It is good to be back. By now, you have probably analyzed Roger Clemens congressional hearing a million different ways. Since this column’s vision is to cover the week in baseball, there is no way around it. Here’s what I think. I don’t think Roger Clemens is the loser, (even though I really do). I don’t think Brian McNamee is the loser. I think Bud Selig may be the loser, but that has nothing to do with Wednesday’s hearing. The real losers are you and me, your grandma and my grandma and the paperboy down the street.
Ladies and gentleman, Wednesday’s hearing gave you a look at Congress at its finest. No wonder they have such a low approval rating. First of all, this much attention is not even paid to real drug problems that lay waste to millions of American lives. Instead of investing a days worth of energy on I don’t know, a faltering economy, the war or even illegal immigration, Congress decided to utilize their time by trying to crack the great mystery (or lack thereof) that is Roger Clemens and performance-enhancing drugs.
If this hearing was to be used for a big government PR move, they couldn’t even do that right. The questioning was divided along party lines. Really, the two sides can’t even agree about steroids in baseball, really? See what happens when MLB won’t police itself, you end up with a circus.
One politician wanted to know what uniform Clemens would wear into the Hall of Fame. Are you kidding me? Then you had the dazzling display of hero worship. “Roger Clemens is a titan of baseball!” Yes, I am talking about you Rep. Dan Burton (Rep). If I had to hear him call McNamee a liar one more time, I may have gouged my eyes out. Of course McNamee is a liar, dofus, he freely admits that he lied and/or lied by omission. At some point though don’t you have to tell the truth to explain the lies?
Or how about when Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Dem) attacked McNamee and then proclaimed: “Mr. Clemens, all I cay say is, I’m sure you’re going to heaven.” What? That is the most laughable thing I have ever heard. Last time I checked people who throw others under the bus, lie under oath and build themselves up to be the best thing since sliced bread – do not go to heaven. Maybe I’m wrong.
Here is what we know; circumstantial of course: McNamee said he actually injected Clemens with steroids and HGH more than the 16 to 21 times that he previously estimated in the Mitchell Report. Andy Pettite admitted to using HGH and said in sworn testimony that Clemens talked in 1999 or 2000 about his HGH use. Clemens’ wife, Debbie used HGH supplied by McNamee. Clemens’ insistence that he didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs is ridiculous. Even if you don’t believe a word McNamee says, I am sure you don’t really think Pettite “misremembered” their conversation. I guess you can’t fault Clemens for trying to defend himself but you can fault him for coming off as an arrogant member of the good ‘ole boys’ club. Not to mention, someone lied under oath on Wednesday, and last time I checked lying under oath is illegal.
At least the hearing did not lack from entertainment value. Here are some of the best one liners from the day. “Mr. Clemens, according to your account, Mr. McNamee injected your wife in your bedroom without your knowledge.” Or how about, “That was a hurried instance when we were in the closet.” Finally we can’t forget about, “Those little band-aids for his butt, if it bled.”
Oh Roger, sometimes the story just writes itself.