While attempting to neglect my real work as Wednesday’s Congressional hearing with Roger Clemens was going down, I decided to jot some things down whenever something irked or amused me. Below is a half-hearted, not-quite running diary recorded as the Clemens’ drama unfolded — more or less a interjection of opinion whenever something weird happened, in some sort of chronological order, with the time sometimes recorded. Enjoy.
1130: It’s so ridiculous that pretty much all the Democrats are for Brian McNamee and against Clemens and all the Republicans are for Clemens and against McNamee. What happened to looking for the truth? How did this somehow become a political agenda? Unbelievable. This is why sports has no place in the courtroom. This – like the Arlen Spector inquiries into Spygate – is another example of politicians trying to further their careers, receive publicity and get famous. Disagree? Well, would these fellows be on live television today otherwise? Exactly.
[This trend shifted a little bit as the hearings progressed, so this statement isn’t as strong anymore.]
Clemens must have the worst memory in the world. He answers “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall” to almost every question. Probably a good call, since I assume that can protect you from perjury, but he did already state he never used performance enhancing drugs, so it might not even matter.
The representative from Indiana, Dan Burton, made an absolute fool of himself. He repeatedly went through McNamee’s previous statements to investigators at the beginning of this whole ordeal (all of which said he didn’t know anything about steroids, he never injected Clemens or Andy Pettitte and you’d have to ask them) and called McNamee a liar over and over. At one point, he even said ‘Gee, wizzz, another lie.”
When he asked Clemens the one question he asked him, Rep. Burton’s tone completely changed. It was clear whose side he was on.
While I understand Burton’s point, that McNamee has some credibility issues, McNamee himself said at the beginning of the hearing that he didn’t want to give any information about his clients to the Mitchell Report investigators and only relented when it became a Congressional matter.
When Rep. Burton really lost me – and any credibility he had – was when he called McNamee a liar once again, asked him how he could be believed than went on to call Clemens a “titan of baseball” and openly wondered how he could get his reputation back. Welllll what about Andy Pettitte’s deposition that said Clemens told him he took HGH?? Is Pettitte, maybe a “titan of baseball” himself, also a liar? If I were McNamee I would have interjected and asked this question. Maybe that’s too bold in a Congressional hearing, but is that not the perfect response to that?
Check this out: out of the 12 major headlines around noon today on ESPN.com, six of them have to do with scandal. SIX. As follows:
“Who’s Lying” – pertains to Clemens hearings
“Sampson Scandal Reaches Indiana” – IU recruiting infractions
“Pettitte Admits to Additional Use of HGH” – said he also took it in 2004
“Goodell, Specter to Discuss Spygate Wednesday” – self-explanatory
“Jeter Says Hearings ‘A Bad Time for Game'” – self-explanatory
“Lawyer: Bodyguard for Bush Attorneys Flashed Gun” – Bush is being accused of taking money while at USC and is now being sued for breach of contract by the person who gave him that money
Six of 12 headlines dealing with scandal. That is so absurd. Can’t we leave sports alone? Isn’t this a game? Ever since the initial Congressional hearings on baseball and the witch hunt for Barry Bonds, it has become taboo to attack athletes. Think about it, Michael Vick and Marion Jones are IN JAIL. For financing dogfighting and lying, respectively. Now Congress feels entitled to stick its collective nose into sports whenever it deems fit.
(Best part about this is the IM I got from my old roommate without him even knowing what I had prepared in this blog: LexLam (1:50:49 PM): so i just noticed that on espn’s website 7 out of 10 links are directly related to scandals in sports instead of actual sports… is this espn or the tabloids? not sure anymore…
LexLam: haha i couldnt help it, i was looking for some sports news and i couldnt find any)
Love that someone else was on the same page.
Now I understand the initial steroids investigations, but it’s gone too far with the whole Spygate thing. The fact that Arlen Spector (a rep. from PA) openly admitted his interest in the issue stems from his allegiance to the Philadelphia Eagles, whom the Pats beat in Super Bowl in ’04, should immediately nullify and void any and all inquiry he has in the matter.
I find it offensive to my intelligence that people use children as a crutch for everything. Offended about a show on TV? What about the Children? Don’t like Eminem’s lyrics? The children!!! Steroids in baseball? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!?? C’mon, kids don’t use roids because Clemens used roids. There are a handful of people, usually football players, in every high school that do a few cycles. Guess what? It’s not because of role models. High schoolers don’t worship athletes, especially in this day and age when we thrive on bringing them down. Don’t be so naïve. High school athletes use roids to get bigger and faster quicker. Most cycle off when they’re done playing and they’re all alive and in good health. Stop saying this is for the children.
1:50: Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Georgia) might have said the most poignant thing all day, when he basically questioned the whole point of holding this hearing and urged the government to careful in the future on when they step on these issues. Finally, someone gets it.
2:10: Yes! Clemens just referenced Dan Duquette’s ‘Twilight of his career” remark. Except he didn’t even say the Duke’s name. Awesome. I was hoping this would come up. Clearly, it just reaffirms that this comment did indeed spur a re-motivated and rejuvenated Clemens in Toronto regardless of whether the performance was artificially enhanced or not. To my knowledge he’s never publicly addressed this comment before, save for the famous glare to the Red Sox owner’s box when he came back and killed Boston with the Blue Jays.
By the way I like that before that statement, the Congresswomen who was talking to Clemens trotted out pictures of Roger on all four teams he pitched for only to tell us she doesn’t see any difference. Well thanks for wasting our time then.
2:40: Loved the ending to this. Chairman Henry Waxman’s closing comments pretty much summed up my feelings on the whole thing: the two sides disagree, but you must consider the other testimony (ie: Pettitte, Chuck Knoblach and the nanny). He then apologized to McNamee, which I thought was a clear allusion to the attack by the aforementioned Indiana Rep. Dan Burton as well as to whoever it was that called McNamee a drug dealer. I liked that Clemens interrupted him too. The balls of this guy. You gotta love the Rocket, cheat or no cheat.