Breaking Down the Roger Clemens Hearing


Answered By The Soxman


I’ve hated Roger Clemens for numerous reasons long before the Mitchell Report was released, so I can’t pretend to be objective here. So I’ll let The Soxman handle answering the questions you all have about the Rocket and his illegal “Rocket Fuel.”

How did you know?…If we do know anything conclusively so far, that is.

As the Rocket is lashing back at people harder than his fastball can be thrown these days, it is important for both Soxman and to note that we are not claiming Roger Clemens did steroids or took performance enhancing drugs. We are looking at the facts as they are being presented and we say the waters of truth are getting murkier than an injection of Sustanon 250.

However, it is not very difficult to connect the dots in this situation though at all.

According to a ranking member of congress, his close friend on and off the field, Andy Pettitte backs the claim of Brian McNamee, that he gave Clemens injections of banned drugs I come back to the fundamental question to ponder: if Clemens, Pettitte, and McNamee all worked out together, and Pettitte admits to using HGH to recover from an injury, then are we to honestly believe Roger never once took anything illegal? In a court of law, it is beyond reasonable doubt to be guilty, which I don’t think exists yet, but in the court of public opinion and common sense the whole thing stinks.

Andy Pettitte and his wife both indicated Clemens used steroids and HGH in sworn affidavits. They are both deeply religious, and by all accounts Pettite is one of the game’s class acts. I do not believe either would lie under oath, especially after admitting to using the drugs himself.

I had the hunch during the 2005 World Series and then again after reading between the lines of the Mitchell Report. Hearing his taped phone call, I was even more convinced he was lying. If I knew I was recording a conversation to clear my name, I would make it VERY clear by saying “how could you lie and say I did steroids or HGH,” rather than the nebulous way Clemens danced around the topic during the call. He just said “how could you say these things about me.” He never even said “when you know they weren’t true.”

As Congressman Tom Davis said “Someone is lying in spectacular fashion about the ultimate question.”

Roger Clemens has taken the steps that an innocent man would take in this situation. Why is he different from Bonds, McGwire, Sosa et. al who have done nothing to try and change the verdict rendered in the court of public opinion?

In fairness to Roger, you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t in this situation. This really is a winless situation either way. However, let me suggest a couple of things to you:

Another person passionately denied using steroids: Rafeal Palmero. He ended up testing positive for the most potent steroid out there.

Roger also saw what inaction has meant to Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa -all of which likely won’t get into the Hall of Fame anytime soon. If you are descending to watch baseball immortality pass you buy, you are not going down without a fight.

The other thing to remember is no one outside of BALCO mailing lists came out against Bonds. Bond’s trainer went to jail for him, because he refused to testify.

Roger may have thought “I’m Roger Clemens;” no one is going to believe a no-name trainer.
If Clemens is innocent, why did it take him so long to respond to the allegations? Shouldn’t he have acted immediately instead of taking a week or so to release a prepared statement.

Good question, but let’s not forget, people may be going to jail over this and he likely wanted to consult with others to determine the best course of action. I’m not defending the Rocket, but he issued a statement on his web site the day the Mitchell Report was released denying the allegation. His “intense response” came later.

Don’t Clemens and Bonds make the perfect pair for the steroid era? Don’t their traits act as the perfect ideological bookend of what people suspect went on in baseball the past couple decades?

Both are egomaniacs, so in that respect I guess you are right. The other thing that bothers me is that both players would have had Hall of Fame careers without using anything extra. If you think about it, the same competitive drive that borders on jealousy of others beating you is likely what led him to cheat. “Game of Shadows” revealed that Bonds decided to use steroids after he saw all the attention McGwire was getting. In other words he was jealous.

Also, sadly, steroids may have been a much more “unofficially accepted” drug in MLB then we will ever know, just like speed was in the 60’s and 70’s.

In an interview with ESPN, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt admitted to using speed during his career and said that most clubhouses had two coffee pots clearly marked as “leaded” and “unleaded.” Everyone knew it wasn’t caffeine being referred to in the coffee.

The long-ball brought baseball back in the 90s after attendance was down due to the strike cancelled 1994 season. Ironically, Sosa and McGwire’s homerun chase was given credit for “saving baseball.” So who is to say MLB executives wouldn’t turn the other cheek?

In an interview with the AP, former closer John Rocker admitted that he was counseled by MLB paid doctors on the way to properly cycle steroids. He claims that Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, and A-Rod were all present at that meeting.

Remember the year after the steroid policy began how Ivan Rodriguez showed up to camp almost sickly thin, and claimed it was because he had stopped eating hamburgers?

So yes, it is the bookend to a complicated tale. Sadly, the greatest hitter and greatest pitcher of our generation may have had illegal help getting there.

Why did Clemens’ wife get involved?

Ever play chess? The pawn? Ever hear a term called “the patsy?” What does she have to lose by admitting she did HGH? Nothing, aside from perhaps a swimsuit-modeling gig? Plus, if people buy it, she saves her husband’s career- not to mention the millions of dollars of endorsements he wouldn’t lose.

Why did that cell phone commercial just come to mind where Clemens was playing golf and said to his wife, “no, if you don’t want me to play another season just tell me,” and then the cell cuts out while she’s replying.

You have to give her credit, she’s standing by her man.

Are there going to be real ramifications here for anyone? Like perjury convictions or jail time?

Yes, beyond a reasonable doubt. Baseball writers voting on Hall of Fame entrants are shunning all players linked with steroids, meaning more likely than not, Roger won’t get in. His only hope could be when the players vote someone in.

Also, neither Clemens nor Bonds has officially retired yet they remain unsigned free agents. No one will touch them until the dust settles on this one.

Finally, make no mistake about it; if you are found to have lied under oath, you are open to perjury charges. Former Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones was sentenced to 6 months in jail after being found guilty of perjury.

Finally, as much as we want truth, justice and the American way to be served, doesn’t our congress have much more important things to do (bringing the troops home, getting people healthcare, trying to heal the environment etc.) than regulate baseball and drug use in the sport?

That is the great question, but Congress is large and supposed to handle a variety of topics, including those which could impact the reputation of the United States of America. Baseball is America’s Pastime, and to many, a symbol of America. So if that symbol reflects that cheaters prosper, what does that say about America? To our children?

As for my thoughts on bringing the troops home, tune in and watch me on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” For my thoughts on the environment, I’ll be airing “An Inconvenient Truth” in the Sox Cave Tonight. Organic popcorn will be served.


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  1. Andy P’s press conference yesterday said a lot. The questions he refused to answer spoke volumes in my book about how passionate he was that he was telling the truth. It seems like things are finally starting to quiet down. Will it be the quiet before the storm? Stay tuned.

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