As Roger Clemens heads into his court arraignment Monday, the charges against him will be read, and he will be expected to deliver his plea.
Before Clemens enters that federal courtroom, Pete Rose has a few words of advice for the Rocket: Come clean.
Clemens, as we all know, has been indicted on charges that he lied to Congress about his usage of PEDs during his 24-year career in the big leagues. He has ferociously defended the fact that he did not use PEDs and even volunteered to promote his innocence during the steroid era.
All evidence, however, points to the contrary, as former Clemens trainer Brian McNamee and former teammate Andy Pettitte have confirmed Clemens' usage of the drugs. There also are the years of Clemens' dynamic pitching well into his 40s. Separate those two facts, and they don't hold as much weight, but together, they form a legitimate case against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
Rose doesn't know if Clemens is lying about is PED usage. What he does know is that his own lies led him to a life of misery and self-punishment. Rose's numerous accomplishments and records amassed during his playing years are now sullied due to the fact he bet on his own team while managing the Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s.
He was banned from baseball in 1989, then denied any wrongdoing for 15 years.
Rose eventually told the truth in 2004, but MLB's all-time hits leader now admits he made a big mistake by lying about his actions for years.
"I wish I had come clean the day they had called me into the [commissioner's] office in 1989 — I do," Rose told ESPN.com. "Because I would've saved myself a lot of grief, a lot of everything. Money, you name it. The thing that was so hard for me is I had a lot of respect for the game, and I was respected for that while I was in the game. And I miss that, you know? But I messed up. I messed up!"
Rose doesn't wish that life upon Clemens, whom he claims "was a prince of a guy" during their brief meeting years ago. Rose, however, also has met Pettitte, and Rose doesn't believe there is any reason the Yankees' left-hander would lie about Clemens' usage.
"One thing I don't like about Roger's case is [that] I have no reason to think Andy Pettitte would lie, and that bothers me." Rose said. "Is it possible Andy made a mistake, this or that? I don't know. But if Andy Pettitte says it happened, well … then I don't know what to think about Roger."
Despite what Rose believes is true, he can sympathize with what Clemens is going through, and he understands why he's lying if he really did use PEDs. The competitive drive in Clemens is one that he carries off the ball field. He doesn't expect Clemens to take his advice, because then he'd be giving in.
And Roger Clemens won't give in without a fight.
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