Wednesday, February 13, 2008
the clemens saga
So here we are, on the day before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, and Roger Clemens is testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which ESPN is carrying live. The spectacle is at once sad and unbelievable, just as Wallace Matthews said it would be in yesterday's Newsday. Clemens seems almost Clintonian in his denials, as though he actually believes his own lies. I can't help but be reminded of Mike Sielski's Jan. 15 column in the Bucks County Courier Times, which hilariously compares Clemens' pending testimony to Col. Nathan Jessep's in the film A Few Good Men. The great irony here, as a lawyer friend of mine just pointed out, is that absent a criminal conviction, there will always be some doubt (at least according to the reasonable standards of a court of law) about which side is really telling the truth. Astoundingly, McNamee appeared to be truthful with what he said about Clemens, given that his testimony was corraborated by Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, and, apparently, Clemens' own wife. But somehow McNamee also seemed to be lying about himself. Very strange. Whether it's enough for the Department of Justice to seek a perjury conviction is now the open question, but without any hard evidence, it's tough to tell. In the meantime, Clemens seems likely to end up like Mark McGwire, whose evasions before Congress two years ago forever tainted his legacy despite no hard evidence to actually prove he was on the juice. Bud Selig must be proud.