Monday, February 11, 2008

It comes down to Pettitte

Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte have been teammates and close friends for nine straight Major League Baseball seasons. For most of these seasons they have trained side by side together, several of those years with Brian McNamee as their personal trainer.

McNamee is a known steroid and HGH dealer. He is the only person who claims to have personally witnessed Roger Clemens alleged steroid use. McNamee says he personally injected Clemens with steroids over 16 times. McNamee is also an incredibly shady character with a checkered past and list of people who will testify to his lack of credibility. Clemens, on the other hand, is a MLB icon, one of the top 3 pitchers in history, and has had no one coroborate McNamee's story to date. So far it has been McNamee's word against his, nothing else. McNamee recently handed over some nasty old syringes, bloody cotton balls, and some empty vials of steroids claiming they were used on Clemens. It's doubtful such compromised evidence (over 7 years old, kept in an uncertain storage environment) will be admissable. If O.J.'s glove didn't fit, McNamee's old medical waste certainly won't either. So again, it comes down to the word of Roger Clemens against the word of Brian McNamee.

Except for one major testimony about to be given publically- that of Andy Pettitte.

For me, the key testimony in this whole "he said-she said" affair is that of Andy Pettitte. Let's face it- Pettitte knows the truth. There is no way he and Roger didn't discuss this. For nine years they trained together. They played golf together. Their families vacationed together. Maybe they had some goofy agreement to not talk about what they were taking and to inject themselves in secret so when this day came, they wouldn't have to blow each other in? I don't know. I do know this- Pettitte is a professing believer who has been an upstanding citizen and all around honest guy his whole career. Absent some legitimate hard evidence that Roger Clemens took steroids (receipts, other witnesses, pictures, video) I am poised to believe whatever Andy Pettitte says. He has already testified privately to congressional lawyers, this Wednesday he is scheduled to be part of a public hearing on all of this and is expected to be asked questions regarding Clemens. What Andy Pettitte says is very crucial to my thinking.

If Andy says, "I don't know if Roger took steroids or HGH" it will keep the matter cloudy, because I think he's an honest guy and not knowing this about his very close friend and training buddy makes me lean toward Roger telling the truth. If Andy says, "Roger took steroids or HGH", to me, the matter is settled- Clemens is guilty.

I don't know if Pettitte's testimony would be enough for prosecutors to convict Clemens of perjury, I rather doubt it. This issue is way beyond legalities now, it's about the integrity of one of the greatest careers in MLB history. Further, if guilty, Clemens' recent aggressive actions to defend himself would have to rank with some of the most shameless, selfish acts in the history of professional sports. Shoeless Joe would look like a choir boy next to Clemens if Roger is lying. Pete Rose would appear eligible for nomination to the Supreme Court compared to a lying Clemens on this matter. On the other hand, if Clemens is telling the truth- George Mitchell and co. should be seriously disciplined for shoddy detective work, defamation, and slander and Clemens should be given immediate enshrinement in to the Hall of Fame.

Wednesday should be interesting.


Hough said...

Finally you put a quality team on your blog. Go Astros!

Augfirst (a.k.a Kevin Lutz) said...

Tony, I need help understanding this one... Why is our government involed in this? We are 9.2 trillion dollars in debt and the debt is growing at 1.5 billion a day. We have matters of national security that go unresolved, but yet my government is trying to find out if a man, who gets paid way too much, to throw a little white ball around, took steroids? I couldn't care less! There are bigger issues and this is what they focus on? Help me understand, please!

AJF said...

I agree, however, protecting the Yankee Legacy is more important than such petty things (in comparison) as the national debt and/or national security. :)

dbusenitz said...

Protecting our national pastime is of great importance to our government apparently. Sure, sports is way out of proportion compared to other things in life, but baseball in my view is a bit different since it represents a great deal of American history and culture. I also eagerly wait for the truth to come out for the truth has major implications either way.
Oh for the days of true sport without the aid of illegal substances!