Friday, February 15, 2008

Clemens Under Oath

OK, so after class on Wednesday I had enough free time to catch the first hour or so of the Clemens hearing on television. I had high expectations that something was going to go down, and this would front page news the next day; especially since watching the McGwire/Sosa/Palmeiro hearing a year back. What I got was a whole lot of nothing...
The hearing started off with the chairman and ranking member talking for about half an hour rationalizing why they should have the hearing (See Waxman on ESPN). After that, old scruffy voice Elijah Cummings (my representative...) gave Clemens the nth degree. This exchange winded up confusing everybody in the known universe because basically it was Pettite's word against Clemens'. Cummings had to remind Clemens that Pettite signed a deposition AND an affidavit that flat out said Clemens told him that he took HGH. Clemens' response: "I think he [Pettite] misremembers." Apparently Clemens' ability to lie ranks right above Dubya.
At this point, McNamee was questioned for 15 minutes. Basically the testimony directly opposed Clemens. At this point, my expectations battered, I decided this hearing wasn't going to tell me anything they hadn't said before. I did however realize that it helped Clemens accomplish what he had set out to do. 1) Basically, McNamee was smeared beyond belief:

Mr. Shays: Mr. McNamee, you are a drug dealer. You
may --
Mr. McNamee: That's your opinion.
Mr. Shays: No, it's not in my opinion. You were dealing
with drugs.
Mr. McNamee: Okay.

These were just some of the hits he took.
2) Clemens was given the opportunity to look straight into the face of a Committee member and say unequivocally that he had never taken steroids.

Unfortunately, we all know people can lie. And as we've seen with Palmeiro, they can lie publicly with conviction. In my opinion, Clemens has the most to lose if he does not lie. His stats show an unusual surge in production in his late thirties that could only be attributable to performance-enhancing drugs. In a statement to federal authorities, I cannot conceive how Pettite could "misremember" two conversations about HGH with Clemens. If you were about to incriminate one of your closest friends, would you not be absolutely sure that it was not only in your best interest, but also the truth. Frankly, Clemens is grasping at straws here.

Roger Clemens Facts:
Most Recent Cy Young
Age: 41
Best ERA in a season - 1.87 in 2005
Most Recent MVP - 2005
Age: 42

And if you really care here's the Roger Clemens report put out by Hendricks Sports Management that posits his career was directly in line with what one would expect from a pitcher of Clemens' caliber.

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