Clemens: Case far from settled
there’s a video on YouTube showing McNamee injecting him with human growth hormone.
Kind of hard to ask tough questions if you’re asking for autographs first.
Committee members likely breathed easier when the witness list was pared Monday night and Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and steroids dealer Kirk Radomski were spared from giving public testimony. In Pettitte’s case it was reportedly because he didn’t want to say bad things about his good friend in the glare of the television lights, and who can blame him.
If true, that’s bad news for Clemens, because Pettitte has already answered questions — lots of them — under oath to congressional investigators and those answers could be read aloud at the hearing. If Pettitte confirms he had conversations with Clemens about HGH and gives some of the details of those conversations, it could be a long day for the soon-to-beretired pitcher, even with starstruck congressmen asking the questions.
Don’t be surprised if McNamee’s character becomes the central issue instead of Clemens’ alleged steroid use. No one likes a drug pusher, even if the only drugs McNamee was pushing were to help his clients gain a few extra miles on their fastball or find the gap more often with their line drives.
It’s not only easy but politically correct to go after McNamee, despite various online surveys that show the public by a 2-1 margin believes Clemens is the one doing the lying. No one is going to lose votes grilling the personal trainer on why he gave players illegal steroids, or why he has gotten immunity from prosecution for telling his story.
Assuming that both McNamee and Clemens stick to their scripts, it then becomes a ques- tion of how hard the politicians want to push and for how long. Are they really interested in finding out the truth, or is this just a good excuse to get on television and do some pontificating and preaching for the folks back home?
Will they ask enough tough questions so that Clemens and McNamee are forced squarely on the record, knowing that they can be prosecuted for perjury if enough other evidence exists to show they are lying? Again, my guess is no. Expect some drama when Clemens and his accuser are in the same room together. Expect emotions to run high and some raw feelings on both sides.
But don’t expect this to settle anything. It’s not a court of law, not even a court of public opinion.
Those who believe Clemens will come away still believing him. Those who believe McNamee will do the same.
One hearing isn’t likely to change that.