Roger Clemens received a five-game suspension for getting the last word in that Yankees-Blue Jays bean buffet the other night. When you’re a starting pitcher, that’s roughly the equivalent of an extra day between starts. So at Clemens’ advanced age, doesn’t that constitute a reward, not a punishment?

Next question

Chipper Jones boycotted the New York media after the Braves-Mets game Thursday night in response to a story in the two major city tabloids that quoted Jones suggesting that Alex Rodriguez will be the next player forced to answer questions about steroids. Speaking on behalf of reporters who still try to adhere to standards that allow us to look our kids in the eye at night: Thanks, Chipper.

Fuzzy math

Adam “Pacman” Jones says we can’t count. He hasn’t been arrested six times. “Only” twice. He also said Thursday that he’s taking a college course, bought 60 uniforms for school children, visits Boys and Girls Clubs and is helping build a house for a police officer who was wounded and paralyzed in the line of duty. What a humanitarian.

Recovery from a broken Ankiel

Baseball makes itself so easy to hate and dismiss. Then Rick Ankiel goes out and reminds us what baseball was, and can be. Ankiel hit a home run as an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in his first major league game since his painfully wild cup of coffee as a pitcher in 2004. His career once given up for dead at 22, Ankiel responded to his failure like a man and reinvented himself. The late start might keep him from breaking Barry Bonds’ “record,” but for a day, at least, Ankiel brought healing.

Camera shy

Notable in Monmouth Post 204’s celebration after winning the American Legion baseball state championship Thursday night: the lack of television cameras. I guess two teams north of Exit 63 playing one another is the equivalent of a tree crashing in a deserted forest, huh?

The word got caught in his throat

Reports of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott’s retreat to the golf course or fishing hole were premature. Alstott didn’t retire Thursday, per se, as news outlets in Tampa previously announced he would do. The six-time Pro Bowler merely tearfully announced that he would be placed on the injured reserve list with a neck injury. Let’s see: crying; 33 years old; out for the season. Yeah, if it walks like a retirement and quacks like a retirement

What’s next? Isiah at point guard for the Knicks?

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, who somehow is only 36 and hasn’t played in the NBA since November 2005, signed with the Miami Heat on Thursday. Wow, Hardaway out of retirement Scottie Pippen thinking comeback talk of Reggie Miller and Allan Houston possibly coming to Boston. If Charles Barkley gets within slapping distance of a photographer and looks like he weighs anything less than 375, look out.


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