Thursday, February 14, 2008
Roger Dodger: Clemens Isn't Believable
The bad and sad joke that was circulating yesterday is that the Republicans who heard sworn testimony from Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, all sided with the real liar of the two, just as they have consistently sided with uuber-liars George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, sleazy Condoleezza Rice and other members of the truth-challenged administration. To say that the opinions from hearing members was partisan would be unfair, unpatriotic and unrealistic. Calling the position of Roger Clemens (right) - denying that he ever took steroids or HGH despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary - and the Republicans who say they believe him, absurd, would be closer to the mark. Besides the contrary testimony from McNamee, signed depositions from two teammates, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, indicated that they took steroids. Pettitte's affidavit also included a statement that he discussed performance-enhancers with Clemens. The weight of the evidence, and the fact that McNamee would have nothing to gain by lying, seem to indicate that Clemens is unclean, that he took steroids or HGH and that he's now lied to congress - an act that could conceivably land him in jail. Then there's the evidence from his stats. Clemens, who looked to be nearly washed up as a pitcher after the 1996 season, when he was traded from Boston to Toronto, went 21-7 and 20-6 for the so-so Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998 with an ERA for the two years combined a smashing 2.35. To baseball freaks that seemed odd because Clemens, who turned 34 in August of 1996, had suffered through four consecutive years of relative ineffectiveness. From 1993-96, Clemens was a combined 40-39 for the Red Sox, the kind of numbers that might keep him in a rotation, but not anything close to legendary. In those four years, his ERA was approaching 4.00 and in three of those years he worked less than 200 innings. It appeared that time was gaining on him. After 1996, Clemens racked up an incredible 162 wins with Toronto and then with the NY Yankees and Houston Astros. The control came back, the ERA dropped, the money and honors flowed his way. Coincidentally, those were the years - 1997-2005 - in which steroid use became rampant in Major League Baseball. Fans seem to agree with the Democrats on the panel, who backed McNamee's telling of events. A Yahoo poll posing the question, "After the Congressional hearings, do you believe Roger Clemens took performance-enhancing drugs?" out of 29248 total votes as of late Thursday morning (ET), elicited the following results: Yes: 81%; No: 19%. It looks like the Rocket is out of fuel. For the sake of the game, Clemens should have owned up to his misdeeds, but, like most overpaid, egotistic, pumped-up athletes of this generation, his ego is too big for him to admit that all his records were at least partly the result of the rejuvenative effects of steroids.