He Said, He Said


Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens

So it has come to this. Major league baseball failed to police itself of steroid abuse, yet commissioner Bud Selig still has a job. The home-run records set by Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bond are a fraud.

And what are we to make of the “The Mitchell Report: The Illegal Use of Steroids in Major League Baseball, Day 2”) staged Feb. 13 in Washington D.C.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the two biggest names on the Mitchell Report list — Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — were considered the best player and pitcher of this generation, arguably the best player and pitcher since World War II. Now they’ve become the poster boys for baseball and steroids.

How do their records hold up against the court of public opinion now? Like many fans, I feel I’ve been deceived — I saw Bonds break Aaron’s record and steal his 500th base, I saw Clemens win his 300th game and beat the Braves to end the 1999 Series. All those feats, and so many others, are now forever tainted.

Greed was the motivation
And for what? Bonds and Clemens were both sure-fire Hall of Famers. They didn’t need to use performance-enhancing drugs. Greed was their motivation.

Perhaps some can understand fringe players taking the needle, trying to make a big league roster. But superstars.

Who’s telling the truth? In his opening statement, Clemens emphatically said “Let me be clear: I have never taken steroids or HGH.” And it’s been shown that McNamee too has lied, or at the very least withheld, the truth on numerous occasions.

As John Helyar points out on espn.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3242418) Clemens’ image hangs in the balance. The rosy scenario is Nolan Ryan, just named president of the Texas Rangers. The thorny scenario is Pete Rose, who denied he bet on baseball and has been denied entrance to the Hall of Fame.

Perhaps most telling were the comments by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md). “If I walked in here,” Cummings told Clemens, “and it was even-steven, you and Mr. McNamee, I must admit that the person I believe most (pause) is Mr. Pettitte.

‘How do you explain this?’
“When Mr. McNamee gave his testimony about Knoblauch and Pettitte, those allegations turned out to be true,” Cummings went on. “But for some reason, … when it comes to you, it’s a whole ‘nother thing. … How do you explain this?”

Clemens then insisted once again that Pettitte had “misheard” him. Cummings wasn’t buying it.

“I’ve listened to you very carefully,” Cummings said. “And I take you at your word. And you’re telling me that Andy Pettitte is an honest man, and his credibility is pretty much impeccable. … You said you were misunderstood. But all I’m saying is, it’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe your story.

“I hate to say that,” Cummings concluded. “You’re one of my heroes. But it’s hard to believe you.”

As George Costanza once remarked on Seinfeld, “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

It’s hard to believe Roger Clemens


One Comment on “He Said, He Said”

  1. Tom says:

    not so fast about Pettitte – he’s told a version of the truth, but he’s also a cheater. I felt that way from the beginning, but now it’s come out that he didn’t come cleanish until after he re-signed with the Yankees, a $16M contract that certainly inhibited their ability to sign Santana. And without HGH or Steroids (regardless of whether or not McNamee or someone else was juicing him in 2007) what kind of a year will Andy without juice in 2008? And in MHO, Clemens is far worse than Bonds who has a strange integrity in his solitary arrogance whereas Clemens wants to be loved, blames others, wants sympathy and to be recognized for his ‘hard work’.

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