Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rocket, roids and reality

Hey folks:
Let me start off by saying I believe Roger Clemens did steroids. I have no proof of this and plenty of doubt, but in the end, I believe he is guilty.
That said, I found the past couple of days -- actually the past month or so since the Mitchell Report came out -- very interesting in terms of the public perception of Roger Clemens. The overwhelming majority of the media reports and subsequent reader feedback suggest we at large are not willing to believe the Rocket.
Obviously, this is not a court of law we're dealing with here, but a court of public of public opinion, so we can all make our own assumptions. But here's what gets me.
When the Mitchell Report first came out, Clemens' attorney issued a denial and we said we needed one from Clemens. I'm not exactly sure of the time frame here, but I believe it was a few days or so later Clemens issued his own statement of denial.
Not good enough, we said. We don't want him to hide behind written statements, we want to see the Rocket. A few days later, he issues a video on his website. Once again, not good enough. We want him to have to answer questions.
A couple of weeks later he speaks to Mike Wallace on '60 Minutes.' I know it was a controlled interview in the Rocket's house, but all things considered there weren't too many things I would have thought to ask Clemens that Wallace didn't.
Once again, not good enough for us. All along, the prevailing sentiment among the public at large has been: "If it were me I would have sued the guy."
Well, the Rocket sued the guy.
Now -- WAIT FOR IT -- once again, not good enough for us because 1) he waited several weeks to file and 2) his only reason for filing was to avoid having to testify before Congress next week because he can say he has a pending legal action.
Clemens holds a press conference and says he's going to Congress and will answer all questions.
From most of what I've read to this point, once again not enough.
We point to the recorded phone conversation as proof the Rocket had to be doing it because his former trainer never recanted what he told the Mitchell investigators. I believe both guys were recording the call hoping to trap the other into saying something incriminating.
That said, if Brian McNamaee did not know he was being recorded, or wasn't recording the phone conversation himself, my question is what was the bigger thing to come out of it:
1) The nearly two dozen times that McNamee asked Clemens what he wanted him to do and Clemens never directly answered with "Stop lying" or something to that effect.
2) The few times when Clemens responded by saying "I just want somebody to tell the truth" or when he said words to the effect of "I know I didn't do steroids" that McNamee never said something like "I am telling the truth" or "Roger, you know you did steroids."
Listen, I still don't know what to believe here, but what fascinates me is we (the media and public) have shown little room to give Clemens the benefit of the doubt even though he has in essence done everything we have asked to fight the allegations of one man.
Just my thought. What do you think?
Until next time, take care and God bless.


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