February 14, 2008

Reactions

Has anyone seen a columnist who has written a pro-Clemens piece this morning?

The main news story in the Daily News described that Clemens as "unbowed, unruffled and unapologetic" -- unruffled?? -- but that was about it.

Mike Lupica, Daily News:
[I]f you watched the show yesterday, you know that McNamee did better in the end than Clemens did, a lot better, even on a day when Clemens kept telling us how much he loved baseball and America and his late mother and especially the troops.

Clemens had every Republican in this room, including a hyena named Dan Burton of Indiana, acting as defense attorneys for him and prosecutors against McNamee. But even they couldn't save him. ...

But no matter how many speeches Clemens gave, especially when teed up by one of his friends in the room, one of those he had lobbied over the last week, here was the money quote that wouldn't go away, and at the very least could end him up in front of a grand jury sometime soon:

Pettitte: "In 1999 or 2000, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in which Roger told me he had taken human growth hormone. This conversation occurred at his gym in Memorial, Tex. He did not tell me where he got the HGH or from whom, but he did tell me that it helped his body recover."
Dan Shaughnessy, Globe:
Clemens last week visited more than 20 representatives - an outrageous parade that compromised the hearing and painted numerous elected officials as fanboy/sycophants. Listening to the questions yesterday, you could pretty much tell which reps got autographed baseballs and signed photos for their office walls.

Representative Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana, was buffoon of the day (did you notice the Lone Star cuff links?), bashing the media, reminding us that Roger is a "titan" in baseball ...

Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, produced four photographs of Clemens, a progression dating to his Red Sox days, and insisted, "You appear to be the same size."

Good observation, Ginny. That's like saying Michael Jackson's features haven't changed since he posed for the cover of "Thriller."

Hope they all have their autographed Rocket jerseys. Too bad they didn't bother to read Andy Pettitte's deposition. ... Pettitte is the smoking gun. ... Pettitte's deposition shreds Clemens's story.
Peter Gelzinis, Herald:
In a sworn deposition before the committee, Pettitte corroborated everything Brian McNamee, the ex-trainer, hanger-on and steroid hustler, told the feds about the pitcher's use of human growth hormone.

This left the bottled Rocket in the ridiculous position of trying to tell Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland that, no, his ol' buddy and workout partner wasn't lying when he told the committee he and Roger had talked about steroids and HGH. No, Andy was misrememberin'. Yeah, that's the ticket. Misrememberin'. ...

What the Rocket never denied, however, is that in her search for youthfulness, Debbie Clemens allowed her husband's personal trainer Brian McNamee to give her a butt shot of HGH, right there in the master bedroom of the Clemens' Texas Ponderosa.
Howard Bryant, ESPN.com:
Clemens had his day under oath in front of the country, and he spent it flailing, splashing against relentless waves of facts he could not calm, even after 4½ hours. ...

[H]is improbable position remains: He has asked the public to believe that his handpicked personal trainer obtained human growth hormone, and used it on his most loyal protégé as well as his wife, but not on him. ...

Clemens, meanwhile, revealed himself as incapable of introspection or culpability. When cornered, he attempted to bully, but Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building is not a pitcher's mound and he did not hold the gavel. Not being in control frustrated Clemens, and he did not know what to do.

He avoided accountability for his role in his own drama. At no point during the day did he take responsibility for the direction of his career or the choices he's made. ... Clemens had an answer for everything the committee asked him, and each answer, when sifted to its essence, was that nothing was his fault. ... He threw his entire team -- family, friends, agent, team doctors, everyone -- under the bus. And they all had to take it, because he's Roger Clemens.
Mike Vaccarro, Post:
No matter how angrily Clemens shouts into microphones, no matter how ardently his team of lawyers tries to spin this story - and no matter how stridently Clemens' camp tries to discredit McNamee's character, which is hardly a difficult task - we keep coming back to a simple formula of logic:

McNamee told the truth, under threat of prosecution, about Andy Pettitte.

McNamee told the truth, under threat of prosecution, about Chuck Knoblauch.

It defies logic, then, that McNamee would choose to spin wild, fantastic tales about Roger Clemens, the one member of that triumvirate with whom he had a personal relationship. It is inexplicable why McNamee, who would face jail time only if he lied with feds in the room, would decide to serve up Clemens out of thin air.
Phil Mushnick, Post:
... [N]ot until nearly four hours after the hearing began did someone on the 41-member congressional committee ask Clemens why he didn't choose to be injected by, say, oh, a doctor, as opposed to Brian McNamee. And when Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) injected that question, Clemens answered:

"I'm a trusting person."

