[This was originally posted at my other blog, Sweaty Men Endeavors, but since it's baseball-related, I thought it might also fit here, especially with the Tigers taking the night off.]
One of the frequent complaints I've read about Spider-Man 3 is that there's too much goopy romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. People just want to see some comic book action. But to me, that relationship gives the story its heart. And that sentiment can also be applied to sports.
In Detroit, the bond between Steve Mariucci and Jeff Garcia was one that transcended geography and football logic. Garcia couldn't throw and Mooch couldn't coach. But that didn't stop them from getting back together and renewing their partnership. That's how it is when you've met your soul mate.
You know who else understands that? Roger Clemens and his best friend forever, Andy Pettitte. Distance was merely an obstacle for these two. From New York to Houston and back to the Bronx again, they have maintained their life partnership. The miles between the two cities were just orange cones to be run over by a truck of genuine affection.
And nothing gives a romance more of a storybook quality than a grand gesture. You want a tale you can eventually share with your grandchildren. Think of John Cusack's Lloyd Dobler holding that boombox over his head outside Diane Court's house in Say Anything. Or Sam carrying Frodo up the mountain in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Wasn't Clemens announcing his return to the Yankees from George Steinbrenner's luxury suite equally as memorable?
Did you see the smile on Pettitte's face from the Yankees' dugout? He may as well have held his hands to his chest, swooning while cartoon hearts danced around his head. Together with the Yankees, together with the Astros, and together yet again in pinstripes. How so very touching.
I can only imagine that plenty of other men in the Yankee Stadium stands were inspired to ask for their significant other's hand in marriage or at least give a warm, firm hug to their ballgame buddy. That kind of sharing doesn't have to be restricted to the Bronx, either. Call up your best friend tonight and tell him how you feel. If you want to do it while you're watching a sporting event together, that's fine. We understand.
Of course, acknowledging true love can also leave some broken hearts. And they're watching romantic comedies with pints of ice cream today in Boston and Houston. I'm not sure if Curt Schilling is more jealous over Clemens signing with the Yankees or creating more of an attention-grabbing media spectacle for himself.
This is what we men do. We mask our pain with bravado. It's okay, Curt. Yes, Clemens spurned your team and virtually monopolized ESPN's coverage last night and this morning. But hey, he doesn't have a blog like you do. Use the outlet you've given yourself. You can get through this, even if it takes you 2.800 words to do so. Some of us might not read them all because we only have so many hours in the day to devote to your narcissism, but if that's what you need, we're here for you.
And it's not just fellow players and potential teammates that are dealing the hurt of rejection. Members of the media who fell for Clemens' charms are also nursing wounded souls today. Check out the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice slicing open a vein and pouring his blood all over his blog for his beloved Rocket:
In other words, I did my part. I even put up with his obnoxious agent, Randy Hendricks. If this deal includes a one-way ticket out of town for that guy, it may end up being worth it.
I believed all that stuff, too. Roger Clemens is an amazing competitor. He no longer has great stuff, but he stills wins because he has guts and poise and smarts and astonishing control.
Wow. Somebody make sure that man isn't spending tonight alone. Take him out to dinner. Buy him something nice to make him feel good about himself. Just sit and listen. He doesn't need to hear you talk. He needs you to let him say what he's feeling. Give the poor guy the "Five Good Minutes" slot on "PTI" tonight, so Kornheiser and Wilbon can help him sort out his feelings. We all need friends at times like these.
Regardless, we should all be happy that two people on this earth, in this life, have found such bliss together. It's like they say: When you know, you just know. And even if we haven't found such a partnership for ourselves, at least this gives us hope to keep trying. We can be like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Just don't give up. Never give up.