Monday, January 7, 2008

High Heat

Give Roger Clemens this much: he's consistent. The same guy who approached every game of his long baseball career as if the other team (and sometimes the umpire) was trying to steal his wife and kids is still a surly customer.

His news conference this afternoon was a raw look at an angry man. He can no longer blaze one at the head of an opposing hitter, or bull-rush an umpire who squeezed him on the strike zone. Instead, the rest of us got the sneering, vulgar treatment.

The Clemens case is so convoluted it's hard to know where to start. The audio tape of his phone conversation with accuser Brian McNamee was remarkable theater, but what exactly did it prove? Clemens is obviously very ticked off at a lot of folks, yet why won't he give a straight answer when he's asked if people who use steroids are cheaters?

Clemens readily acknowledges he was repeatedly injected by Brian McNamee, yet he continues to maintain all he got was Vitamin B12 and lidocaine. Maybe that's true. Maybe McNamee's version is true. Presumably both McNamee and Clemens know the real story.

The intriguing unexplained element of the story is the role played by federal agents. Did McNamee volunteer Clemens' name to them, or did it go the other way? Clemens' lawyer suggested the latter today, saying that when federal investigators come to you and say, " 'The truth is what is the truth?', it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out."

Yet practically in the next breath, attorney Rusty Hardin made sure we all knew he and the Rocket weren't making any allegations of misconduct on the part of the government. So why bring this all up? Are they trying to protect McNamee even as they sue him for defamation?

I'd like to think this will all be cleared up when Clemens testifies before Congress next week. But I wasn't born yesterday.

No comments: