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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Glanville: Roger ‘The Rocket’ Clemens lost in space

Oh, the pain, the pain…

The Rocket is doing what every player does when he leaves the game: seeking a sense of control. Looking back is scary because that control is gone. You are 50, and you see the world question your work, given that, in your mind, you were always running the show, shaking off the wrong pitch, the wrong opinion. Now you are at the mercy of time or of the fickleness of a sound bite and a good closing argument. It makes high-flying competitors pull their hair out to be called on the carpet by non-legends, by the kind of hitter who hit only .220 lifetime with a hole down and away—hitters who typically were scorched by the flames that propelled your career.

Now Clemens will have to wait. Maybe he can buy himself five more years, hope his Jedi mind trick will work on whoever has doubted him or believes Brian McNamee more than him. Sports writers might ease up in that time; science might tell us that whatever he was accused of using to fuel his flight path was normal and is now available over the counter.

But, like anything tossed into space, opinion will be thrown into the great unknown. It could come down to the tie he wears in an interview or the charitable work he has done in his life. He does not know any more than the rest of us, and that makes him as frustrated as any baseball player who could be reduced to one moment, one court scene.

Regardless, he will keep going. Running his campaign. Super PAC-ing his way to what he believes is his right to immortality. Powering his way until he either gets unattainable satisfaction or crashes into Earth at full speed, leaving a crater as wide as his belief in himself.

The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2012 at 01:35 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, blue jays, doug glanville, hall of fame, ped, red sox, roger clemens, yankees

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   1. Darren Posted: August 25, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4218013)
Someone alert the overwrought metaphor police.
   2. Bob Tufts Posted: August 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4218020)
Worst. Glanville column. Ever.

   3. pthomas Posted: August 25, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4218089)
I bet Glanville is vegan.
   4. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4218092)
So many words.

#### this column, I declare a thread hijack on the theme of ... SPACE!

Neil Armstrong has died.

This makes me sad.
   5. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4218099)
When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. Still do.

RIP Neil.

That said, The Right Stuff makes Armstrong out to be something of a tool.
   6. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4218108)
In honor of Neil, I give you all this:

In 1969, Neil Armstrong beat every Lunar Lander player and everyone else who has ever held the controls to anything ever. Apollo 11 was on its way to becoming history when that almost became an action movie line instead of a dramatic one. First the lunar module computer started flashing up "executive overflow" errors, saying that it had too much to do and would get back to some of these calculations later. Since these were the "NOT crashing into the moon" calculations, it was a bit of a concern. Ground controllers saved the mission by heroically working out that this was literally a non-fatal error, while Aldrin and Armstrong saved the mission by stoically soaring toward the moon's surface anyway until they did that.

That's when Armstrong noticed that the jittery computer was about to pull a younger-sister Mario by relentlessly steering them to death. The programmed landing site had looked fine under telescope observation, but was full of lander-destroying boulders under "inside that lander" observation. With a few hundred thousand miles on the clock and less than a minute of fuel remaining, Neil was damned if he was turning the car around and going home. So as well as being the first person on the moon, he got to be the first person to save space by pulling manual override and steering the ship himself. With a life expectancy measured in seconds, he and Buzz calmly surveyed the surface of the moon and found the most important parking space in history.

   7. dlf Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4218132)
When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. Still do.

I'm a middle aged, fat, paper pusher in real life, but me too.

Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins ... Glenn, Lovell, Shepard on through folks like Ride and Husband teach us that there is nothing a person can't do when we reach for the stars.
   8. DA Baracus, Braves Intern Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4218137)
That said, The Right Stuff makes Armstrong out to be something of a tool.

We want the best pilots... that we can get.
   9. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4218143)
Well ####.
   10. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4218144)
There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4218149)
That said, The Right Stuff makes Armstrong out to be something of a tool.

You must be thinking of John Glenn, Armstrong is barely in The Right Stuff, and then only as a X-15 pilot that gets selected in the next group of astronauts.
   12. JC Posted: August 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4218151)
If Clemens came back and was suspended 50 games, it would be an early Christmas present.
   13. Sleepy's still holding up that little wild bouquet Posted: August 25, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4218177)
There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die.

I watched that movie so many times when I was 8-9 years old that I wore the vcr tape through, then taped it together and watched it some more. It's probably about 80% of the reason I became an aero engineer.

(The rest being the fact that my eyes weren't good enough to fly, and I missed the lasik window by a year or two).
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: August 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4218186)
I bet Glanville is vegan.

I seriously doubt it. Last pic I saw of him, a guy who was a bitty little sparkplug kind of player when active must have weighed 250 pounds.

And rock on Mr. Armstrong.
   15. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4218188)
But on that glorious day in May 1963, Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American - 22 complete orbits around the world; he was the last American ever to go into space alone. And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen.
   16. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: August 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4218195)

Chief Scientist: I agree with those who say we could launch a pod.
Lyndon Johnson: A pot?
Chief Scientist: A POD - a, uh, capsule. Now, we would be in full control of zis pod. It vill go up like a cannonball, and come down like, uh, a cannonball, splashing down into ze water, the ocean, vith a parachute to spare the life of the specimen inside.
Lyndon Johnson: Spaceman?
Chief Scientist: SPE-CI-MEN.
Lyndon Johnson: Well, what kind of spe-ci-men?
Chief Scientist: A tough one. Responsive to orders. I had in mind a jimp.
Lyndon Johnson: JIMP? Well what the HELL is a jimp?
Chief Scientist: A jimp. A-a-a jimpanzee, Senator. An ape.

Harry Shearer? Jeff Goldblum??

#### ... and ...YES!!!

[edit] Well, and Chuck Yeager himself ...
   17. Tom T Posted: August 25, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4218309)
Neil (who spent a good chunk of years as an honest-to-god professor...teaching, researching, etc.) would really work to avoid answering questions about the moon landing. BUT...if you had the opportunity to just sit and chat with him, it seems he couldn't resist going into stories about it (as you'd rightly expect). One of the favorites seems to have been about how he and Buzz accidentally broke off a switch on the landing and ended up using the shaft of a ball point pen as a stand-in such that they were able to launch the lander from the surface. The faculty whose office is next to mine will probably spend much of the next week retelling stories he got from Neil...and we'll all be darn happy to hear them again.

Folks from UC have talked about all the gyrations the poor man had to go through to avoid autograph seeking (I believe he did some chunk of autographs each day on behalf of NASA), yet still interact in office hours with students. Someone mentioned how students used to semi-scale the wall outside his office area to look through the windows to catch a glimpse of him.

I'm sure we'll do something on Monday on our campus...probably right by the his statue in front of the building we managed to get named for him in (plenty of) time. I just hope we can do something for Gene in time, too....

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