People were buzzing on the 2 train this morning about Roger Clemens’s interview on 60 Minutes.
Earl Combs from Harlem watched the interview, read the newspapers, listened to all the conversations and was ready to announce his decision.
“I absolutely believe Roger,” Combs said. “The only way a person could have watched last night and not believed him is if that’s what they wanted all along.”
Combs has seen this before.
“The whole sorry business makes me think about Josh Gibson,” he explained. “My father used to tell me about a home run Gibson hit clear out of Yankee Stadium and a million more stories about him being the best hitter ever.”
But others sometimes tell a different story.
“I’ve heard lots of picking at his career,” Combs said. “They say that the records aren’t accurate and that he did it in backwater ballparks and that it wasn’t against Major League pitchers…
“None of that was his fault,” Combs shot. “I know how upset I get so I can’t even imagine how frustrating it was for Gibson and every other Negro League player to listen to that kind of stuff and not have the chance to prove it wrong.”
Clemens is getting a small taste of that kind of frustration.
“It may not be exactly the same thing,” Combs said, “but it feels way too familiar. The world is demanding that Clemens prove something that can’t be proven. Why should Roger have to defend his career because other players may have used steroids and because someone said something about him?
“He’s the greatest pitcher ever,” Combs continued. “To question that without any proof is frustrating for anyone with an ounce of decency.”