Column: Stop Pulling The Wool over
Your Eyes Roger Clemens - Drug Cheat and A Liar by Robert Johnson
if you watched the Roger Clemens/Brian McNamee hearing yesterday but
it was riveting television (that's not a joke). A few things are crystal clear to me. Roger
Clemens is not only a cheat but also a liar.
A few key points
if you missed the hearing:
1) The fact that Clemens lied to a
Congress is clear. During the deposition phase, Clemens was asked
three times if he'd ever had a conversation with Brian McNamee
about HGH, and Clemens said no. Later, in the very same deposition, Clemens
recalled a heated conversation with McNamee about HGH use after
McNamee injected Clemens' wife with HGH. It was amazing to
watch Clemens squirm and be evasive when confronted about this. The
AP stated it accurately when their article said Clemens "struggled
to find the right words under questioning during a congressional
Chairman Henry Waxman
(D-Calif.) said it best when he opened with the following statement:
"We have found conflicts and inconsistencies in Mr. Clemens'
account. During his deposition, he made statements that we know are
untrue. And he made them with the same earnestness that many of the
committee members observed in person when he visited your offices. In
other areas, his statements are contradicted by other credible
witnesses or are simply implausible." He correctly added that
some of Clemens' statements are "simply implausible."
Clemens never used performance enhancing drugs, he would have zero to
hide, he would have nothing to be evasive about, and he would answer each
question directly. He clearly didn't do this.
2) Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens' good friend, stated that Roger
Clemens admitted that he used HGH years ago. Andy Pettitte's
wife confirmed that Andy told her about this years ago.
Pettitte has admitted that Brian McNamee
injected him with HGH and is the key witness giving McNamee
credibility. When asked about the second conversation, Roger
Clemens stated McNamee must have "misremembered" as he was
talking about his own wife's HGH use. Small problem - the timing is
off. Clemens stated that McNamee injected his wife in 2003, but the
conversation Clemens was trying to cover up occurred before then. Nice
It's important to realize that Pettitte's statement
that Clemens confessed to him was corroborated by a sworn deposition
by Pettitte's wife, who stated that Pettitte in both instances told her
at the time about the conversation he had with Roger Clemens. Mr.
Pettitte also said that McNamee told him in 2003-2004 that Roger
Clemens used steroids.
Remember, contemporaneous accounts can
be used as evidence in a court of law.
Why in 2003-2004 before
the feds came in would McNamee be making this up about a man who had
been his long-time employer? Why would Pettitte be making
something up to his own wife about a good friend at the time as
3) Roger Clemens had pain in his buttocks that
resulted in him getting an MRI done which Congress obtained from
Clemens (after much stalling). Congress then submitted the MRI to one of the
nation's leading doctors who said it was much more likely that the damage
came from a steroid injection than from a B12 injection. I have
no idea why this evidence isn't being talked about as being a big
deal (who says the NYTimes isn't then newspaper of record. Thankfully they seem to be the only ones writing about this). To me, it was
the smoking gun. Clemens of course produced his own doctor's
report that said the injury wasn't the result of steroid use. In my opinion, the doctor Congress gave the MRI report to has more credibility, since the doctor did not have any idea why
they were asking for the evaluation. *More from NY Times on Abscess
4) Clemens (in my
opinion) tried to intimidate a witness. For some reason,
much was made of whether or not Roger Clemens attended a barbecue at
Jose Canseco's house. It's not really relevant as nothing
really happened at the barbecue, but several Congressmen made a big
deal about it, I suppose because they felt it gets to who is more credible -
Clemens or McNamee.
Anyway, Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens said
Clemens didn't attend; Brian McNamee said Clemens did and claimed that
Clemens' nanny would verify Clemens was there. So Congress asked Clemens for the
nanny's number last week. Before he gave them her number, he
had her over to his house for a conversation even though he hadn't
talked to her since 2001. Suspicious? Not according to Clemens
who said he just thought he was "doing Congress a favor" by
getting them her contact info. (Congress even asked Clemens' lawyers not to contact the nanny until after Congress contacted her, but apparently this did not stop Clemens from contacting her).
When talking to the nanny, Clemens repeatedly told her he wasn't
at the party. The nanny said he was and Clemens was at least
smart enough to tell her to “tell the truth” so he
couldn't be indicted for witness tampering. Rep. Waxman basically implied Clemens might have been trying to influence a witness, and that led to an outburst from Clemens lawyer. (You can watch it, and read more about it here)
someone to believe that Clemens is innocent, one has to believe all
of the following:. 1) Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens' good friend,
is lying when he stated in a sworn deposition Roger Clemens told him
he used HGH. (Well, maybe you don't have to believe he is
lying; you could just believe that he "misremembered" both their
conversations). 2) Brian McNamee injected Andy Pettitte, Chuck
Knoblauch and even Roger Clemens' wife with HGH but not Roger
Clemens. 3) Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens' former employee, is lying
when he states that he injected Roger Clemens with illegal
performance enhancing drugs but not lying when he says he injected
Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte, and Roger Clemens' wife with illegal
drugs – even though Clemens' wife, Knoblauch and Pettitte
have all admitted what McNamee said is correct.
Not once has
anyone come up with a reasonable motive as to why McNamee would lie
in the Clemens case but not the Knoblauch and Pettitte cases.
Amazingly, hours went on before anyone asked
the most obvious of questions. Finally, my hero for the day, Elijah
Cummings (D-Maryland), asked, "Why would McNamee lie about you
but not Pettitte and Knoblauch? and why would your good friend Andy
Pettitte lie?" Clemens totally avoided the question in
classic fashion. He responded with the following:
Congressman, I am certain that when Andy Pettitte used HGH, why didn't
he tell me he used HGH? I never learned about any of this. Andy and
I are close friends. We were plane travel mates. If he misheard me on
a subject I was talking about - some gentlemen using HGH for quality
of life like I stated (earlier) - then he misunderstood that."
Watch Elijah Cummings Take it To Clemens
Please begin to try to answer the question rather than just try to
talk about some non-sequitur.
I am the first to admit that
McNamee has lied many times in the past, particularly to the press,
about his role with illegal drug use in baseball. To anyone that
knows anything about illegal drug use in sports, this shouldn't be a
surprise - no one admits it until confronted. But again, there
is no reason why he'd lie about Clemens now. In fact, McNamee has
100% motivation to tell the truth here. If he lies now, he gets
written up for perjury (plus Clemens was his long-time employer
and very nice to McNamee so there is no reason why he'd want to
take him down).
A Fox News television commentator stated it best.
This is like a mob trial. The mob (baseball) backs each other and no
one talks. Thus to take down a mob boss, you need a snitch who
inevitably has some credibility issues - clearly that's McNamee.
a court of law, would Clemens be convicted? Irrelevant.
is the court of public opinion. It all reminds me very much of the
Regina Jacobs situation. Lots of totally evasive and unconvincing
explanations for everything and lots of age-defying
It's clear that Roger Clemens has every
reason in the world to lie, while Brian McNamee has none. Believe who you
who want, but it's clear to me.
Editor's Note: Robert Johnson, a.k.a. "Rojo", is
best known for being the co-founder of LetsRrun.com as well as the men's
distance coach at Cornell University. Robert has been running all of his life,
but only started competing seriously since the Fall of 1997 as a series of injuries
curtailed his high school career and prevented him from running in college.
After returning to competitive running, Robert progressed quickly and just
missed out on qualifying for the 2000 US Men's Olympic Marathon Trials by
running a 2:23:11 marathon at the 2000 Las Vegas Marathon. Now he is lazy (and soon to be fat) maybe runs 30 miles a week.