FanDuel - WFBC

February 13, 2008

The NY Times real time blog of the Clemens hearings.: The NY times blogs today's hearings. A follow up story from the Times is here.

posted by cjets to baseball at 03:24 PM - 103 comments

I realize that this may be a prime example of what previous members have complained about when they say "if it bleeds and it's about sports, it's on sportsfilter." But it's a huge story. And potential train wreck or not, I'm dying to talk about it and hear other's reactions.

posted by cjets at 03:26 PM on February 13

What was the point of this dog and pony show? Was anything resolved? I am not a fan or foe of Roger Clemens but he appeared to be very uncomfortable for someone who was telling the truth. McNamee on the other hand was as cool as a cucumber.

posted by danjel at 03:49 PM on February 13

What was the point of this dog and pony show? At the beginning of the proceedings, Waxman said something to the effect that they were just going to issue a written statement rather than have this hearing. But Clemens and his attorneys did not want that. The inference to me, is that they think Clemens is lying and they gave him his chance to explain himself in a public forum. Oh yeah, and there might be something about all politicians being whores who want the face time on national TV?

posted by cjets at 03:52 PM on February 13

Clemens sure seems to be in trouble to me. It's not "he said, he said", it's "he said, everyone else said". Pettitte and Knoblauch basically testifying against him doesn't help. Not that McNamee is exactly a sterling character or anything, but he does seem to have a stronger case for the truth given what Pettitte and Knoblauch have said.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:53 PM on February 13

I may be wrong, but Roger is probably digging a hole so big for himself, a crane the size of the Empire State Building will be needed to lift him out of the abyss. If he's lying and they prosocute, their going to throw the book at him if convicted.

posted by Nakeman at 03:57 PM on February 13

Pettitte and Knoblauch basically testifying against him doesn't help. For me, the best part of the hearing was in the beginning when Waxman read his opening statement. Clemens gives his best steely eyed glare, the one that has intimdated batters for twenty years. That is, until, Waxman started talking about Andy Pettite's sworn statements and sworn affidavits stating that Clemens told Pettite that he used Steroids. Then the steely eyed glare turned into a squint, complete with shifty eyes and licking of the lips. He recovered somewhat during his opening statement. But his face during the opening statement seemed to tell the tale. As far as a criminal case, I still don't think there's enough there. Pettite's statement is hearsay and McNamee's physical evidence (even if Clemens blood and traces of PDA's are on it) will be difficult to enter into evidence because of chain of custody issues. That being said, to me, Pettite's sworn statements were the "smoking gun," hearsay or not. And throwing his wife under the bus is just shows what a class act Clemens is. As Nake put it, the harder he keeps fighting, the deeper the hole will get.

posted by cjets at 04:09 PM on February 13

"Who Framed Roger Clemens" On DVD and BlueRay

posted by irunfromclones at 04:28 PM on February 13

The problem McNamee had today, and probably the reason there will be no perjury trial, is his past. That's really the only thing Clemens has to go after. Other than that Clemens, for someone that's had quite a while to prepare, came off awful. And he should make a large donation the the republican party very soon.

posted by justgary at 04:53 PM on February 13

McNamee would be destroyed if he ever had to testify in a trial against Clemens. His shady past, previous lies, etc. means his credibility is zilch. That being said, Clemens knows Pettitte is telling the truth because he's not the kind of guy who could ever sit before Congress and tell flat-out lies. Clemens could have sat there all day calling everyone under the sun a liar, but there's no way he would have said that to Pettitte. That's why it would have been interesting to have Pettitte sitting there, too. The big problem I had with today's hearing was how the members of Congress didn't really seem to have any real idea what their focus was supposed to be. I think they wanted to sit there and play judge and jury, but Waxman actually tried to keep bringing the focus back to, "We want to move ahead and do away with steroids in baseball and their use by young people."

posted by dyams at 05:01 PM on February 13

McNamee would be destroyed if he ever had to testify in a trial against Clemens. His shady past, previous lies, etc. means his credibility is zilch. In a trial yes, logically no. Accused Pettitte: confirmed. Accused Knoblauch: confirmed. Accused Clemens' wife: confirmed. Dead on so far.

posted by justgary at 05:06 PM on February 13

Clemens to me just seems to be unbelievable. To many others are implicating him and he is just squirming . Maybe he just wants to be remembered the way he does so badly he just cannot accept the result of admitting he used the stuff. If you look at what is at stake here, there seems little motivation for anybody else to implicate Clemens, compared to the motivation Clemens would have for denial. I have made up my mind. Guilty

posted by Atheist at 05:41 PM on February 13

My favorite part was when the Representative (I didn't catch who, as I was listening on streaming radio) got all dramatic and called McNamee a drug dealer, and McNamee said "That's your opinion." Very Lebowski, and I lol'd.

posted by rocketman at 06:29 PM on February 13

McNamee would be destroyed if he ever had to testify in a trial against Clemens. His shady past, previous lies, etc. means his credibility is zilch. In a trial yes, logically no. I agree. My point is McNamee has screwed up way too much in his past to ever be a credible person to put on the stand in a trial. What it boils down to is he's a guy who pretended he was something he wasn't (a doctor) and ran around shooting banned substances into people with syringes. I understand he (McNamee) knows he messed up a great deal in the past, and I fully believe he is telling the truth about what he said today. But the only person who could probably seal the case against Clemens is a (somewhat) honest person like Pettitte, but only if he had bonafide proof Clemens was actually injected. As I said before, why Congress didn't do more to get Pettitte to appear in today's hearing was a blunder. I'm not sure if Clemens could have kept it together with Pettitte sitting right there next to him, and I'm sure the questioning between the two would have exposed even more obvious inconsistencies.

posted by dyams at 06:30 PM on February 13

dyams, this isn't a criminal trial. It's testimony before Congress. There is no "case" to "seal" at present. Clemens' goose stands to possibly be cooked in several ways, only one of which is a criminal trial, but if you really think he's going to dodge all of them, I'd say you're overly optimistic.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:33 PM on February 13

