Clemens Asked To Testify

Friday, January 4, 2008

On December 13th, Roger Clemens was listed in the Mitchell Report, accusing him of using steroids between 1998-2001. According to his personal trainer Brian McNamee, who was hired by Clemens in 1997, the year he went 21-7 with a 2.05 ERA with 292 strikeouts, said he injected him with Winstrol. Clemens' attorney noted that Clemens has never tested positive for a drug test, but testing didn't start till the 2005 season, four years after Clemens reportedly stopped using steroids. Could his attorney be twisting around facts, or is McNamee a "a troubled and unreliable witness," like his attorney put it.

It is hard not to avoid a spike in his stats. In 1996, Clemens was 10-13 with a 3.63 ERA. The year before, in just 23 starts, he was 10-5 with a 4.18 ERA. In the years after he hired Brian McNamee (1998-2001), Clemens put up record highs, and enjoyed arguably the best success in his career. Now, nearly ten years later, they are in a battle of he-said he-said.

Yesterday, Clemens, among others, was asked to testify before a congressional committee on January 16th. Now he, and former trainer Brian McNamee will get to tell their side of the story under oath. Personally, I think they will get no where from the hearings because their attorney's will strategically prepare every answer so they do not hurt themselves legally. One approach is the Mark McGuire approach. Go to the hearings to only talk about improving the future, and mention nothing about the past, or your personal past. Another approach is saying 'I didn't knowingly take anything,' or, 'Everything I took was prescribed by a doctor.'

The Hall of Fame results will be announced Tuesday and if Mark McGuire is passed up on again, it will send a clear message that steroid users should not be in the Hall. Hopefully, we see some of the players who have been waiting too long get in. Players like Andre Dawson, Bert Blylevlen, and Goose Gossage might finally get the recognition they deserve. If nothing gets resolved on January 16th, will Roger Clemens get passed on for other players in his class?

Personally, I think if Clemens was clean, he would have been the first person to come out and say 'I did not do it, that is final.' Instead, he has sent out one attorney after the other to say he has not done it. Then he final comes out and says he didn't, and now he is going on 60 Minutes to further deny steroid use. How many times does he need to deny it? Now these players asked to testify do not need to show up, and it is very possible that they will not show up. I doubt that will happen, and I doubt anything will happen from the hearings on the 16th. But we will see.