Oh, OK.

After the hearings, one of the first questions reporters asked Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, was why Clemens chose to be treated by McNamee instead of a doctor.

"Do you call a doctor every time you don't feel good?" Hardin answered.

Well, a doctor does come to mind, certainly as opposed to everyone else - especially if I told him to come on over "and don't forget the syringes."
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com:
Pettitte, in absentia, called Clemens, in so many words, a liar. In return, Clemens politely called Pettitte, in so many words, a nitwit who was mistaken about past conversations between them regarding performance-enhancing substances. ...

So, in review, when Pettitte says Clemens was on the juice, it's a case of a good guy who simply misheard and made an innocent mistake. But when McNamee alleges the same thing -- granted, in much greater volume and detail -- Team Clemens tries to kneecap the guy's credibility.
Clemens:
Somebody is trying to break my spirit in this room. They are not going to break my spirit.
Richard Emery, McNamee's lawyer:
It's not going to be hard to prove that he lied today. We believe he will be referred [for a criminal investigation] because the evidence is so overwhelming.
Rusty Hardin:
I think Roger showed the kind of person he is ...

22 comments:

Pokerwolf said...

Has anyone seen a columnist who has written a pro-Clemens piece this morning?

Here's Michael McCann from Sports Illustrated iding to Fat Billy's rescue!

redsock said...

Just saw that linked at SoSH!

McCann notes that:
"Clemens' primary goal was not to preserve or rehabilitate his baseball reputation or even to convince the legions of fans who disbelieve him ... but rather to avoid perjury charges."

McCann says that "unless verifiable physical evidences emerges to the contrary, it seems unlikely the available evidence would lead to a conclusive finding that he committed perjury".

We can debate that, but I'm hoping McNamee has more physical evidence than the gauze and needles that surprised Team TCM.

redsock said...

McCann claims: "Clemens responded somewhat effectively to questions about Andy Pettitte's affidavit."

Yeah, and the Cubs have been "somewhat effective" at winning World Series championsips since 1908.

Jesus! Roger wasn't even effectively speaking English at that point.

redsock said...

And this guy is not some bone-headed sportswriter, he's "a law professor at Mississippi College School of Law and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Sports and the Law".

WTF?

Ben said...

Seen over at sports.yahoo.com:


Poll Results
After the Congressional hearings, do you believe Roger Clemens took performance-enhancing drugs?
Yes
81%
No
19%

32000 Total Votes

Hah.

Bartman said...

What in blue blazes was his wife taking HGH for???

GK said...

Mike Wise at Wa-Po has a sharp take on TCM.
"As the contradictions kept coming yesterday in the Rayburn House Office Building, Clemens came across as a megalomaniac, a habitual liar and a barrel-chested fraud. The people who believe him now seem to be either paid by Clemens, married to him or in worse denial than the Rocket himself."
Nice Stuff

Jack Marshall said...

McCann must have been listening to that OTHER Clemens hearing on Capitol Hill. Anyone who doesn't note that Dan Burton is an idiot wasn't watching.

Incidentally, the Congressional staffers and members who accepted autogragraphs etc. from Clemens in his good will tour of their offices were violating a federal law that prohibits accepting anything of value from someone whose interests are before the Committee.

As to the earlier comment about Clemens' lawyers---if they KNEW he was lying, they couldn't represent him in court or otherwise. But lawyers tend to 1) avoid asking their clients to reveal the truth to them in such cases...so the lawyers can't be shown to "know" their clients are lying their heads off 2) have a definition of "Know" that goes well beyond "reasonable certainty," and 3) will bend over at right angles to give their clients the benefit of the doubt. So Hardin may have said to Clemens, "The best way to avoid a perjury investigation is to simply stonewall and attribute any contradictions to mistakes and memory." And he undoubtedly added, "But always tell the truth." That is to keep Hardin out of trouble more than Clemens.

thatdietcokegirl said...

now mcnamee's lawyers are saying that even if he is prosecuted, he'll prolly get a pardon from dubya.

thatdietcokegirl said...

We can debate that, but I'm hoping McNamee has more physical evidence than the gauze and needles that surprised Team TCM.

but isn't that enough? doesn't it have roger's dna on it, etc?

bartman, she apparently took it to help her quickly get in shape for an SI cover she did a few years ago.