My point is McNamee has screwed up way too much in his past to ever be a credible person to put on the stand in a trial. Probably so. I think it's going to be hard to convict Clemens on perjury, where all he needs is reasonable doubt, with McNamee's past. They would probably need a strong case from Pettitte and he obviously wants nothing to do with the matter. In the court of public opinion however, unless something else comes along in support of clemens, I'd say he's done (done meaning a convincing majority believes him guilty). If you believe MacNamee lied about Clemens, despite being correct about 3 others, you also have to believe Clemens when he says that Pettitte misheard him while ignoring that their conversation happened several years before Clemens' wife used HGH. Other than attacking MacNamee's character and being his normal defiant self the one piece of evidence he was pushing, that he was not at canseco's house, was taken apart by his own nanny, which is exactly what MacNamee said would hapen.

posted by justgary at 08:07 PM on February 13

I want to believe Clemens, but Pettitte and Knoblauch's depositions shoot him out of the water. If McNamee was telling the truth about them, and Pettitte remembers a conversation where Clemens admitted HGH use, how can anyone believe Clemens? His stunt with the nanny also looks terrible. It looks like he was coaching her testimony before revealing her name to Congress. Also if the syringes contain Clemens' DNA and traces of performance-enhancing drugs, wouldn't that be enough for a perjury indictment?

posted by rcade at 08:16 PM on February 13

They would probably need a strong case from Pettitte and he obviously wants nothing to do with the matter. Pettitte probably doesn't have time; He just found out he was deaf today and apparently needs a hearing aid or two.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:16 PM on February 13

Other than attacking MacNamee's character and being his normal defiant self the one piece of evidence he was pushing, that he was not at canseco's house, was taken apart by his own nanny, which is exactly what MacNamee said would hapen. How could you not remember going to a party at Jose's house. I don't buy the short term loss of memory at all. He got busted by his own Nanny, then proceeded to try and coach her on how to respond to any questions. I don't know this for certain at all, just a hunch. It is a matter of time before some smoking guy appears and he will be begging the public for forgiveness like Marion Jones.

posted by danjel at 08:24 PM on February 13

He just found out he was deaf today and apparently needs a hearing aid or two. Nice. Maybe Jose should have everyone sign waivers before being allowed to enter the party. It could state that Jose and only Jose can benefit from damning conversation. The nannies would have to wear earmuffs and blinders. And I realize my post makes little sense and my sense of humor is nil, but thats about how I feel about this whole production. I want results, dammit. How long is this going to go on?

posted by BoKnows at 08:49 PM on February 13

Also if the syringes contain Clemens' DNA and traces of performance-enhancing drugs, wouldn't that be enough for a perjury indictment? I don't think so. Here's why: Clemens has already admitted that McNamee shot him up so there is a "plausible"explanation for his blood (DNA) on the syringes. As far as the HGH, McNamee was the sole person in possession of the syringes after administering the shot. And remained in sole possession of them until he turned them in. So he had the opportunity to doctor the syringes in any number of ways after the "B-12" shot was administered. So, it seems to me, that the veracity of the evidence as well as the chain of custody relies entirely upon the word of McNamee, which, as pointed out earlier, is not the most credible guy in the world* Add to that the fact that he held onto this evidence for 7 or 8 years, and then withheld its existence from the Mitchell investigators, among others, and I think you have reasonable doubt you can drive a truck through. I don't even know if this evidence would be admissible. *I'm not a criminal defense attorney. I just play one here on spofi.

posted by cjets at 08:55 PM on February 13

If anybody can answer why he (Clemens) agreed to testify before the committee. Rogers got to be the stupidist person alive to do so and why didn't his lawyers talk him out of it. Guilty or not, this a bonehead play. I see not upside for appearing before this committee. Is it just arrogance on his part due to his elevated opinion of himself or is he delusional?

posted by Nakeman at 09:17 PM on February 13

Two FBI agents plus one IRS agent are in attendence. I hope they can filter through the Congressional grandstanding.

posted by Newbie Walker at 09:23 PM on February 13

I don't understand this hearing or the one before it involving Palmero, Sosa ect. It seems the only thing Roger could be found guilty of is perjury but he would never have the chance to perjure himself if he wasn't asked these questions in front of Congress. So why is Congress going through all this trouble to try and prove that these athletes used steroids, HGH, and any other PED under the sun? If Roger is found guilty of perjuring himself will he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? It seems to me lying about using PEDs is about as significant as lying about getting fellated in a certain prolate office.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:26 PM on February 13

If anybody can answer why he (Clemens) agreed to testify before the committee. from above in the thread... At the beginning of the proceedings, Waxman said something to the effect that they were just going to issue a written statement rather than have this hearing. But Clemens and his attorneys did not want that.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:36 AM on February 14

from above in the thread... At the beginning of the proceedings, Waxman said something to the effect that they were just going to issue a written statement rather than have this hearing. But Clemens and his attorneys did not want that. In other words...because Clemens is a dolt. Have I got that right?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:18 AM on February 14

dyams, this isn't a criminal trial. It's testimony before Congress. There is no "case" to "seal" at present. I understand this. But what is really being considered from that entire waste-of-time charade is if there is enough there to take this further, through the courts, since it's obvious someone isn't telling the truth. Someone is guilty of perjury and it needs to be followed up on. Things can't just drop from here after this complete joke of a hearing. Yesterday was a farce, and the majority of the Congressmen and women who questioned McNamee and Clemens were embarrassing. And lbb, even though this wasn't held in a courtroom with a jury present, if you don't think these guys were technically on trial, I have to disagree. Even though it was before Congress, these guys were on trial, and if this thing drops right here, it was possibly the biggest sham in the history of sports.

posted by dyams at 07:20 AM on February 14

How is the bigger liar...Roger, "I never did HGH" or Billy Bob Clinton, " I never had sexual relations with that women" I VOTE BOTH

posted by Bxboy at 07:43 AM on February 14

Also sounds like Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas hearing years go!!!

