Monday, January 7, 2008

Right now, I believe Roger

If you are interested in the current Major League Baseball furor over the George Mitchell Report, you will want to watch the 60 Minutes interview with Roger Clemens.

Clemens vehemently denies using steroids or human growth hormone of any kind. Of all the accused so far, no one has come out swinging like Clemens. During the interview he says he might be willing to take a lie detector test (which I think he'd be nuts to do, I don't think those things are reliable). Watching the interview swayed me back to the Rocket's corner, for now.

Roger Clemens isn't a dummy, but he's not a calculated lawyer either. His raw reaction to this is very believable. He put himself at significant legal risk by such a clear denial, something Mark "I'm not here to talk about the past" McGwire and Barry "I thought it was flaxseed oil" Bonds have not been willing to do. Listening to the interview gives the impression this is genuine guy who's just plain ticked off that such accusations have been made.

To follow up this interview, Clemens filed suit this morning against Brian McNamee, the only one to claim knowledge of Clemens' alleged steroid use. Filing suit is a powerful statement, again, not one of the other probable users have taken such a dramatic, costly step.

Finally, and unfortunately (I think the government needs to stay out of this), Congress has now "invited" Clemens and McNamee (and some others) to testify before them concerning the steroids problem in MLB. I don't know if Clemens will comply with this, but the way he came out firing on the 60 Minutes interview, I wouldn't be surprised. The McNamee lawsuit might limit what he can say before Congress right now.

For now, I support Roger Clemens denial and look forward to seeing this unfold. Roger has plenty of money to spend to preserve his name, so it should be interesting. If the accusation proves to be false, I think it's a pretty big travesty for a guy who had one of the most amazing careers in the history of baseball. Furthermore, it will cause me deeper suspicion about the motivation of George "BoSox Director" Mitchell in deciding to include the Clemens "evidence". It seems odd that only one person will testify that Clemens used, yet Mitchell spent 3-4 pages giving that testimony. Most of the other accused players in the Mitchell report had multiple testimonies of using, if not cancelled checks to prove their guilt. Seems fishy to me.

Go get'em Rocket!


GUNNY said...

If he was with the Red Sox, would you be so open-minded?


Well, I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid, at least not based on his reaction.

First, I don't think he's "put himself at significant legal risk" by his response. He's not on trial. There's no chance of perjury. He could just be lying. It's not as though he's under oath and it's not as though those who cheat are above lying.

Also, I remember Rafael Palmeiro pointing the finger at Congress and sternly rebuking them with some "I did not take steroids." You know what happened shortly thereafter ...

He tested positive for 'roids!

So, denial doesn't convince me.

But, at the same time, like most of these guys (e.g., McGwire), I think you're innocent until proven guilty.

So, all I'd say about Roger is what I'd say about McGwire ... there's suspicion that he used 'roids, based on allegations and performance.

AJF said... about a hater in the house!

1. The chief investigator should not have been an employee of any MLB team. Seems pretty sensible to me.

2. Clemens did, in fact, put himself at significant legal risk. McNamee's attorney made it clear that any claim by Clemens that McNamee was lying would be answered with a defamation suit. Further, if Clemens is guilty, making the statement he made on the interview opens him to a successful suit by McNamee.

3. You may not be drinking the Kool aid on the Clemens denial, but you've long guzzled it on the McGwire front.

4. Clemens' performance was very good in those years, but not great and not exponentially greater than his supposed "non using" years.

5. Palmeiro was caught off guard when he issued his denial before the congress committee. In comparison, Clemens has had time and counsel and still came out swinging.

Come on now Gunster, let's here it from Big Mac? The silence has long been deafening.

jeremy morgan said...

I don't want to lose sight of the potentially bigger picture either. According to the Fox News article (among others), McNamee was threatened with criminal prosecution if he didn't implicate Clemens. Based on the fact that McNamee first denied that Clemens had used and then changed his story after a federal prosecutor and an IRS special agent pressured him, I think this sounds even fishier than before. If this turns out to be true, the big lesson is the corruption of federal prosecutors, a corruption that has long existed and often goes unnoticed. Usually, trumped up evidence and coerced confessions only hurt small time folks. Now that they're going after some big names with a bank roll to fight back, maybe some light will get shined on the shenanigans in the "justice" system. I feel Psalm 58 comin' on...

GUNNY said...

Hey, I'm not here to talk about the past.

Okay, I'll talk about your present 1-5.

1. So true.

2. Okay, I will recant.

4. Mmm. Maybe.

5. Palmeiro really made himself look silly, even at the time, in my mind.

Hey, I hope Roger is and was clean, but don't you think just about everyone from that era (sans Cardinals players) have an air of suspicion surrounding them that they may never shake?

AJF said...

Gunshow- Alright now, you're showing a little love.

J-Dogg- You will always be my favorite, most consistent, conspiracy theorist friend....especially when I agree with you, like right now.

Rick Calohan said...

Who is Mike Wallace’s trainer and what is keeping him alive? I mean after all he is not only at the end of his career but at the end of his life. What medication or shots has Mr. Wallace been taking from 1984-2007?

Look I like the Rocket’s candor and as I have said earlier he and all the players implicated are entitled to due process, not because of their fame or success but because it is American jurisprudence. He is right we are quick to presume guilt over innocence. If he still has the physical ability to play I hope the Yankees will retain him and that in the deciding game for the American League Championship he pitches a no hitter against the BOSOX!

malcolm said...

I just Roger has been righteously indignant IMMEDIATELY after the report came out. Everything is just to staged and "lawyered" up.
I would be more inclined to believe him if he had not staged so many of his comments on youtube and 60 minutes.