Roger Clemens Hearing: Ten Things That Exasperated Me

Sarah BraunsteinCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2008

1. The Poster with Photos of Clemens

Virginia Foxx’s argument that, based on a random selection of undated photos, his body hasn’t changed, therefore he did not take steroids or HGH, was absolutely insane.

First of all, Clemens has changed. Be it because of steroids or simply the aging process, you can’t look at photos from him in his early days with the Red Sox and claim that he is just as slender and his neck is just as thin.

Second, if it were plausible to use photos shot at various angles in no particular order without dates as proof that Clemens is telling the truth, don’t you think he and his lawyers would have done that two months ago?

Her display was just one of many moments in which I was so embarrassed by what our elected officials are choosing spending their time on.

2. Canseco’s Party

I’m not sure why no one bothered to follow up when Clemens admitted that he may have actually gone to Canseco's. After dozens of questions, Clemens said he may have been at the house party to drop off his kids or for a brief stay after his round of golf.

McNamee is getting grilled for remembering this conversation, which Clemens says never happened. Finally he admits that maybe he was there, and no one says anything?

Also, isn't it entirely possible that those people who say he wasn’t there didn’t see him or were there at a different time? I’m confused as to why he was given the benefit of the doubt on this one.

3. The Nanny

I guess Clemens wants me to believe that Congress needed him to get a hold of the Nanny for them. I’m sure that Congress and the rest of the US Government has no means of finding out her name or address. Surely that is a power only Clemens was blessed with.

I don’t think Clemens did them a favor by finding her and then talking to her first. Maybe he was breaking no laws in doing so. Still, if he’s trying to play innocent, something that reeks of witness tampering does not help.

4. Partisanship

Is anyone else a little confused as to why every Republican was on Clemens’ side and every Democrat was against him? Is it because baseball owners are Republican donors or because Clemens is a good ol’ boy from Texas?

5. “It is what it is”

I wish McNamee were a tiny bit more articulate. Clearly many members of Congress could not understand why he would say he didn't want to hurt Clemens, yet then go and tell his story.

Obviously, it's because he was faced with jail time and wanted to tell the truth, but that's not the same thing as wanting to crucify Clemens. I don’t know that in his shoes I’d be ready to go to prison for someone else either.

Still makes me wonder what Barry Bonds gave Greg Anderson to have him go to jail for so long, but that is a whole other story.

McNamee probably hoped that Clemens would admit his mistake, apologize, and that would be it. I’m sure McNamee didn’t want to hurt Pettitte either, but that worked out just fine.

I also get why he didn’t say too much on that phone call, and remember, Clemens didn’t say “why don’t you tell them I didn’t do it.” He asks only for the truth. McNamee assumed the conversation would be taped and that ‘it is what it is’ means “I am telling the truth.”

That statement didn't make him seem like the smartest tool in the shed, but I still believe that he was afraid of saying anything that could hurt the case or someone who he admired.

6. McNamee’s Past

I completely understand why McNamee’s past is being brought up. I recognize that his credibility it questionable. The fact that he was a cop who broke the law means that he fully understood what would happen to him if he lied. He told the truth about Pettitte and Knoblauch and has nothing to gain by ratting out Clemens unless what he is saying is true.

Furthermore it is essential to remember he has a lot to lose if he’s lying. So yes, his past matters, but so should his future.

7. Physical Evidence

It felt like every other person asked McNamee why he would have kept all that physical evidence. One time after another McNamee explained he felt that if MLB were investigate steroid use, that Clemens might be the kind of person to look out for only himself. Everyone acted like that was such a shock.

Is it me or was McNamee’s hunch right on? He’s at a Congressional hearing claiming to be telling the truth, and Roger Clemens is sitting next to him, protecting himself, knowing that McNamee's life is basically being ruined.

So McNamee was dead on and Clemens did exactly what he thought he would do. Doesn’t seem like such a strange move to hold on to that evidence to me.

8. Clemens’ Immaturity

Roger Clemens claims that he gave permission to a trainer, whose credentials he did not investigate, to shoot him up with various drugs and to perform chiropractic treatments on him, despite the fact he isn’t a chiropractor. Yet after all of this McNamee is to blame?

Even more inane is why Clemens would need to give his wife permission to take HGH? Unless they have some kind of colonial setup to their marriage, she is an adult too and should take responsibility for her actions.

Clemens also claims to know nothing about HGH, to never have talked about it, and to not have heard about it in the locker room. I also find this very difficult to believe.  Clemens wants us to believe that he is innocent of wrong doing and that McNamee is some kind of evil drug lord. But if, as Clemens claims, he never took those drugs, then he must owe some success to McNamee for his ability to stay healthy and in the game for so many years.

Clemens went on to pass the blame once again, this time to Bud Selig, for not contacting him about the Mitchell Report. Mitchell and his team followed protocol by informing the Players Union and sending letters to Clemens’ lawyers. Clemens was advised not to speak with Mitchell, like most of the other players.

His claim now that he would have been glad to talk to Mitchell is hollow and cannot help a man whose reputation is already beyond repair.

9. The Bad Shot

Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) describes the opinion of a doctor who claims to have given thousands of B-12 injections, who says that the MRI of Clemens is consistent with steroid injections and that in all his time he’s never see B-12 do that to a person. NEVER.

Clemens claims it was a bad shot. As to why he was getting the injections in the first place—It was supposedly on the advice of his mother. Even if she did suggest it, I’m sure she did not think Clemens would start getting injections by someone unqualified without at least consulting a doctor.

The fact that he has none of the problems a doctor would recommend B-12 injections for makes his story even more suspect.

10. Pettitte

For me, Andy Pettitte’s testimony is key to my belief that Clemens is guilty...and not just because "misremember" isn’t really a word.

I just don’t see how you can confuse a conversation about someone doing steroids with a conversation about a TV show or someone’s wife doing them.

Also, Clemens based the whole misunderstanding on the fact that they were so close  they would have certainly told each other about this, yet he maintains that he knew nothing about Pettitte’s use of HGH. It doesn’t add up to me.

Pettitte, as a current MLB pitcher and Clemens' close friend, has a lot to lose here. I can’t understand how he would take this matter lightly. If there was any reason to think he had "misremembered," I don’t think he would have been so direct in his testimony.

The fact that his wife recounted the same story only makes Clemens look guiltier.


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