Thoughts on the Clemens-McNamee Hearing

I still haven’t completely formed my thoughts on everything, so here are my jumbled impressions from the hearing.

— Brian McNamee is a worm. There is no way Roger Clemens will ever be convicted of perjury. The guy wouldn’t even admit to being a drug dealer. “That’s your opinion,” was his response when one congressman called him that. He’s a liar and con man. This doesn’t mean he’s lying in this instance, but the government can’t go forward with a perjury case with this guy as the star witness.

— The committee did not handle the hearing well, and Henry Waxman did a horrible job. He was rude, partisan, and injected far too much opinion. When I see grand-standing, it’s very hard for me to gain sympathy for your point of view. In several cases, Tom Davis (my former representative, of whom I have never been a big fan) was left to clean up his mess on several occasions, adding to the partisan tone of the hearing. Seriously, who votes for Waxman?

— Clemens did a good job. He was confident, and adeptly balanced emotion and restraint. He answered many tough questions and never seemed to stumble.

— I expected more discussion with Scheeler. Mitchell should have been there to defend his report. I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable allowing anyone else to defend a report with my name on it.

— The committee was wrong to let Andy Pettitte skip the hearing, and this should have been obvious. I don’t think Pettitte came off as a bad witness in his deposition, as reports have stated. He did seem shy and quiet. My guess is that Pettitte is not a talkative fellow, and I got the impression that he has no confidence. His relationship with McNamee appeared to be very different than Clemens’s, with McNamee being the dominant personality and Pettitte being a bit too trusting.

— The partisan nature of the hearing was annoying. I guess it’s hard to prevent that from happening, though.

— Though a lot of my comments may seem pro-Clemens, I think the hearing was damaging for Clemens, overall. It goes to show why you should never want to testify in front of Congress. We really don’t have much more information to confirm guilt or innocence, but the media reaction seems to be leaning against Clemens.

— What’s next? This feels like the day after the 2000 presidential election, except that we knew that the conflict was going to have a resolution. But, I have a feeling that there is more to come.

10 Responses “Thoughts on the Clemens-McNamee Hearing”

  1. Repoz says:

    “but the media reaction seems to be leaning against Clemens.”

    Leaning?…JC, I’ve been going through the slop all night and I’m guessing it’s running about 75-80% against Clemens.

  2. uncle ran says:

    i agree with you on the McNamee guy. he is a WORM! and has no creditability in my opinion. I have to agree with one of the other comnments that from what i saw of the hearings Clemens may not be as “clean” and he would like for you to believe. And as for Waxman remember which state he represents.

  3. Kyle says:

    I saw this morning on sportscenter that not a single US state in a sportsnation poll still believes Clemens. Although he can’t be convicted on it, Clemens responses to the Andy Pettite probes told me that he did it… Andy “misremembers”!? What is that?

    The truth is, for the most part, the fans have forgiven MLB for the steroid era, its the media that are fixated on it. Players are human and humans aren’t perfect. If we were put in the situation and millions of dollars were at stake I don’t think many people would have been able to say no to performance enhancing drugs.

    Just admit it Roger so we can begin to forgive you. Look at Giambi and even Pettite now! There reputations took a hit, but ultimately we understand their motivations and respect them as human beings.

    The thing I hate is this is going to drag on for months and won’t ever really go away… Some players report the end of this week. Let’s start talking about that!

  4. chris says:

    “Clemens did a good job. He was confident, and adeptly balanced emotion and restraint. He answered many tough questions and never seemed to stumble.”

    I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree a little bit on this one. There were times during the hearing (especially towards the beginning) when Clemens was really stuttering through his words.

    I also notice at times Clemens wouldn’t directly answer the question…or…he would briefly answer the question and then go on one of those (“I’ve always been a hard worker”, “Had I known what B-Mac was telling Mitchell”, “I’m a forgiving/trusting person”) pity speeches.

    As we learned from the Hearing, McNamee is indeed a slimeball. To me, that’s what gives this a whole new twist. Knoblauch, Pettite, why are so many testifying that the slimeball is right?

    This is going to be a very enduring battle for both of these individuals and I have trouble seeing either of them walking away with a victory, no matter who is telling the truth.

  5. Brandon says:

    Through his conduct before and during these hearings Clemens has revealed himself as a man who knows no boundaries. Would he use steroids or HGH if he thought it would give him an advantage? In a New York minute. He also seems to believe he can intimidate everybody with his fastball into shutting up. Well whatever the truth may be that isn’t working. Nobody I know is buying his act although a few say he can’t be convicted in a court of law. Legacy is what this is about, not legalities, and Roger is going to join Peter Rose and Mark McGwire in the Hall of Shame. Too bad he brought it on himself, but character is destiny.

  6. Fielding Goodney says:

    A “worm”? Really? Well, I though Clemens came off as a worm, too. Just with a thicker neck. (Do worms have necks?) Come on: do you believe Pettitte “misunderstood” poor Roger. Poor, hardworking, “I deserve everything I’ve got” Roger?

  7. JC says:

    Come on: do you believe Pettitte “misunderstood” poor Roger. Poor, hardworking, “I deserve everything I’ve got” Roger?

    Nah, I just make things up as I go along.

  8. Fielding Goodney says:

    I think this is an accurate assessment of how ol’ Rog came off in that hearing:

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/15617617.html

    My favorite part:

    “[Mike] Barnicle’s demise at the Globe did not lessen the appreciation for an observation he offered on Roger Clemens in 1997, after The Rocket had departed for Toronto.

    ‘If Clemens had not once been able to consistently throw a baseball 95 miles per hour past men with bats in their hands, he would be wearing bib overalls and sitting on a milk crate at the open end of a trailer somewhere, brushing his tooth, while shooing away flies from his head,” Barnicle wrote. “The man is a complete dope.”

  9. Frankie Cabrera says:

    JC,

    Given the prevailing anti-Clemens sentiment in the media, how do you think Clemens *should* have handled the whole situation, from a PR standpoint. Would he have been better off taking the Fifth in front of Congress? Or at least not being so public with his denials?

  10. Brandon says:

    Frankie,

    You have to realize that he largely brought this on himself. Lots of other guys were named in the Mitchell Report and kept their mouths shut in the wake of it, neither confirming or denying. In legal terms this MIGHT be a bit like pleading “nolo contendre” or “I’m sitting this one out.” But Clemens set out to prove his innocence which provoked those who are charged with investigation and enforcement to counter his claims. Mitchell himself did NOT want the players named in the report (which likely depicts only the tip of the steroid/hgh iceberg) to be subject to punishment for past deeds. This is also *not* the “media’s fault.” And Waxman himself thinks Congress getting involved was a mistake. So despite Clemens wrapping himself in motherhood and apple pie, let’s not politicize it. It isn’t a witchhunt. It’s about one man’s enormous ego…the kind of overwheaning pride that has felled heros since time immemorial.