L-girl said...

now mcnamee's lawyers are saying that even if he is prosecuted, he'll prolly get a pardon from dubya.

x-ref bribery/campaign contributions in the other thread! :)

9casey said...

Jack Marshall said...

As to the earlier comment about Clemens' lawyers---if they KNEW he was lying, they couldn't represent him in court or otherwise.


When a rapist , murderer, et al...plead not guilty and his lawyer knows he is due to the evidence they have..He still or someone still most represent them....That in turn, knowing that I am nit pickin' is a lie in itself, but if this was trial and not a congressional hearing TCM would most likely never speak and in turn never really lie under oath...but yesterday he did, in my humble opinion...

Jack Marshall said...

No, 9casey, you're just wrong---that's not how it works. A "not guilty" plea means "prove it!"--and a defendant cannot testify dishonestly under oath with his lawyer's assistance. That's one reason why you usually see defendants NOT testify. If they lie, the Rules require a lawyer (in many jurisdictions---there are other requirements in the others) to tell the judge.
This wasn't a court, however---no such requirement exists.

But pleading "not guilty" if a lawyer "knows" the client did it (and remember, they may still not "know" that the elements of the charge will be met) is NOT a lie. It's simply an affirmation that the client isn't guilty under the law until duly convicted.

Jack Marshall said...

But here's what I really logged on to say: McNamee's lawyer is an IDIOT!!!! A pardon doesn't help Clemens AT ALL---in fact, it would guarantee that he's never get in the Hall of Fame, because you don't pardon people who are innocent. Clemens would REJECT a pardon if he has half a brain (which seems about right). They can't convict him of perjury---even if there are steroid and Roger's DNA shot through the needles and guaze, there are custody issues---it's inadmissibale in court. McNamee, though I'm certain he's telling the truth here, is too much of a habitual liar to convnce a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." The best thing for Roger's rep now would be an acquittal in a perjury trial. A pardon would be ruinous---it didn't do anything for Nixon's reputation, did it? Marc Rich? McNamee's lawyer's "predication" is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

SoSock said...

Incidentally, the Congressional staffers and members who accepted autogragraphs etc. from Clemens in his good will tour of their offices were violating a federal law that prohibits accepting anything of value from someone whose interests are before the Committee.
Interesting. If we can just get someone to investigate that now, we might be able to graduate to a full-blown THREE-RING circus.
Woo-woo!

9casey said...

Jack Marshall said...
No, 9casey, you're just wrong---that's not how it works. A "not guilty" plea means "prove it!"--


Like I said it was just my opinion...and for a lot of people not guilty means i didn't do it....
I don't want to make you mad and send you away, it was just my opinion....

Jack Marshall said...

Hey, 9Casey, not mad at all---I teach this stuff, that's all, and the legal profession does such a wretched job explaining to the public how and why it defends guilty people that the balancing act lawyers have to go through is misunderstood. And you could certainly be right that Clemens' lawyers are slimeballs---it's just that they are not NECESSARILY slimeballs just because their client is guilty.

Jack Marshall said...

Just sent to me by a staffer on the Hill...I thought you all would enjoy it:

"The Steroid Hearing, Secret Transcript":

...

Congressman: I think I'm entitled to them.

Clemens: You want answers?

Congressman: I want the truth!

Clemens: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be thrown past dangerous men with bats. Who's gonna do it? You? You,Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can
possibly fathom. You weep for the poor .230 hitters and the marginal starters with hanging curves. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that steroids and HGH, while illegal, save runs, games and bonuses. And my existence, while grotesque and
incomprehensible to you, sells tickets...You don't want the truth. Because
deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. You need me on that mound. We use words like fastball, slider, splitter,change...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent playing a professional sport. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the Sportscenter
clips I provide, then questions the manner by which I provide them! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a ball and try to throw a pitch low and away to David Ortiz without getting your cup shattered. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

Clemens: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

Clemens: YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID!!!

Bartman said...

A pardon from Bush will fail to erase baseball's asterisks.

L-girl said...

I teach this stuff, that's all,

Jack, just so you know, Amy is also a law prof. You two can keep each other honest. ;)

Jack Marshall said...

Oh-oh! I bet Amy's a REAL law professor, and I'm just a humble adjunct in legal ethics. Thanks for the warning!

L-girl said...

Oh-oh! I bet Amy's a REAL law professor

I believe so. :)

Thanks for the warning!

Just doin' my job, ma'am.