Clemens, McNamee face off in court

By Jason Radka
February 21, 2008

Chuck Kennedy/MCT

Roger Clemens faced off against his trainer Brian McNamee in front of the Congressional Board and national television on Feb. 13.

The courtroom looked hot, sticky and slimy. The slimy part was Roger Clemens and his trainer Brian McNamee. They were seated at a long table in front of Congress, separated by Senator George Mitchell’s information and fact-keeper. The meeting parameters were that the Congressmen were given an allotted amount of time to drill McNamee and Clemens with an array of their individual questions.

In a pre-hearing meeting, Clemens was advised that he did not have to go through with the hearing, but Clemens and his lawyer insisted the show go on. The hearing was completely pointless in trying to prove who was right and wrong. A congressman stated, “We’re not lawyers.” They had no idea how to conduct a trial; the questioning should have been left to the federal government.

The beginning of the hearing showed no barrier for heated interrogation. Maryland Congressman Elijiah Cummings wasted no time going after Roger Clemens. Cummings had such a style that after each question the Congressman reminded him, “Remember Mr. Clemens, you are under oath.” Cummings went into how Clemens’ testimony conflicted with former teammate and good friend of Clemens, Andy Pettitte. Pettitte is known around baseball for being an honest and religious man.

The conflicting stories boils down to Clemens saying that, “Andy Pettitte misheard.” In other words, the testimony Pettitte gave to Congress stating Clemens took Human Growth Hormones was misunderstood. To seal the end of Cummings’ questioning period, he ended with, “It’s hard to believe you sir, I hate to say that, but you’re one of my heroes, it’s hard to believe you sir.”

Although most of the questioning was directed at Clemens, McNamee also took a lot of heat. If Clemens has anything going for him, it’s the lack of credibility McNamee has shown. McNamee is known around the baseball world for being a liar and modern day apothecary; McNamee even injected Clemens’ wife before a swimsuit pose. When asked by Congress why he continued to inject his clients with either HGH or steroids, he said it was prevalent in baseball at the time and that it was the “norm”.

“Andy Pettitte is my friend. He was my friend before this and will be my friend after this. I think Andy has misheard,” Clemens said. Here’s the ultimate question and may be the only believable thing McNamee has going for him.

Former teammates Chuck Knoblauch and Pettitte both used McNamee as their trainer. McNamee has testified saying Knoblauch used steroids and HGH, as well as Pettitte. Both players attested to the accusations and shows McNamee as being truthful. Why would McNamee tell lies about Clemens if he hadn’t lied about the other two?

The reason Clemens and his lawyer decided to appear before Congress and national television was to try and change the mind of the court of public opinion. The Congressional meeting was absolutely pointless in trying to find out who’s lying and who is not. There is a very good chance that nobody will go to jail and nobody will be convicted of a crime. However, physical evidence has surmounted.

McNamee cleverly saved syringes, gauze and other physical forms of evidence which allegedly has traces of Roger Clemens’ DNA on the material. It has recently been forwarded to the federal government for laboratory tests. McNamee has been hoarding this physical evidence since 2001.

Some people who hear that information think it’s an open-and-shut case from there. Who’s to say it hasn’t been tampered with?

There is little doubt that tests will show Clemens’ DNA and traces of illegal substances. The only possible way Clemens could be indicted or convicted of a crime is if there is video footage. It would have to look like this: Mcnamee takes a needle to Clemens’ arm, with a bottle labeled Human Growth Hormones. With this visual, it would have to sound like this: McNamee: “I’m injecting you with Human Growth Hormones Roger.” Clemens: Boy, I love Human Growth Hormones. Thank you for injecting me with Human Growth Hormones. I love them, and I have just taken HGH.”

This case is very bad for fans, aspiring athletes and history. If Clemens is found lying, all of his Cy Young awards and magnificent seasons will be seen as tainted, not to mention perjury charges.

If McNamee is found to be lying, he will suffer a major defamation suit and see serious jail time along with his perjury charges. All in all, it’s a very bad day for baseball when either of those events occur.

Jason Radka

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