posted by Bxboy at 07:46 AM on February 14

Things can't just drop from here after this complete joke of a hearing. Just like things couldn't just drop following the revelation that agents of the US government had sold arms to Iran and used the money to fund terrorists in Nicaragua? Just like things couldn't just drop following any number of smoking-gun revelations about things of much greater moment than baseball? But they could and they did. And lbb, even though this wasn't held in a courtroom with a jury present, if you don't think these guys were technically on trial, I have to disagree. You can disagree if you want, but you're wrong. Technically, they were not on trial. Perhaps you meant to say something like, "on trial for all practical purposes".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:22 AM on February 14

You can disagree if you want, but you're wrong. Technically, they were not on trial. Perhaps you meant to say something like, "on trial for all practical purposes". However you want to phrase it, or would have liked me to phrase it. These individuals were questioned under penalty of law and asked to respond to evidence, in front of a national TV audience, and right or wrong, every single person who watched any part of the proceedings have come up with their own decisions of innocence or guilt for both parties involved. As for the "arms" hearing example you bring up, that's not what we're talking about. Congress continuously reminded the parties involved they would face perjury charges if they lied. Well, the stories couldn't be further apart. Someone is guilty of perjury. Drop the empty threats and make sure these charges are followed up on. As for the questioning and dramatic, theatrical presentation by members of Congress, having them, of all groups, take the hard-line stance on lying is a is the best example of the pot-calling-the-kettle-black I've seen in some time. I can only hope none of the panel members solicited any "favors" from neighboring bathroom stalls McNamee or Clemens may have been utilizing.

posted by dyams at 08:39 AM on February 14

I'm sorry but I misremembered what we were just talking about.

posted by BornIcon at 08:45 AM on February 14

Someone of you Rodger advocates where the same people bashing BARRY BONDS! Rodger CLEMENS deserves this and more! The government wants to prove that they did went after Bonds for the right reason and not because of his disenfranchisement as a black man in America. They had to go after Clemens (another cheat) to make sure this grand standing is fair.

posted by momplapa at 09:19 AM on February 14

Someone of you Rodger advocates where the same people bashing BARRY BONDS! Now I get it.

posted by dyams at 09:24 AM on February 14

Some of you Rodger advocates where the same people bashing BARRY BONDS! Rodger CLEMENS deserves this and more! The government wants to prove that they did went after Bonds for the right reason and not because of his disenfranchisement as a black man in America. They had to go after Clemens (another cheat) to make sure this grand standing is fair.

posted by momplapa at 09:26 AM on February 14

Please do not attempt to trivialize the seriousness of this congressional hearing because it not longer suits your fantasy of morality in America. Clemens deserves the same vociferous media representation advertising money can buy. There are just as many people that dislike Clemens (b/c he is a fake), as they are people who dislike Bonds (I am one of them, b/c Barry Bond is a racebaters). Ultimately, we must remember this is not about an individual it speaks to the greater ideal that is America.

posted by momplapa at 09:48 AM on February 14

What's a racebaters?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:52 AM on February 14

(Leave Barry out of this thread. We've had discussions about Bonds and Clemens before, and we will again, but this isn't one of them.) In his entire life, Roger Clemens has never met someone he couldn't back down, with his mouth or muscles or talent or his money. He accepted this hearing because he clearly figured he could do exactly the same thing here, to Congress. In argumentative terms, Rocket's bringing a baseball to a gunfight. Henry Waxman has seen way worse than Rocket. But Waxman (and Elijah Cummings, and the other non-fanboys on the panel) may be the first person Rocket's ever met who successfully stood up to him and shut him up, and I don't think it's gotten through to Rocket that he's not going to be able to bluff and bullshit his way through this. He truly doesn't believe he did anything wrong, because everything he's ever done is right, simply because Rocket is always right, and no one's ever told him otherwise. He could go up on perjury charges without understanding that out here, y'know, on Earth, lying about illegal stuff can actually get you in real trouble. If they wanted to, Waxman and the committee could have sliced Rocket up yesterday like he was the secret ingredient on Iron Chef. It may yet happen.

posted by chicobangs at 09:53 AM on February 14

Congress has no business in meddling proffessional sports. They should not have taken a tough line on Bonds nor should they be going after Clemens. If either did something illegal, it is up to the courts to decide, not some show trial led by Waxman or whoever. If baseball wants to clean up its image, it must do so on its own. If it decides not to take action, people will lose confidence in the sport, and attendance figures and jersey sales will fall. Please, Congress, focus on the important things in our country, and leave the trivial stuff to us.

posted by Chargdres at 09:55 AM on February 14

momplapa: I don't think many are "trivializing" this hearing, just the ridiculous nature of the questions and the (many) idiots asking the questions. My feeling is Clemens is complete liar and I've lost any respect I ever had for him. I don't think anyone has forgotten about Barry Bonds, but Bonds doesn't take his lies to the public degree like Clemens. In my mind they're both in much the same boat: Two of baseball's all-time greatest who can't admit the truth, whatever the setting. I wish Andy Pettitte wouldn't have used PEDs, but at least he's a big enough person to realize he needs to admit what he did and take things as they come from there.

posted by dyams at 10:00 AM on February 14

Chargdres, it may not be the economy or Iraq, but this committee exists for exactly this reason. They are doing their job. If they didn't look at the steroids scandal and Rocket's part in it, it's not like they'd be off chasing Osama bin Laden or something. They're investigating large-scale trafficking and use of illegal drugs by high-profile members of society. Nothing trivial about that, sadly. "if it bleeds and it's about sports, it's on sportsfilter." I really didn't want to think about the bleeding part of the testimony. Roger's Ass-Bloodied Pants are the Stained Blue Dress of baseball.

posted by chicobangs at 10:01 AM on February 14

Seriously. I heard more about Clemens' buttocks region than I had ever anticipated. Ever.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:03 AM on February 14

