Let me tell you the story of Clementine.The rest of the column chronicles Clemens' baseball career and his current federal grand jury indictment.
Clementine is a 6-foot-tall white teddy bear that sits in a shed behind my house. Clementine is 16 years old and a little worn around the edges. The big bear is dirty, moth-ridden, and has duct tape covering holes where stuffing would come out.
Clementine came to our house in a giant cardboard box delivered in a UPS truck in the winter of 1993-94. When the driver and I discovered that the return address was “Katy, Texas,’’ we checked to see if the thing was ticking. Roger Clemens was no friend of mine, and I was concerned the box might contain a Trojan Horse or some other mayhem maker.
No. It contained a get-well gift for 8-year-old Kate Shaughnessy, who’d just been diagnosed with leukemia. There was an autographed baseball from Clemens and the big white bear. Kate smiled and named him/her Clementine. And Clementine stayed in her room until she graduated from college.
It's little wonder Shank didn't bury Clemens with this column...