congressional hearings with Clemens and McNamee

13 02 2008

I saw some of the congressional hearings today featuring Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, and it’s frustrating.  Clemens said he never took steroids, and that he was injected with B-12 and it was a pinkish red color.  McNamee says he never injected Clemens with B-12, only with Winstrol, testosterone steroids, and HGH, of which none have a pinkish red color.  Clearly one of them is lying.  But can we find out the truth?

The hearings have found inconsistencies with the testimonies of both Clemens and McNamee.  Their stories are in many ways incompatible with each other.

On a side note, one of the congressmen called McNamee a “drug dealer”, which McNamee said was just an opinion.  But McNamee was supplying illegal drugs.  That makes it look really bad, especially since he is a former police officer.

Andy Pettitte has now said that Clemens told him nearly ten years ago that he used HGH.  And so the plot thickens, because it’s well-established that Clemens and Pettitte are really close friends.  Clemens claims that Pettitte “misremembers” their conversation, that the HGH use was about his wife, Debbie Clemens (who was supposedly injected by McNamee years after that conversation).

Will we ever know the full truth?  I don’t know.  But I can’t imagine living a lie that big.  These people’s statements are being heard by millions of people, and it will have a lasting impact on their legacy (including the Hall of Fame chances for Clemens).  I wonder if the liars in this case have trouble sleeping at night.  I realize they want to protect their legacy, but is it worth not having a clear conscience?

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4 responses

14 02 2008
Fab

My biggest problem with this whole thing is this: Why is this a congressional matter at all? Why is this not a legal/police matter? If illegal drugs are being administered/sold in any other area, the police and prosecutors handle it. The idea that congress should even have their fingers in this matter is absurd to me. This congress, under the inept direction of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi is the most ridiculous excuse for a LEGISLATIVE body in all of history. They want to deal with things like this because these baseball players are famous and by virtue of that fact, they will get to be on TV and rant and rave and ask “tough” questions for the cameras. If they worked half as hard at taking care of our troops and cutting unnecessary spending, they might actually get something done. How silly!

14 02 2008
Beppo

Fab, I agree with you. While this is an issue that should definitely be cleaned up, there are plenty of other law-enforcement people who should handle it. Our congressmen need to be fixing the economy and social security, along with many other things.

Fortunately, this is supposedly the last congressional hearing on steroids.

One thing that strikes me as odd in all this, is that these are people who are buying and selling illegal drugs — that is, they are against U.S. law, to be clear — yet these people don’t get prosecuted because of their ties to professional sports. If they break the law and get caught, they should face the same punishment that an “average” American would face. And the same thing goes for actors and actresses. Famous people get away with way too much stuff.

14 02 2008
Beppo

Here’s an excellent article summarizing the congressional hearings on steroids in baseball. This is by Howard Bryant, of ESPN.com. Here’s an excerpt :
{
Wednesday was a day of losers. While the Mitchell report withstood its stiffest challenge yet, baseball lost. Roger Clemens lost and Brian McNamee lost. Clemens had his day under oath in front of the country, and he spent it flailing, splashing against relentless waves of facts he could not calm, even after 4 1/2 hours. … And so his improbable position remains: He has asked the public to believe that his handpicked personal trainer obtained human growth hormone, and used it on his most loyal protégé as well as his wife, but not on him.
}
The article even made me laugh in a few spots, particularly Clemens’ response about contacting his former nanny before the hearings (which he wasn’t supposed to do).

It looks really bad for Roger Clemens. He says he knew “nothing” about HGH until this past month, yet his best friend and his wife have both taken it. And they got it from his personal training, who Clemens had even invited to his house. Either he’s really ignorant and naive, or he’s lying through his teeth. It really looks like he’s lying, and not only is his career being damaged, but his family and friends, because he’s throwing them all under the bus.

Gene Wojciechowski (also of ESPN.com) said this about the hearings :
{
It could be entirely possible that both Clemens and McNamee are bad. Perhaps it isn’t a case of who is telling more truths, but who is telling fewer lies.
}
That’s unfortunate. But it does appear that way, as both of their stories have evolved, and both have had their credibility questioned.

Wojciechowski summed up the hearings this way :
{
Friend against friend. A nationally televised congressional hearing. Humiliation. Blunt trauma to reputations. A committee chairman angrily slamming a gavel while telling a seven-time Cy Young winner, “Excuse me, but this is not your time to argue with me.”
}
We may never know for sure whether Clemens cheated, but we do know that many pro athletes have. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call that even famous athletes are not above the law.

And here’s one more link, if you want to read more. This is about the body language of Clemens and McNamee, as seen by an expert in the field of analyzing body language to see if someone might be lying.

27 02 2008
Beppo

Fab, you won’t want to hear this, but some senators are calling for a congressional hearing of “Spygate”, where the New England Patriots videotaped signals of other teams and supposedly used them to cheat. Again, this is one of those things the NFL should investigate, because it is against their laws, not federal laws. But the main senator pushing for this is a fan of one of the teams that lost to the Patriots in a big game, so it’s personal for him. Somebody should put him in his place…

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