Well, I can only say that I am one person that DIDN'T bash Barry Bonds and I'm not going to bash Clemens either. Granted, Roger Clemens did not look very comfortable yesterday but then again, no one would given the circumstances. My question is, WHAT IF Clemens is telling the truth? I know that by now, that may be a stretch but it's still a valid question. Andy Pettitte is being given a free pass and is STILL PLAYING this season even though he admitted that he not only cheated the game, he also cheated the fans and the opposition the he played against while taking HGH and everyone made him out to be Mr. Honesty, what a joke!! This whole ordeal is supposed to be so that the game of baseball gets cleaned up but now I see that it's all about trying to get Roger Clemens to admit that he took steriods and for these politicians to get their names & faces out to the public for their own hidden agendas. Whether it's Clemens or Bonds, why can't we just admit that there was indeed a steriods era and the American public ate it up like it was peanuts & crackerjacks?

posted by BornIcon at 10:08 AM on February 14

Chargdres, it may not be the economy or Iraq, but this committee exists for exactly this reason. Oh really? Its the job of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to look into whether Roger Clemens used steriods? Try again. And even if they were a committee related to drug trafficking, I have to think there are much more important cases of trafficking than a single instance of a trainer injecting a baseball player with steriods. Allegedly. Oh, by the way, it is one of the mistakes of government bodies to try to validate their own reason for existence. If they have nothing important to do, they shouldn't be doing anything. Every one of those Congressmen have other committe memberships and other legislation they are dealing with. Deal with those.

posted by Chargdres at 10:10 AM on February 14

Is Pettite going to be suspended for 15-days for his admission of HGH use?

posted by bperk at 10:10 AM on February 14

bornIcon, I am sure that you would not like your son to lose on spot on the baseball team because doesn't want to take steroids or HGH. This is a public health crisis (like heroine, crack, etc...). If Iran was get anthrax from some scientist then that guy would be causing a public health crisis and we'd have a hearing for it too. The grandiose nature of this hearing is fine with me.

posted by momplapa at 10:13 AM on February 14

Is Pettite going to be suspended for 15-days for his admission of HGH use? No. MLB will wait eight years and then state we all misheard Pettite when he said he used HGH. By then, I will have misremembered this thread ever existed.

posted by danjel at 10:24 AM on February 14

Andy Pettitte is being given a free pass and is STILL PLAYING this season even though he admitted that he not only cheated the game, he also cheated the fans and the opposition the he played against while taking HGH and everyone made him out to be Mr. Honesty, what a joke!! One of the things George Mitchell said after issuing his report is he didn't want it to be a tool for baseball to use to start going after people who are named and spoke up in his investigation. He didn't think anything could be gained by focusing on and consequenting past transgressions of players like Pettitte. The only reason Clemens is getting bashed and grilled now is because he claims the report, with regards to him, is totally inaccurate. As for Pettitte and the Mr. Honesty label you place on him, don't try to make it like he's some dangerous criminal preying on you and your loved ones. He made a mistake and came clean with regards to it. It's only when he's compared to all the "perfect" people in society that he is crucified.

posted by dyams at 10:26 AM on February 14

Andy Pettitte is being given a free pass and is STILL PLAYING this season even though he admitted that he not only cheated the game, he also cheated the fans and the opposition the he played against while taking HGH and everyone made him out to be Mr. Honesty, what a joke!! I don't think he's being made as "Mr. Honesty", but his honesty of his use of HGH should be considered when making a comparison of "guilty" players. Didn't Glenallen Hill and others admit use of HGH yesterday during or following the Clemens ordeal? I heard they did. Probably to avoid their own public embarrasment that Clemens has had to deal with. Pettitte did a smart thing, but I don't think it deserves a "free pass" by any means. If Roger is lying, all yesterday did was dig that hole deeper, he should've just told the truth and maybe he could be playing golf with Pettitte. The only thing that possibly gives me a reason to believe Clemens is the fact that it has gone this far. If he is guilty, I would hope, he would realize these hearings will not benefit him (even if he is found innocent).

posted by BoKnows at 10:28 AM on February 14

Its the job of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to look into whether Roger Clemens used steriods? Try again. Is that some sort of valid argument?

posted by yerfatma at 10:39 AM on February 14

I am sure that you would not like your son to lose on spot on the baseball team because doesn't want to take steroids or HGH. This is a public health crisis (like heroine, crack, etc...). Well, considering that I don't have any kids, I can rest easy but to somehow compare steriods to heroine or crack is pretty funny to me since I don't see many crackheads with a 95 mph heater or a person that shoots up heron slamming the pill 450 feet away, but that's just me. Steriods is not an epidemic like crack or heroine is so let's not get into a frenzy just to make a point unless someone on 'roids is breaking into my home trying to jack me for my flattie, just to score their next fix. I'm just to the point that I just want to get passed this ridiculous scenerio and just watch baseball. As for Pettitte and the Mr. Honesty label you place on him, don't try to make it like he's some dangerous criminal preying on you and your loved ones. I'm not the one that placed that label on him. Basically everyone that was on Capital Hill yesterday did so by making it seem as if Pettitte was being completely honest because he's a God-fearing man and we all know that in this country, no one should look like they're anti-religion especially if you're a politician. And where exactly did you get that that I made him out to be a "dangerous criminal preying on [me] and [my] loved ones?" That's pretty far-fetched.

posted by BornIcon at 10:40 AM on February 14

If Iran was get anthrax from some scientist then that guy would be causing a public health crisis and we'd have a hearing for it too. Oh no. I just thought of something. What if Iran got a giant remote controlled meteor and landed it on the US?

posted by jerseygirl at 10:45 AM on February 14

(jerseygirl, while the Gene Hackman version of Lex Luthor would totally have done that, I don't think the Kevin Spacey one would have had it in him.) Sorry. And just to flush it all out of my system in one comment: Well, considering that I don't have any kids, I can rest easy but to somehow compare steriods to heroine or crack is pretty funny to me since I don't see many crackheads with a 95 mph heater or a person that shoots up heron slamming the pill 450 feet away, This may be true, though I suspect many crackheads think they have 95mph heaters, and I suspect there are a few heroin addicts who would travel the length of a football field to, as you put it, "slam the pill."

