Cle­mens is the only one do­ing mis­re­mem­ber­ing on Capi­tol Hill

The Covington News - - Sports -

Roger Cle­mens got at least one thing right on which there will be no mis­re­mem­ber­ing: He is a trust­ing man.

Trust­ing enough to al­low any­one with a nee­dle and a good story to jab him wher­ever they want. Trust­ing enough to al­low his wife to use hu­man growth hor­mone even though he never touched the stuff. So trust­ing in his abil­i­ties as a con man that he thought he could get away with his lit­tle scam be­fore some politi­cians who know a thing or two about scams them­selves.

“If I am guilty of any­thing it is of be­ing too trust­ing of ev­ery­one, want­ing to see the best in ev­ery­one, be­ing too nice to ev­ery­one,” Cle­mens said

Yes, he’s guilty. Guilty of be­ing a saint.

He told us so over and over again Wed­nes­day on Capi­tol Hill, not that some of the politi­cians lis­ten­ing to his tale of good deeds needed that much con­vinc­ing. One wanted to know what uni­form he was go­ing to wear to the Hall of Fame, while an­other won­dered why a scum­bag like Brian McNamee even de­served to be in the same room as him.

You half ex­pected his syco­phants to stand up and start salut­ing when Cle­mens got go­ing on an­other one of his great con­tri­bu­tions to mankind, which was com­ing out of re­tire­ment to put the USA uni­form on to play for his coun­try in the World Base­ball Clas­sic.

One con­gress­woman went so far to sug­gest, though pos­si­bly with some sar­casm, that Cle­mens was sure to go to heaven for his good deeds.

That had to give Cle­mens some com­fort, though this was a day when he should have been more con­cerned with where he’s go­ing in the earthly world. And that could be a fed­eral prison if the FBI and IRS agents sit­ting be­hind McNamee weren’t just there to en­joy a lit­tle en­ter­tain­ment on their lunch hour.

Cle­mens rolled the dice, fig­ur­ing the force of his per­son­al­ity and his seven Cy Youngs would over­come any ev­i­dence that might be raised against him. You can hardly blame him be­cause he’s spent the last 25 years be­ing

sur­rounded by peo­ple who do his bid­ding, and he’s come to ex­pect that when he says some­thing it must be the truth.

Un­for­tu­nately, in­ves­ti­ga­tors for the com­mit­tee had been do­ing some dig­ging in re­cent days and come up with some new ev­i­dence that turned this into some­thing far more than just a he said/she said con­test. Per­haps more un­for­tu­nately, the real Roger Cle­mens showed up, and even his at­tor­ney jump­ing up and down and des­per­ately whis­per­ing into his ear couldn’t save him from self de­struc­t­ing.

He drug his wife into it, then tried to make it seem like it was some­one else’s fault. He drug his mother into it not just be­cause she worked three jobs sup­port­ing the fam­ily but be­cause she liked vi­ta­min B-12.

He threw his agent un­der the bus, then tossed his union in for good mea­sure. As for his for­mer nanny who placed him at Jose Canseco’s house, well, she’s a sweet per­son but she re­ally doesn’t un­der­stand much about any­thing.

Last time I checked, guys don’t go to heaven for things like that.

Worst of all, Cle­mens just flat out lied. There’s no way of es­cap­ing that con­clu­sion be­cause there’s no way Andy Pet­titte and his wife were ly­ing in their in­ter­views, and no way Chuck Knoblauch was ly­ing when he said that McNamee’s es­ti­mates of shoot­ing him up 7-9 times with HGH sounded about right.

Both the Pet­tittes and Knoblauch were tor­tured about their tes­ti­mony and what it might do to Cle­mens. None of them wanted to hurt the Rocket, but in the end they felt com­pelled to tell the truth, and the truth turned out to be sus­pi­ciously like McNamee laid it out to be.

“It’s hard to be­lieve you, sir,” Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, D-Md., told Cle­mens near the end of the hear­ing. “I hate to say that. You’re one of my he­roes. But it’s hard to be­lieve.”

Hard to swal­low, too, and not just be­cause the truth seems to mys­tify Cle­mens so much. It was the sheer ar­ro­gance on dis­play that was so galling to all but the most wor­ship­ful mem­bers of Congress, and which fi­nally re­sulted in com­mit­tee chair­man Henry Wax­man of Cal­i­for­nia ba­si­cally telling him to shut up.

Cle­mens was telling the truth about at least one thing. There was a whole lot of mis­re­mem­ber­ing go­ing on.

But he was the one do­ing most of it.

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