Here’s my exposure to Clemens v. McNamee: while running through the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park yesterday morning, plus my post-run getting ready for work routine, I listened to it on Mac and Murph as well as about 15 minutes of Gary Radnich.
You know something’s worth listening to if KNBR decides to preempt Gary, and man, it was. I still haven’t seen any of the hearing on television, but the long pauses from the Rocket sounded pretty suspicious on the radio.
However, I don’t know if he was absolutely destroyed today. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) (who seemed to really idolize Clemens, even calling him a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbaseball titan”) questioned McNamee about four straight statements that he made to reporters and in depositions throughout the years. First the congressman would show how the statement wasn’t true, and then ask McNamee if he lied. Like a man with nothing to lose, McNamee kept admitting that yes, he had been lying. It was almost like Burton didn’t even care that it was admitted by all that both Clemens’ best friend (Andy Pettitte) and his wife both got HGH from McNamee, but not the Rocket himself. It was pretty clear that those visits Clemens made to certain congresspeople really did the trick.
One of the best lies was one that he actually didn’t admit to, and it involved the guy whose name always pops up when the steroid talk starts getting really serious: Jose Canseco. Apparently, Senor Eye Twitch had some party back when he and Clemens were both Blue Jays that McNamee swears Clemens attended. Roger says he didn’t, Canseco said he was “disappointed” that Clemens wasn’t there, there were even radio and TV reports from the day after saying Clemens missed the party. Clemens even had a golf receipt for the time that the party went off, during the day before a game. The party was reported to have served sandwiches and iced tea. Hmmm….
Of course, what did this party have to do with whether Clemens had HGH and Winstrol or Lidocaine and B12 injected into his ass by a sniveling former trainer? Probably nothing, but it was funny that it was Canseco’s sober fiesta that had the reps’ jockeys all in a bunch.
It seemed that a couple of the representatives were pretty intent on destroying McNamee’s character, which probably didn’t figure to be too difficult. An ex-NY cop who decides to be a “trainer?” That’s a real trustworthy combo. Of course, that’s probably why Clemens chose McNamee as his drug guy in the first place. If he used to be a police officer, McNamee would probably be the last person to get caught, and the best person to know how to cover anything up.
But McNamee’s life as a former policeman was what led him to save gauze and needles covered in Clemens DNA that he kept in his fridge for FIVE YEARS. And that doesn’t even take into account a GHB+young girl+ accusations incident McNamee never was arrested for, but that left a bad enough odor that he was fired from his job directly afterwards. So we can agree that he’s at least teetering on the branch between creepy and psychopath.
I’m someone who thinks that Clemens was so high on HGH and/or anabolic steroids at times during the past decade that you could get faster workout recovery times by injecting the Rocket’s tobacco spit directly into your veins. But what did Clemens really do? He didn’t talk to the Mitchell Report guys, and McNamee sang to investigators. Now all the sudden it’s a congressional issue, although the fact remains that during an increasingly stinky economic climate, senators are busy wasting money questioning a millionaire on how he made his millions. If Clemens wasn’t such an arrogant egomaniac, hell-bent on protecting his so-called legacy, and if Bud Selig could have done something about the rampant drug use over the past two decades in baseball, we might not have had to have such a “circus” on Capitol Hill yesterday, as Burton labeled it.
I believe Clemens shouldn’t be allowed to pitch again, and his failure to make the Hall of Fame will be punishment enough. Same with Bonds. If money needs to be spent on fighting steroids, do it by getting better lawyers to get the players’ association to agree to testing on all known designer steroids and HGH. All these hearings, with stuttering players and sleazy drug-trainers, are really just an expensive exercise to decide who’s lying less.
However, it did provide some entertainment during the slowest sports month of the year, so maybe it was worthwhile after all. As long as KNBR doesn’t preempt Radnich again anytime soon.