posted by chicobangs at 10:52 AM on February 14

One of the things George Mitchell said after issuing his report is he didn't want it to be a tool for baseball to use to start going after people who are named and spoke up in his investigation. I don't think Pettite was honest with Mitchell about his HGH use. He never mentioned using HGH in 2004. And, MLB did suspend Gibbon and Guillen for past drug use.

posted by bperk at 10:52 AM on February 14

One of the things George Mitchell said after issuing his report is he didn't want it to be a tool for baseball to use to start going after people who are named and spoke up in his investigation. Then it never should have been released publicy. He can say that, but he knows better than to believe it.

posted by BoKnows at 10:58 AM on February 14

Does all this keep Clemens out of MLB"s Hall of Fame? I think so, even if he is found innocent of all charges and McNamee is found to be the jerk-wad he appears to be. I think just the allegations will keep him out. It's too bad cause he is a master at what he does. I'm no Clemens fan, nor have I followed his career. Fact is I learned more about him yesterday than in the last 20 years. I actually feel sorry for the guy. He looked awful in front of Congress, as did Mcnamee.

posted by Folkways at 10:58 AM on February 14

Its the job of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to look into whether Roger Clemens used steriods? Try again. Is that some sort of valid argument? Ok, perhaps I should rephrase it this way. It is not the job of a committee tasked with government reform and oversight to look into steriod use in major league baseball. As if the title of the committee was not self explanatory enough, here is the description of the committee from its own website: The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications. This is listed as its jurisdiction: • Federal civil service, including intergovernmental personnel; and the status of officers and employees of the United States, including their compensation, classification, and retirement; • Municipal affairs of the District of Columbia in general (other than appropriations); • Federal paperwork reduction; • Government management and accounting measures generally; • Holidays and celebrations; • Overall economy, efficiency, and management of government operations and activities, including federal procurement; • National archives; • Population and demography generally, including the Census; • Postal service generally, including transportation of the mails; • Public information and records; • Relationship of the federal government to the states and municipalities generally; and • Reorganizations in the executive branch of the government. Can someone find steriod use in Major League Baseball for me?

posted by Chargdres at 10:59 AM on February 14

"The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications . . . The Committee serves as Congress' chief investigative and oversight committee, and is granted broad jurisdiction." It sounds like the committee is the first option for Congressional investigations. I'm guessing the multiple appearances of "generally" in your pull-quote give it wide latitude. The claim is they're concerned about "the children" and there are any number of federal programs involved with public schools and public school sports.

posted by yerfatma at 11:27 AM on February 14

Also from that wikipedia article: The Committee under Davis's chairmanship launched two notable investigations that were controversial because the issues seemed unworthy of federal intervention, and bore only the most distant connection with the Committee's core responsibility to provide oversight over the executive branch, especially in light of the other pending issues described above. The two listed were Terri Schiavo and the first round of MLB steriod testimony. If this was about "the children", this would be investigated by a committee specific to public health, and would focus on rates of steriod use in high school sports, not on trying to prove that professional atheletes are liars. The media seems to do a fine job of deciding for us whether these people have lied or not. Whatever your opinion of Clemens, the forum for his crucifixion should not be in a committee with only the slightest connection to the situation. This is actually about getting facetime for Waxman and his colleagues on TV, not about trying to solve some percieved crisis.

posted by Chargdres at 11:40 AM on February 14

Does all this keep Clemens out of MLB"s Hall of Fame? I think so, even if he is found innocent of all charges and McNamee is found to be the jerk-wad he appears to be. I think just the allegations will keep him out. It's too bad cause he is a master at what he does. No, it doesn't keep him out of the Hall of Fame. Unless someone writes a "Book of Shadows"-type article about Clemens usage, and the government wants to charge him with perjury, and the jury decides to convict him for this charge, Clemens will be getting into the HOF. Caveat: If for some godawful reason people are still holding hearings or writing articles or producing reports about PED use in baseball in 2013 (when Clemens will be up for HOF nomination), then it might hurt his chances.

posted by grum@work at 11:45 AM on February 14

Enough of this nonsense already! Does anybody care? He as well as who-knows how many other dopers are guilty. I'm tired of seeing it on SportsCenter, News, etc. Boy, I thought I never could care less if baseball season starts.

posted by aMAIZEd Mark at 11:50 AM on February 14

I don't think Pettite was honest with Mitchell about his HGH use. I don't think Pettitte even talked to Mitchell. I believe any information that Mitchell had on him came from McNamee.

posted by goddam at 12:00 PM on February 14

I especially thought it was funny during Waxman's closing statement, when Clemens got all chippy with him and Waxman banged the gavel and slapped him down: "Excuse me, sir, this is not your time to argue with me." Rocket was the very picture of a spoiled little punk who's always gotten what he wanted, and was completely unaccustomed to the idea that somebody could, in essence, tell him to STFU. Granted, I'm not a big fan of Rajah, but every time he spoke, I thought he sounded like even more of an asshole and/or a liar than I thought he was before the hearing.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:16 PM on February 14

Rocket was the very picture of a spoiled little punk who's always gotten what he wanted, and was completely unaccustomed to the idea that somebody could, in essence, tell him to STFU. Especially considering that what Waxman was saying in his closing statement about Andy Pettitte, Clemens wanted to point out that Andy "misheard" what Rocket said to him concerning HGH. Clemens was right on when he said in his opening statement that, and I'm paraphrasing, if he didn't say anything, he would look guilty and now that he's doing exactly what an innocent person usually does and that's scream to the heavens and anyone else that would listen that he never took steriods and still, he'll never be able to clear his name. We'll all take something out of what happened yesterday, good or bad but regardless of the outcome, this is a sad day for the game of baseball.

posted by BornIcon at 12:30 PM on February 14

Enough of this nonsense already! Does anybody care? I'm tired of seeing it on SportsCenter, News, etc. I'm perplexed as to why you came into this thread if you are so tired of hearing about the topic? Was it just to chide us for discussing it?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:39 PM on February 14

