looking into whether Clemens received performance-enhancing drugs from local suppliers. That effort has led investigators to scrutinize the activities of at least one gym owner in Houston and one or more doctors, according to several lawyers with knowledge of the situation who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly.What's amazing about the quicksand into which Billy finds himself slowly sinking is that it all could have been avoided if he hadn't been such a stubborn dumbass. ... But then if he wasn't a stubborn dumbass, he wouldn't be our Fat Billy, would he?
If, after the Mitchell Report had been released, Clemens had pulled a McGwire and said "what's past is past, I'm retired now", none of this would have happened. The media and fans would have ripped him, though to a much smaller extent that they have to date. And perhaps when his first Hall of Fame vote came around in five years, his career would get the fair appraisal he clearly wants.
If Clemens and his attorney Rusty Hardin had not played the recording of Clemens's phone call to McNamee, it's likely that McNamee's stash of Roger's old needles and gauze pads would have remained a secret. McNamee would not have declared war on Clemens. There would not have been any hint of a criminal investigation.
But no. That's not what happened. So we're left wondering whether Hardin is the engineer of this legal trainwreck (in which case Billy must be mighty pissed off) or whether Clemens is calling the shots over his lawyer's advice (in which case, why didn't Hardin jump ship earlier?).
Howard Wasserman, writing at the Sports Law Blog, calls Hardin "possibly the worst example of the grandstanding lawyer we have seen in a while". Hardin has complained about the "circus of public opinion", yet Wasserman correctly notes that Hardin is that circus's chief architect.
[A]nd let's not forget that Hardin has basically dared DOJ to investigate Clemens by saying of the likely lead investigator that Clemens "would eat his lunch."Michael McCann, a law professor at Mississippi College School of Law and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Sports and the Law, writes:
A person close to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with knowledge of its proceedings tells SI.com that Roger Clemens and his legal team made a devastating strategic blunder in regards to the now infamous Jose Canseco lunch party that took place in June 1998. The alleged blunder caused members of the committee and their staff to deeply question Clemens' veracity and the wisdom of his legal team's counsel.ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski:
Initially the party seemed like an unimportant fact. The party is mentioned only briefly in the Mitchell Report ... [and] does not expressly connect Clemens to steroids or HGH through his alleged attendance ...
Clemens' legal team, however, apparently regarded the mention -- which it insists is wrong -- as the primary point of vulnerability in McNamee's testimony ... As the committee evaluated the depositions and available evidence, however, it began to conclude that McNamee told the truth at all times and that Clemens repeatedly lied.
In less than three months, Clemens has y'all-ed his way into more corners than a folded flag. ... Clemens hid the truth. He didn't hide it very well, which is why IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky of BALCO fame is now Clemens' worst nightmare. ...There have been complaints that the government should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on this matter. Keep in mind that they are investigating perjury, a much more serious matter than steroid use. What is $25 million gets spent on this investigation? The US burns through that much in Iraq alone every 18 minutes.
Novitzky is a grinder who has already put away Olympian Marion Jones and former NFL defensive player of the year Dana Stubblefield. ... Clemens got his clock cleaned by little, gavel-waving Rep. Henry Waxman of California. Just wait until Novitzky starts dumpster diving into his life.
Clemens hasn't given the feds much of a choice. Every time there's smoke, Clemens seems to be standing there with a blowtorch. ...
Well, I for one, think it is a great use of my tax dollars to put Roger Clemens in jail. Maybe we can have a separate check-box on our tax return -- "Would you like to donate $1 to the Federal Send-Roger-Clemens-To-Jail Fund?"