Friday, February 08, 2008

Roger Clemens

Ever since allegations surfaced that Clemens used human growth hormone, Roger has been on an escalating campaign denying the charges. At each step, detractors suggested he had to go further.

This past week he went about as far as he could go, supposedly testifying under oath that he did not use any performance-enhancing chemicals. This testimony was to congressional investigators, which is another story in itself.

Now the trainer who alleged that he injected Clemens has turned over what he claims is physical evidence of the crime:

NEW YORK — Brian McNamee has given federal investigators bloody gauze pads, syringes and vials he said he used to inject Roger Clemens with steroids and human-growth hormone in 2000 and 2001, a lawyer familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

McNamee, Clemens' former personal trainer, hopes that DNA and chemical tests on the materials will support his contention that he injected Clemens with those drugs and prove that Clemens lied in a sworn deposition to congressional investigators Tuesday, the lawyer said.

This has been a fascinating story to me. I like trying to figure out who is lying and who is telling the truth, by simply applying logic. It doesn't always work, because people are not logical.

In this case, maybe because I like Clemens, I feel the evidence at this point logically points in his favor. Up until his testimony, all his denials cost him nothing but his own reputation for truthfulness, which was hardly much of a risk compared to the hit from being called a cheater.

But lying under oath could land him in prison, something his actions could not. You wouldn't expect a smart man with legal representation to risk that if they knew the story was true.

Then the physical evidence was presented, and for some it was treated as important as the Blue Dress.

But I don't see it that way, and in fact the presentation of the "evidence" I think makes the allegataions a bit less believable.

Some argue that it seems strange the guy saved the evidence. But I am guessing the gauze will have Clemen's blood on it, for the simple truth that if it doesn't, the guy will be easily found to be a liar, and whatever deal he was getting will evaporate.

Likewise, I expect the drugs will be there, for the same reason. Although I do understand that people like this don't work on logic, and will in fact make denials that are trivially disproven, I never can bring myself to believe that before it is proven.

But it would be easy enough to mix the Clemen's material from normal injections, with drugs from others. So if the evidence shows what is alleged, it doesn't prove anything. And a smart man would know that -- so why keep it for so long, when it doesn't in fact help prove his case?

If he was keeping it for blackmail, he blew that by talking. If he was keeping it to protect himself, it doesn't do that either.

And remember the phone call? The one Clemens used to try to get the trainer to admit his deception? The trainer claims he was still friends with Clemens. If so, why not mention the evidence then, and say "Look, Roger, I have the syringe with your blood on it, so you better fess up."

It would have kept Roger from attacking him -- which is why he now says he kept it.

Instead, he held this "evidence" AFTER Roger turned on him, until Clemens took a step that put him in real jeopardy.

I'm guessing there is a great book deal for the man who gets Clemens thrown in jail. But not for the man who is found to have falsely accused a well-respected pitcher.

As to what the truth is, I still hold out the possibility that the trainer shot up Clemens without his knowledge. If so, I the evidence he kept doesn't prove anything, but Roger insists he didn't get drugs -- which is another reason I tend to believe him, because it would be a lot easier for him to argue the guy just did it without Roger knowing about it.

1 comment:

Billy said...

Most ballplayers today are taking homeopathic human growth hormone oral spray because it's safe, undetectable, and legal for over the counter sales. As time goes on it seems it might be considered as benign a performance enhancer as coffee, aspirin, red bull, chewing tobacco, and bubble gum.