I almost could not talk with all of you fine people today. I "MISREMEMBERED" MY PASSWORD!!!!! It must be a Texas thing. I can so hear Georger Bush say misremembered in a speech

posted by Debo270 at 01:26 PM on February 14

In his entire life, Roger Clemens has never met someone he couldn't back down, with his mouth or muscles or talent or his money. He accepted this hearing because he clearly figured he could do exactly the same thing here, to Congress. At first I was surprised at how bad clemens looked, especially with several members kissing his ass, but I guess it was predictable. Nothing from his baseball career translates well to that type situation. His bluster and BS didn't hide the facts nor the holes in his story. His heart felt remarks at the beginning, his talk about the children, his pride in playing for the U.S., none of it hid the facts. His autograph signings all week long only worked on some members of congress. He couldn't say 'how dare you question me' and then storm off. He couldn't fake an injury tweak a hamstring and get out of the heat. It seems almost every body expert has come away praising MacNamee while killing Clemens. And MacNamee isn't use to cameras and questions as Clemens, and it was Clemens, not MacNamee that had 2 lawyers whispering to him the entire day and speaking up for him at others. Clemens also threw everyone under the bus while only admitting to being a trusting guy in almost every situation. And now it seems the nanny is coming to clemens side, and yet it carries much less weight since clemens invited her over to his house before turning over her name. And his response? "I thought I was doing you a favor". Just unbelievable. Clemens was right on when he said in his opening statement that, and I'm paraphrasing, if he didn't say anything, he would look guilty and now that he's doing exactly what an innocent person usually does and that's scream to the heavens and anyone else that would listen that he never took steriods and still, he'll never be able to clear his name. In the beginning when he first came out so strong, sure. That statement made sense. Now? It doesn't. Throw it away. There's a difference between yelling your innocence and stomping your feet, and yelling your innocence while backing it up. He doesn't look guilty because he's fighting it. He looks guilty because of the testimony against him. Clemens quote ignores that, which is what he wants, of course.

posted by justgary at 01:41 PM on February 14

Its the job of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to look into whether Roger Clemens used steriods? Try again. Does no one remember this? The freaking President made it a point of contention. Several politicians jumped on the PED bandwagon and started making veiled noise about MLB's antitrust exemption. So to quell the clamor, good ole Bud got on the horn with Mitchell. For all the righteous indignation, the pleading for the safety of the children, and the gnashing of teeth, its all PR. The members of the House get to show their constituents that they're "tough on drugs", MLB gets to act contrite for the fans, and the accused players defend themselves. All with varying degrees of success.

posted by lilnemo at 01:44 PM on February 14

Some talking head on radio or TV, I can't remember who or where, this morning actually referred to Clemens as "articulate". I'm not sure in what language he was articulate, but it didn't sound like spoken American English. On the nanny thing, Clemens and his lawyers were specifically enjoined from contacting her prior to the Committee taking her deposition. So what's up with an invitation to the house when he hadn't had contact with her since 2001? Try doing this with a witness in a civil or criminal proceeding, and you have a felony on your head.

posted by Howard_T at 02:11 PM on February 14

I'm not sure in what language he was articulate, but it didn't sound like spoken American English. I remember a Boston Globe columnist in a comparison of Pedro and Clemens list "Speaks intelligent English" as a plus under Pedro's name.

posted by yerfatma at 02:14 PM on February 14

Whatever your opinion of Clemens, the forum for his crucifixion should not be in a committee with only the slightest connection to the situation. Clemens wanted yesterday's hearing, Chargdres. As others have pointed out, Waxman said his preference was to issue a report and be done with the matter.

posted by rcade at 02:14 PM on February 14

For all those wondering about Roger wearing the other pinstripes. Dear little nontraditional God. That's...that's...words fail me. Really.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:41 PM on February 14

justgary, Thanks for the link. I think that kind of stuff is interesting. Also, i did appreciate her humility in recognizing that they cannot know "with certainty" if either of them told the truth b/c of body language. Good stuff.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:52 PM on February 14

Clemens wanted yesterday's hearing, Chargdres. As others have pointed out, Waxman said his preference was to issue a report and be done with the matter. He wanted to speak in front of the committee in order to refute MacNamee's testimony. If MacNamee hadn't been called to speak, or better yet, if that whole ridiculous proceeding were to have never taken place, I guarantee you that Clemens would not have volunteered to speak in front of Congress.

posted by Chargdres at 03:20 PM on February 14

And if my mother had wheels, there'd be one more bicycle in the world. Clemens was free to do as he wished.

posted by yerfatma at 03:55 PM on February 14

Clemens was free to speak or submit a written statement. He was not free to keep Congress from investigating him and from having MacNamee talk about his buttocks in the the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I am not saying that Clemens should not be investigated by other sources, ie, media, courts, etc. But Congress is not the body to do so. Again, my argument is that Congress was not the correct forum for this, and Clemens was not the one to choose the forum. The only choice he made was whether to respond or not.

posted by Chargdres at 04:11 PM on February 14

He was not free to keep Congress from investigating him and from having MacNamee talk about his buttocks in the the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I disagree (Though I don't disagree that Congress could be making better use of its time). If Clemens had not gotten up on his hind legs and bellowed like a mad beast to protest the HGH accusations, the committee would not be investigating him. When he fought back against the charges the way he did, he, or his attorneys, should have known that it could have led this investigation and the appearance before the committee.

posted by cjets at 05:17 PM on February 14

If I may, and forgive me if this has been mentioned before, Clemens inability to phrase sentences in proper English leads me to believe it is possible that Petite did not understand what Clemens meant. That is not to say that Petite misunderstood, but it is to say that Clemens may have misspoke.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:27 PM on February 14

If Clemens had not gotten up on his hind legs and bellowed like a mad beast to protest the HGH accusations, the committee would not be investigating him. If Clemens scurries off to some cave to hide and doesn't attempt to denounce the accusations against him, he's pretty much admitting his guilt. However, if he defends himself publicly, then he's put under even more public scrutiny and is drawn and quartered (or he simply lets the committee spit out ANOTHER report about him that he'd have to defend against...again). The only thing they didn't do was throw him in the water to see if he floats. (Side note: my opinion on this whole dog-and-pony show is not tied to my belief in which of the Clemens/McNamee sides is "less truthful".)

