Roger That: Roger Clemens and Mindy McCready?


Wow, we did not see this coming on a rainy Monday morning. (Hey! It’s a rainy day and Monday, something that always brings me down.) The Daily News drops a bombshell about Roger Clemens and his “SECRET AFFAIR.” Their exclusive reports that for a decade, the Rocket had been carrying on with country singer Mindy McCready.

This is quite the big scoop, but what I’m really interested in is how the story is presented on the front page. The “SECRET AFFAIR” allegations are shocking enough, but it’s curious why McCready’s name isn’t mentioned on page 1. The photo of her on the front has her eyes closed, and she almost looks like Paris Hilton. Could this be a clever ploy by the art department to sell more papers by making it look like Clemens spent a few years in Paris? Probably not.

As a person who likes to slice with Occam’s razor as much as possible, I think it’s probably just that McCready’s country-star status might not play as much in the Big Apple. Keeping it mysterious cuts off any chances for a reader to say, “Huh, who?” and dismiss the story before the reader’s fifty cents hits the newsstand.

The News takes care of the “just who is Mindy McCready?” section pretty deftly. For those who are not familiar with the musical products of Nashville, McCready first burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s. She’s faced a number of career and legal woes that would make one hell of a country song. (Drug addiction? Check. Abusive relationship? Check. Arrest record? Check.) Now she’s staging a comeback via documentary, and, yes, the requisite reality show. (No word on the network, but the title, Mending Mindy, sounds remarkably similar to VH1’s other redemption-themed reality shows, Breaking Bonaduce and Saving Sizemore.)

New York, however, is a sports town, not a country-singing, tear-in-your-beer town, so the important question is, “How does this affect Roger?” Well, a lawyer for Clemens’s former trainer Brian McNamee—whom Clemens is suing for defamation—says that this information benefits his client, as “If it’s proved that [Clemens]’s a philanderer, his reputation is already damaged…Anything is fair game, including his claim of sanctimonious purity.”

For the record, Clemens denies a sexual relationship with McCready, whom he first met in a karaoke bar in Florida when she was 15 and he was still pitching for the Red Sox. Clemens, lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued this statement to the Daily News on behalf of Clemens:

“He flatly denies having had any kind of an inappropriate relationship with her…He’s considered her a close family friend…He has never had a sexual relationship with her.”