Earl Ward, one of McNamee's lawyers:
Roger Clemens has put himself in a position where his legacy as the greatest pitcher in baseball will depend less on his ERA and more on his DNA.McNamee's lawyers have asked Clemens for a DNA sample, which they believe, when tested, will link Fat Billy to the use of PEDs. Clemens has not yet provided a sample, but apparently will comply if requested by the feds.
McNamee did not tell George Mitchell (or federal investigators, initially) about this evidence. According to the New York Times, McNamee was "influenced by ongoing loyalty to a player with whom he had worked so closely".
That loyalty went out the window after Clemens played a tape of the phone conversation the two men had in early January at a press conference. At that point, McNamee decided: "It's war." McNamee gave his lawyers the vials and syringes the next morning and they turned them over to federal investigators on January 10.
Richard Emery, another lawyer for McNamee, says the trainer kept the items because he "had this inkling and gut feeling that he couldn't trust Roger and better keep something to protect himself in the future".
The Times states McNamee and his lawyers wanted Clemens "to testify under oath before revealing they had previously undisclosed evidence -- apparently the gauze pads and syringes now cited by the lawyers familiar with the case".
Clemens will likely raise the possibility that these syringes have become tainted while in McNamee's possession for the last six or seven years. It will be interesting to see how McNamee, a former New York City police officer who presumably knows the importance of the chain of custody when it comes to evidence, will respond.
Meanwhile, Clemens is now on a PR tour of Congress, meeting with various representatives and repeating his denials. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland): "I don't know what his purpose was. I think he wanted to give me a sense of who he was as a person."
Recording and playing that phone conversation was a huge mistake by Clemens and his lawyers. It didn't do anything to bolster Billy's credibility and it effectively severed the last strand of loyalty McNamee had to his former client. Now McNamee is out for blood.
Next Wednesday's hearings -- when McNamee, Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch all appear -- will be very interesting.