(From October 2007) The Song of the Rocket
And in the annum of 2000, thy great bringer of cheese, Roger Clemens, returned to the village of Boston in search of remaking friendships.
But across its pagan tabernacles, those who had once exalted the Rocket now brought hurtful chants about his plumpness, and etched crude remarks onto signs and loincloths.
Stricken with woe, the beef-laden hurler appeared unto Joe and spake:
“Hear me, o, wise and decent Joe!
“Why do the former lovers of my filth now so loathe me? How doth my robust physique come to gird such geysers of spleen?”
Joe placed his calm hand on the pitcher’s abundant meat cakes and declared:
“Verily, o, Rocket! Thou art truly King of Pitchers.
“Let no arrows of poison ink draw tight the strings of thy magnificent hams. The foul showers of Bostonian spittle shalt never include the spice of truly deserved bile.
“They loathe not you, o, Rocket, but the pinstriped linens that hug your ample buttocks.
“They loathe not you, o, Rocket, but the bareness of their fingers, which hath never felt the warmth of championship ring.
But on that day, Roger did not go forth with music of chin, or stuff, or cheese, or filth.
And he suffered smiting from the corked and angry bats of his tormentors.
And the House of George was routed.
And the King of Pitchers collapsed into a bottomless despair.
Presently, the form of Joe appeared and spake:
“Hear me, o, Rocket!
“Do not drown thyself in mead or seek the false salvation of Krispee Kreme.
“Long ago, the House of George foresaw a calamity such as this. At the cost of a hundred Marlins, the Owner hath secured El Duque, the exiled Cuban prince, to hurl on the morrow.
“Behind El Duque, this defeat shall be avenged! The Bostonites shall be vanquished.
“This I do decree!”
Behind El Duque, the Yanks cast out the Bostonites, four games to one, to secure the Kingdom of the American League.
And they went on to capture the Series of the World.
And they went on to frolic on flatbed trucks along the Canyon of Heroes through a glorious deluge of tickertape and feminine undergarments.
And the Rocket went on to hurl more seasons for the House of George, and the House of Houston.
And in his final appearance in Boston, his accusers stood to adore him as the true King of Pitchers.
But by then, sadly to the House of George, their base hatreds had been heartily softened by the warmth of two Championship rings.