Here are some snippets (with Looper commentary, from History class, no less) from the ongoing congressional hearing with New York Yankees pitcher, Roger Clemens, and his former trainer, Brian McNamee. This isn’t because I actually really care about Roger Clemens as much as it’s just funny.
Later, Cummings asked, “Do you think Mr. Pettitte was lying?” Mr. Clemens responded: “Andy Petttite is my friend. He was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this. Again, I think Andy has misheard. I believe Andy has misheard.”
“If he knew that I had tried H.G.H., which I did not, he would have come to me and asked those questions,” Mr. Clemens said.
Mr. Cummings plowed ahead. “Would he tell the Congress that one of his closest friends was using
an illegal performance-enhancing drug if there was any doubt in his mind about the truth of what he was saying?” Mr. Cummings said.
“I think he misremembers about our conversation,” Mr. Clemens said.
This right here is fantastic. I wonder if they’re still friends, if they still talk, joke, drink beer, or do HGH together any more. I hope they’re still friends. But “misremembers?” Come on Rocket. He’s calling his friend a liar in front of Congress –– or, at the least, someone with a faulty memory –– and then saying in the same breath, basically, that they’ll remain friends. Really Rocket? Misremembers? You think he doesn’t remember as you think he should remember.
That’s a demanding friendship.
Curt Schilling had the bloody sock. Roger now has the bloody pants.
Rep. Davis reported that McNamee had testified that Mike Stanton once noticed that Clemens was bleeding through his dress pants — which caused him to start carrying band aids around, presumably for his bleeding butt. Yikes.
Prompting the following surreal exchange:
Davis: “Mr. Clemens, do you recall bleeding through your pants in 2001?”
Clemens: “I do not.”
If the Boston area had a real equivalent in crassness to the New York Post, you could imagine the back page headline: ROCKET’S FUEL LEAKS FROM BUTT.
To Clemens’ credit, if I had bled through my pants at any point since age 4, I would have remembered it. Who knows? Maybe it was some sort of ricochet scenario.
[ESPN.com (Stark), 12:06 a.m.]
Rep. John Tierney noted three specific times Clemens told investigators he’d never talked to McNamee about HGH — but then cited two occasions when he confronted McNamee about his injection of his wife with HGH.
Repeatedly, Tierney asked Clemens how he “reconciled” that inconsistency. Repeatedly, Clemens gave answers that indicated that “prior” to those conversations, he’d never had a “specific” discussion with McNamee about HGH.
I think someone should write a book about how when the MLB suits up for a series in the halls of Congress, it’s not so much about the baseball, or about the truth as it is about finding new ways to lie, talk in circles, and look like a jackass.
Example: Clemens is recorded as remembering never talking to McNamee about HGH … but … remembers talking to McNamee about HGH for his wife –– who must be trying to up her performance somewhere, maybe she’s trying to break into the big leagues too?
It’s almost mind-numbing.
[ESPN.com (Stark), 12:35 p.m.]
I’d like to thank Rep. Paul Kanjorski for allowing George Mitchell’s aide, Charles Scheeler, to actually utter a few sentences. Somebody had to do it.
For the record, Scheeler said he “can’t think of a single fact [in the Mitchell report] we’d recant.”
[NYTimes.com (Schwarz), 12;19 p.m.]
Representative Paul E. Kanjorski, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said that he didn’t want Charles P. Scheeler, who helped produce the Mitchell report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and is quite literally separating Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens at the witness table, to feel like “a potted plant,” a reference to a famous line uttered during the Iran Contra hearings.
Boy, I’d hope the Mitchell report got their facts straight. What a huge waste of time that would be (a debatable question even now … does any of this really matter?). I gotta give it up to Kanjorski –– is he related to Ron Jaworski? –– the “potted plant” line was pretty good.
[NYTimes.com (Schwarz), 12:33 p.m.]
In clearly the most befuddling question of the morning so far, Representative William Macy Clay, Democrat of Missouri, asked Mr. Clemens “what uniform you will wear into the Hall of Fame.”
Clemens hesitated and said with the merest of smiles he could muster. He said, “Can I state that I didn’t hear that question?”
“That is fine,” Clay said.
[ESPN.com (Stark), 2:09 p.m.]
Could the Rocket be investigated for illegal B-12 use, too?
Sounds like it isn’t out of the question, after Rep. Bruce Braley asked him whether he had been diagnosed with anemia, senile dementia or Alzheimer’s. Or whether he was a vegetarian or a vegan. They were moving along nicely till the vegan stuff came up.
“I don’t know what that is,” Clemens replied. “I’m sorry.”
Sheez, and we had him pegged as a closet vegan, too. Turns out, Braley informed him, those are the only approved medical reasons for anyone to get a B-12 injection.
Really? Then blame Roger’s mother.
“My mother in 1988 suggested I take B-12,” Clemens said. “I always assumed it was a good thing, not a bad thing.”
Ohhhh boy. It keeps getting more and more ridiculous. Roger as an alleged vegan? Roger blaming his mother? Roger is apparently not wrong about anything.
[NYTimes.com (Schwarz), 2:52 p.m.]
“This is what I’ve learned,” Waxman said. “Chuck Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte confirmed what Brian McNamee told Senator Mitchell. We learned of conversations that Andy Pettitte believed he had with Roger Clemens about H.G.H. even though Clemens says his relationship with Mr. Pettitte was so close that they would know and share information with each other. Evidently Mr. Pettitte didn’t believe what Mr. Clemens said in that 2005 conversation” – before Clemens spoke loudly into his microphone.
“It doesn’t mean he was not mistaken, sir,” Clemens said, violating House rules by speaking after witness questioning had completed.
“Doesn’t mean that,” Waxman said. Clemens replied: “That does not mean that he was not mistaken, sir.”
Waxman pounded his gavel and said: “Excuse me, but this is not your time to argue with me.”
Not only did Clemens continue his ridiculous contradicting, back-and-forth, idiotic defense, he interrupted a congressman. Isn’t there some form of punishment for that?
After that outburst, the proceedings drew to a close. Quite a day.
Things I’m taking away from this –– and things that I already knew before, really:
- Everyone implicated in the Mitchell Report, past, present and future steroid users, and the targets of the day, McNamee and Clemens, are basically shameful scum. No one looks good right now. Baseball looks bad, and yet, no one cares. It’s befuddling.
- Congress should be ashamed. They’re spending all of this time, money and energy worrying about the interworkings of a game. A GAME. It’s baseball, people. I would really appreciate it if our congressional representatives would focus on things that make a real difference in our country.
Both of those points, I’m sure, are confusing and disjointed. But what this comes down to is that Congress should not be meddling in Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball is so rife with performance enhancing stuff (as are most high-profile sports) that it’s without hope.