posted by grum@work at 08:42 PM on February 14

If Clemens scurries off to some cave to hide and doesn't attempt to denounce the accusations against him, he's pretty much admitting his guilt. Yeah. I considered that as well. But I think that there were alot of different ways he could have played it. He could have taken the Martina Hingis route and retired. He could have used the "I won't dignify that with a response" route. Or the "I used them before MLB outlawed them and it was a mistake." Or, (gasp) he could have just come clean. If he goes to the public with a heartfelt apology and dedicates himself to educating people about the evils of PEDs, I think he had an opportunity to save his reputation. And in that case, I think he does get in the HOF. Eventually. I don't think his only two choices were fighting back as hard as he can or crawling into a cave. And even if it was, crawling into a cave sounds better than what he's going through now. As my dad always said, "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open it and remove all doubt."* *Obviously I never listened to my dad.

posted by cjets at 09:12 PM on February 14

He could have taken the Martina Hingis route and retired. I'm sorry, but there isn't a person on the planet that would fall for that a 4th time. Or, (gasp) he could have just come clean. Assuming, of course, that he actually did of what he's been accused. If you go by the assumption that he's innocent any/all he's been accused, then really he's got no real option but to go public to defend himself. That's the classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario.

posted by grum@work at 09:41 PM on February 14

If you go by the assumption that he's innocent any/all he's been accused, then really he's got no real option but to go public to defend himself. And I guess that's where we'll agree to disagree. I'm assuming he's guilty. If you do assume he's guilty, I don't think he could have handled it worse. If you assume he's innocent, then yeah, I would certainly agree with you.

posted by cjets at 10:05 PM on February 14

Tommy John or Phil Necro(?sic) would have told the truth. I watched the hearing and I have made up my mind, I have spent my life, ( fifty years) watching people, providing for my family, my mind is made up. I don't need an expert to tell me who is lying. Say it ain't so Joe. don't mean sh#t. oh my, supermodel wife used but i don't know nothing insults my intelligence and it should yours too, but lets talk to the nanny before the fed do, just to make sure we both tell the profitable truth. This indian getting out of the canoe.

posted by kosmicdebris at 12:22 AM on February 15

Phil Necro(?sic) would have told the truth. Yeah, Phil Niekro's a great example of honesty; after all, he only threw a spitter for years and had a Doctorate in Baseball Alteration. I'm sure he told all the opposing team's batters before the game that he was going to throw an illegal pitch at them.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:12 AM on February 15

Yeah, Phil Niekro's a great example of honesty; after all, he only threw a spitter for years and had a Doctorate in Baseball Alteration. Remember, we've been through this before. Throwing a spitball in major league baseball, or doctoring a baseball (even though against the rules) is acceptable cheating! There were many in that argument who felt cheating like that is quaint, cute, and a part of the game. I, for one, don't buy it, and knowingly breaking written rules in any game shouldn't be accepted. Gaylord Perry won a majority of the games he pitched by cheating, and sits in the Hall of Fame because of it.

posted by dyams at 07:24 AM on February 15

What dyams said. There's a widespread tolerance of "quaint, cute and a part of the game" rules violations that makes the self-righteous bombast leveled at other rules violations all the more nauseating.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:48 AM on February 15

A quote this morning from Henry Waxman:

I’m sorry we had the hearing. I regret that we had the hearing. And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it...” “...Roger Clemens’s lawyers told us he wanted the opportunity to make his case in public,” Waxman said. “He had his opportunity.” Now, Waxman added, 90 percent of the people being asked their opinion of the hearing were stating that they did not believe Clemens.

posted by chicobangs at 09:19 AM on February 15

Chico, as long as we are posting one sided views from partisan hacks in that article you linked, here is another: Waxman’s regrets, and his assertion that Clemens’s side was responsible for the hearing taking place, was assailed last night by Clemens’s lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, who said Waxman’s statements were “unbelievable, disingenuous and outrageous.” “He is the one who created this circus in the first place,” Hardin said of Waxman, contending that Clemens and his lawyers had asked several weeks ago for the hearing to be called off, only to be rebuffed by Waxman’s staff.

posted by Chargdres at 09:34 AM on February 15

Chargdres, it's the NY Times that story was in, not the Washington Times, and that "one-sided ... partisan hack" Henry Waxman is a Republican himself, who's been in that position for a long time now, and he's engendered way more respect as the Chair of the committee than anyone else in that room had, on either side of the gavel. I linked to the whole article, not just the one quote I found revealing. We get it. You're angry. Tone the rhetoric down, okay? Bullying people didn't work during the hearing, and it won't work in this thread.

posted by chicobangs at 09:41 AM on February 15

Chico, since when is Waxman a Republican?

posted by Chargdres at 10:31 AM on February 15

According to his wikipedia article he is one of the most influential liberal members of Congress.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:45 AM on February 15

Okay, I misread the article. I take that back. Whatever. My point remains: his credibility, more than that of anyone else who was in that room, holds actual weight in this discussion.

posted by chicobangs at 11:01 AM on February 15

My point remains: his credibility, more than that of anyone else who was in that room, holds actual weight in this discussion. I dispute that point. Honestly, I don't know whose voice holds the most credibility in that room, to me, every single one of them came off terribly. Waxman has been known for a quite a while as being an overzealous prosecutorial-style Chairman. Here is an example. This is not to say that the Republicans who assail Waxman in this article are any better. Davis, the Committee's Ranking Member, when he was Chairman, began these MLB investigations. The point I am trying to make is that I believe it to be foolish to believe that Waxman, or any other politician for that matter, is somehow above partisanship and stretching the truth to make a point. Not that a lawyer is either. I appologize if I have come across as bullying to you, Chico. However, if you look back at the comments that I have made on this thread, I have consistently backed up my statements with facts and reasoned arguments. Some others on this thread, including yourself, have made statements that are incorrect, and I have challenged those points; not just about Waxman's politics, but you also contended incorrectly that Waxman's committee existed in order to deal with drug trafficking. You, and every other poster can reasonably disagree with my views, and I have no problem with that. I will however express my views and challenge inaccurate statements and faulty reasoning. That is not bullying.

