Bob Raissman, as his wont, fired off a rant against the YES Network’s treatment of the Roger Clemens indictment. Here are the key passages:
Seriously though, why would the brainiacs running YES, or suits in the Yankees front office, offer Clemens a cloud of media cover by initially blacking out news of his indictment? Maybe they don’t want their voices discussing the possibility of Andy Pettitte having to testify at a Clemens trial. Or the fact that any other current Yankee who was around Clemens when he was with the club could be subpoenaed.
Beyond that, the franchise has distanced itself from the Rocket. He has no current value, marketing or otherwise, to the Yankees or Al Yank. Nonetheless, there’s still some affection. Kay’s “report” was sympathetic, his tone melancholy. Cue the weeping violin.
“I don’t know if he lied to Congress but I’ll tell you this, on a personal level I got along great with Roger Clemens. I liked him. I thought he was a great guy,” Kay said. “I know this is probably a difficult time. If he brought it on himself he’s going to have to suffer the consequences, but we’ll see how this plays out.”
Ken Singleton yanked on the same emotional thread, calling this Clemens thing a “sad situation.” Singleton warned: “Indictment is one thing, conviction is another.” Wow! That bit of keen insight should land Singleton an analyst gig on YES’ coverage of Clemens’ trial (anyone laughing yet?).
Maybe this is all just about a Rocket kind of love. How sweet. Kay again called the situation “sad” before saying that YES “will cover this story as it becomes pertinent along the way.”
Until Kay provides YES’ definition of “pertinent” or “along the way,” you’ve heard the last of Roger Clemens.
Raissman is dead wrong, as he so frequently is. The story is absolutely not pertinent to the YES broadcasts, and I am heartened to see that the network has largely ignored it. Until Andy Pettitte is called to testify or other current Yankees are implicated in some way, I see no reason for the broadcasters to discuss the legal issues of a former player. As Raissman so frequently notes and Kay often forgets, calling a game is different than a radio show, and the broadcasters should be focused on discussing topics relevant to the play on the field and the current club. If Andy Pettitte does become embroiled in the Clemens mess, I am certain that YES will cover the story, complete with discussions with the sideline reporter du jour. For now, as Kay noted, the story is not pertinent.
As for Raissman’s criticism of Singleton’s comments, I thought Kenny made an important point that usually gets lost in this sort of situation. Although the evidence seems to be stacked against him, Clemens has not yet been convicted of perjury. Kenny’s unwillingness to swallow the hasty judgments made in the court of public opinion should be lauded, rather than mocked. Considering that it is Raissman’s job to mock other members of the media, I am not surprised he took a less reasonable position.