The conference began with the playing of a phone conversation between Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee that Clemens recorded on Friday night. During the 17-minute conversation McNamee asks Clemens 21 times: "What do you want me to do?"
Clemens (who ignores most of the 21 questions): "I just need someone to tell the truth, Mac. ... For the life of me I'm trying to figure out why you told guys I did steroids."This sound more like McNamee saying he's sorry for exposing Roger after getting squeezed by the feds, not lying about him. As Earl Ward, one of McNamee's attorneys, said: "All Brian says on the tape is that he didn't want to hurt Clemens and felt bad about what he was obligated to do."
McNamee: "I understand that. ... It is what it is, and it's not good. ... I don't want this to happen. But I'd also like not to go to jail, too. ... All I did was what I thought was right -- I never thought it was right, but I thought that I had no other choice, put it that way."
Clemens's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said that it was his decision to not have Clemens ask McNamee to admit he was lying.
Brian is a federal witness. I told [Roger], the last thing in the world you want to do is sound like you're trying to persuade him into anything [or] trying to interfere or coerce a federal witness. So he kept saying nothing. Except you'll hear throughout him saying, 'Tell the truth.'Yet Clemens also never says anything definitive about his innocence, such as "You know damn well I've never done steroids" or "We never even talked about steroids, Brian. I was shocked to read all those lies in the Mitchell report." For his part, McNamee never insists "I was telling the truth" or "You know you did it, Roger. It all happened, I shot you up."
McNamee now tells SI:
Roger was in no way an abuser of steroids. He never took them through our tough winter workouts. And he never took them in spring training, when the days are longest. He took them in late July, August, and never for more than four to six weeks, max. ... It wasn't that frequent. Within the culture of what was going on, he was just a small part of it. A lot of guys did it. You can't take away the work Roger did. You can't take away the fact that he worked out as hard as anybody.Why didn't McNamee say any of that when he was on the phone with Clemens?
One interest bit from the conference is that McNamee spoken to Clemens's representatives earlier -- and that conversation was taped. Hardin implies that McNamee was considering recanting what he told the feds. I'd like to hear that recording.
Here is a PDF of a press release from McNamee's lawyers, contradicitng several of Clemens's claims, including the fact that he was in the dark about the contents of the Mitchell report.
Earl Ward, one of McNamee's attorneys, says his client is
angry that the information about his son was manipulated in that fashion. The original text message to Roger said, 'My son is sick, can you call him at home?' Brian was not even living there. He had no intention of talking to Clemens. [Clemens] never did call his son. ... The tape added nothing. All Brian says on the tape is that he didn't want to hurt Clemens and felt bad about what he was obligated to do.Richard Emery, McNamee's attorney, added:
What does [Clemens] do, he calls him back with his lawyer in the room and a tape recorder going. He wants to play that game, he's going to get buried. I have no compunction about putting him in jail. This is war.