(Long Island, NY) After nearly five hours of testimony, both Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee appeared to be worse for wear. The big difference is that the star pitcher needed a slam-dunk in front of Congress to appear more believable and his former personal trainer had more wiggle room. The investigation into performance-enhancing drugs and baseball may never be fully completed, but this session at least told us that even the game’s biggest stars are not exempt.
Neither side wavered from their earlier statements, and without the proverbial ‘smoking gun,’ it may come down to personal opinion. McNamee’s physical evidence, seven-year old syringes and gauze pads encased in an empty beer can, cannot be considered that due to chain of custody and quality control. Items such as them would never hold up in a court of law, but their mere existence has to at least be considered as to their possible validity.
McNamee claimed that although he was friendly with Clemens at the time, he decided to hold on to the evidence in the event that something blew up, similar to what did transpire. He also said that he had another set of evidence that belonged to Chuck Knoblauch, another former Yankee who admitted in a deposition that McNamee injected him with Human Growth Hormone.
Along with Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte also verified McNamee’s claims, as well. The Yankee veteran lefthander, who is reportedly a close friend of Clemens, added to his previous admission following the release of the George Mitchell Report in December. Back then; he stated that McNamee injected him with HGH on two previous occasions. When Pettitte met with congressional members, he also stated that he used HGH on one further occasion, and that he had discussions with McNamee and Clemens where anabolic steroids and HGH were discussed further.
McNamee informed Pettitte that Clemens had used steroids, upon which Clemens explained to Congress by stating, “Andy Pettitte is my friend. He was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this and again. I think Andy has misheard. I think he misremembers.”
That is a mouthful. If anyone believes that one, you probably also believe the one about Debbie Clemens, aka Mrs. Rocket. What came out of the wash this past week was also that Clemens’ wife used HGH, and was injected with the drug by McNamee in the Clemens bedroom – all without Roger’s knowledge!
Debbie Clemens wanted to tighten up her look for a photo shoot with her husband for Sports Illustrated. If you have had the pleasure of seeing the actual issue, it is quite the eye-opener. Mrs. Clemens appears to be a twenty-something fitness model, and if that is the effects of HGH, it must be hard to say this stuff is all bad.
McNamee did not come out of the hearings looking like a schoolboy. He did admit that he had lied in the past, but attributed that to protecting his client (Clemens). He didn’t want to publicize what he promised to keep confidential, he said, thus the reason for the inconsistencies in his earlier testimony. This did not sit well with Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who went after McNamee and said, “You’re here under oath, and yet we have lie after lie after lie after lie.”
At the end of the day, the big question was – what’s next? Will either or both of the subjects be prosecuted? It appears that neither will and the court of public opinion will judge them. That will not matter much to McNamee, but in Clemens’ case, he has the Hall of Fame to think about. His legacy is what comes into play now. Although he publicly stated in a press conference that he “does not give a rat’s a** about the Hall of Fame,” there are no professional athletes – especially ones as successful as Clemens – that do not think about it. It is normal to do so, and with an ego as big as The Rocket’s, it is probably on his mind more than other’s.
When Clemens falls well short and only receives less than 25 percent of the vote in five years – the same treatment that Mark McGwire has had the past two years – that is when justice will prevail.