posted by Chargdres at 11:39 AM on February 15

Okay, I misread the article. Surely, dear Chico, you mean you misremembered the article.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:45 PM on February 15

somehow above partisanship and stretching the truth to make a point What's the partisan side to this? Is one side pro-drugs for kids? If so, they've got my vote, so please let me know. The problem with your argument, as far as I see it, is there's no there there. What would you prefer, that Clemens be allowed to ride into the sunset regardless of his possible drug use? If so, he had that chance and he blew it. About 4 times.

posted by yerfatma at 01:10 PM on February 15

Unfortunately, it did become quite partisan. Clemens, like President Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush, lives in Texas. In his testimony Wednesday, Clemens told the committee that the former president Bush had reached out to him after the Mitchell report was released and told him “to stay strong and hold your head up high.”

posted by bperk at 01:32 PM on February 15

What's the partisan side to this? Is one side pro-drugs for kids? If so, they've got my vote, so please let me know. The problem with your argument, as far as I see it, is there's no there there. What would you prefer, that Clemens be allowed to ride into the sunset regardless of his possible drug use? If so, he had that chance and he blew it. About 4 times. You have taken my argument out of context and contstructed a straw man in order to misrepresent (or misremember?) the point I was making. No one in this case is pro-drugs for kids, obviously that is silly. There was, however, quite a bit of partisanship in the committee, with Dems lining up to slam Clemens, and Repubs generally lining up to defend him/urge a more cautious approach. Not sure why that was exactly, but I have heard a possible explanation that the Republicans dislike Waxman so much that they reflexively decided to oppose him because he was so agressive with Clemens.. Anyways, the point I was making was not that this issue was or should be particularly partisan, but rather I was responding to Chico by pointing out that Waxman himself is not above presenting a one sided interpretation of events and evidence, as the article I linked noted, and that therefore his credibility should not go unquestioned.

posted by Chargdres at 01:41 PM on February 15

quite a bit of partisanship in the committee, with Dems lining up to slam Clemens, and Repubs generally lining up to defend him/urge a more cautious approach Fair enough. I gave up after about 5 minutes and shut them off. It seems like a funny place to make a partisan stand to me as I can't imagine basing my vote one way or the other on how someone interviewed a baseball player.

posted by yerfatma at 02:38 PM on February 15

Alright. It's one thing to "[point] out that Waxman himself is not above presenting a one sided interpretation of events and evidence." It's quite another to call someone a "partisan hack" when they were giving their personal opinion, outside of the hearing, about other people giving their opinions, on both sides of the discussion, while still under gavel. Which he thought was inappropriate and self-defeating. For both sides of the discussion. If that's "partisan hackery," then what would you call your reductio ad absurdum argument? And jerseygirl, don't call me Surely.

posted by chicobangs at 03:25 PM on February 15

If that's "partisan hackery," then what would you call your reductio ad absurdum argument? I really don't know where I made a reductio ad absurdum argument in this thread, would you mind pointing it out to me? I called Waxman a partisan hack not because of that particular statement, but because of his body of work which has been quite divisive politically and often (IMO) unneccesarily inflammatory. I gave an example of what I meant in the the link from before. Perhaps it was inappropriate for me to use that term in my argument, but I stick by my assertion that his credibility is no greater than that of Clemens' attorney, and that therefore his statements should not be taken at face value.

posted by Chargdres at 04:04 PM on February 15

He's the Chair. He may not be universally loved, but he's done this before, many, many times, over issues of far greater import than this one. Calling him a liberal or a partisan hack doesn't change that. Clemens' attorney is being paid to argue his client's side as loud and hard as he can. He's supposed to be a partisan if anyone is. And poor Rusty is doing the best he can, given that his client isn't doing him any favors. But if you're buying the line of the guy at the furthest end of his side of the seesaw over that of the presiding Chair of the hearing, then your calls of bias kind of ring hollow.

posted by chicobangs at 04:20 PM on February 15

A cartoon on the editorial page of my local newspaper showed a Congressman running down the road chasing a baseball player, yelling "You there! With the steroids," while he's running past a strung-out woman sitting against a wall holding a sign that reads "Will Work for Meth or crack or heroin." That sums up perfectly how I feel about this ridiculous charade. Congress attempts to make some big morality play saying they're only concerned with kids who may turn to steroids, when in the meantime there are millions of kids and adults dying from other substances. I somehow can't imagine, though, these publicity-hungry politicians wanting to bring in meth addicts for hearings, giving them tours, posing for pictures with them, etc. but in reality this is way, WAY more dangersous and prevalent among young people.

posted by dyams at 09:21 AM on February 17

That's the classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. Clemens' has used this line for a while. When the mitchell report first came out it has some validity. Some thought clemens showed guilt by not coming out strong in his denials from the start (my thoughts). And then some criticized him when he finally came out strong that he came off too strong. Now I think part of his problem is he waited too long before finally coming out with forceful denials. He didn't pick one or the other, he did both, just at different times. Either he needed time to decide to fight it, get his story straight, or he felt the criticism for not coming out strong and changed tactics. So this isn't a clear example of that statement. Still, it has some merit. But now it's being used for smoke and mirrors. Clemens even used it in his opening statement. But that time has passed. I've read a ton of opinions on the hearing, and not a single opinion was formed from how hard he attacked the claims. There's too many inconsistencies, too much there now to simply play the victim, which is what that statement is doing at this juncture, and something clemens does very well. Does all this keep Clemens out of MLB"s Hall of Fame? Even though I think clemens should be in the hall, I don't share grums opinion that it will happen. In fact, if the vote was tomorrow I don't see him even being close. But it's too early. Who knows what else will come out, or how opinions on this era will change.

posted by justgary at 07:17 PM on February 17

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