Say It Ain’t So, Roger


“Someone isn’t telling the truth,”  Representative Henry Waxman (D-California) said of the conflicting testimony from Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens.  McNamee and Clemens appeared today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  In the Mitchell Report on the use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball, McNamee claims to have given Clemens injections of steroids and human growth hormone on numerous occasions over several years, including times when (according to McNamee) Clemens provided them.  Roger Clemens has consistently and vehemently denied using performance enhancing substances.

Who to believe?

I remember watching Clemens during his time with the Boston Red Sox and, though I’m not the primary sports (or Red Sox) fan in our household, it was something to see.  I would really like to believe the Rocket Man, as Clemens came to be known, but McNamee’s statements in the Mitchell Report and the circumstances under which they were made make it very difficult.  I’ve been skeptical of McNamee’s claims from the start, and even more so after Mike Wallace’s interview with Clemens on CBS’s 60 Minutes.  The two versions of what took place, McNamee’s and Clemens’, could hardly be more at odds.  McNamee’s credibility is suspect, but Clemens has the most to lose.

Unless and until more credible evidence to the contrary surfaces, I’ll choose to believe Clemens.  Let’s hope I’m right.

3 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So, Roger

  1. I was surprised and then a bit dismayed to hear that the hearings today took on a partisan tone — Democrats supporting McNamee, Republicans supporting Clemens. I don’t get that, but obviously there’s nothing that can’t be polarized these days.

    The use of steroids is so commonplace in professional sports, that it’s rather difficult to believe anyone’s protestation that they did not use them.

    In the larger scheme of things, my feeling is that they should drop the pretense of making performance-enhancing drugs illegal, acknowledge and monitor their usage, and distinguish between records and accomplishments set with and without using steroids, etc.

  2. I only saw NBC’s Evening News story about the hearings. At least as they portrayed it, there seemed to be a partisan tone – committee chairman and Democrat Henry Waxman scolding Clemens, Dan Burton (R-IN) calling McNamee a liar. Beyond that, I heard at least a couple of remarks through the evening along the lines of “well, I’m glad Congress has solved all of our other problems so they can spend time fixing what’s wrong with baseball.”

    Banning performance-enhancing drugs hasn’t worked, but I would favor a more rigorous program of monitoring and the imposition of severe penalties. A significant part of the problem seems to be that baseball (and other sports) haven’t treated the issue seriously enough. To me, trying to regulate and monitor usage is an even more slippery slope.

  3. Yeah, even if it somehow falls technically within Congress’ purview, I really cannot fathom why our federal legislators are wasting their time on it when there really are, ohidon’tknow, maybe a frazillion (new word, enjoy) other things their constituents care about, a handful of which actually matter.

    Anyway, shouldn’t the league set rules and make sure they are followed? I agree with Tony that monitoring legal usage of PEDs is an even slipperier slope than trying to keep up with an ever changing pharmacopia of drugs and how to detect them. That said, I think it’s up to the league to decide, not Congress or any other part of the U.S. government.

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