports , Baseball, Sports, AL East Division,  More more >
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