It is what it is
From biased Republicans to "misremembered" comments, Wednesday's Congressional Hearing on Steroids in Major League Baseball proved that Brian McNamee is telling the truth
Roger Clemens was reminded several times on Wednesday that he was under oath when telling Congress that he never used steroids or HGH. He was also reminded of how great a baseball legend he is, courtesy of Indiana Representative Dan Burton, who referred to Clemens as a "titan."
Obviously, Burton forgot to be reminded that this hearing was about finding the truth as to whether this "titan" was injected with perfromance-enhancing drugs by his former trainer Brian McNamee. Instead, Burton fired a verbal assault on McNamee by repeatedly calling him a liar.
Burton wasn't paying attention because if he had, he would realize that his job was to find the truth in the Mitchell Report, not to take a side based on irrelevant situations. And to do that, all he had to do was his homework.
The homework assignment? Oh, I don't know, maybe read Andy Pettitte's sworn deposition and affidavit. That would be a good start.
"This is really disgusting," Burton ranted to McNamee. "You're here as a sworn witness. you're here to tell the truth. You're here under oath. And yet we have lie, after lie, after lie, after lie. I don't know what to believe. I know one thing I don't believe, and that's you.
"If [Clemens] has done something wrong, he ought to be indicted, he ought to be prosecuted, and he ought to be punished for it. But I don't see any evidence of that so far."
Again, he wasn't paying attention because several pieces of evidence Wednesday severely damaged Clemens' side of the story.
The sworn depositions of Chuck Knoblauch and Pettitte prove that McNamee told George Mitchell the truth about them. Those "lies" that Burton referred to were read from a story in the New York Daily News in 2006, which McNamee denied giving Clemens performance-enhancing drugs. Those were lies to reporters, not under oath. However, Burton was hung up on the fact that McNamee lied to the media in an attempt to protect the men he worked for and admired.
Under oath, McNamee told the truth. He admitted to those past lies on Wednesday. He admitted that he didn't want to give his guys up, especially to a reporter. All of that is understandable, yet, Burton couldn't see past the "titan" sitting in front of him.
McNamee even told Congress why he kept the needles and gauze pads from investigators for so long.
"While I liked and admired Roger Clemens, I don’t think that I ever really trusted him," McNamee said in his opening statement. "Maybe my years as a New York City police officer had made me wary, but I just had that sense that if this ever blew up and things got messy, Roger would be looking out for number one. I viewed the syringes as evidence that would prevent me from being the only fall guy.
"Despite my misgivings about Roger, I have always been loyal to a fault, a trait that has gotten me into trouble in the past. Even though I saved the material, I never considered using it. When I met with federal investigators, I still did not want to destroy Roger Clemens. I was hoping this issue would just fade away. It has not faded way, and everything changed for me on Jan. 7, when Roger Clemens' lawyer played a secretly tape-recorded conversation between me and Roger in which my son's medical condition was discussed on national television. It was despicable. The next day, I retrieved the evidence and contacted my lawyers and the federal investigators."
Why McNamee would save a needle for several years has been one of the shadier aspects in this search for the truth. But McNamee's opening statement should convince people that if he wanted to get back at Clemens and use these needles as a way of blackmail, then he wouldn't have waited this long.
Hence, McNamee's story is believable. Clemens' story is not. The Rocket stuck to that story, however, and as information from Pettitte's deposition came out, it made McNamee look more and more truthful.
Pettitte and his wife each gave Congress an affidavit to back up Pettitte's deposition.
I, ANDY PETTITTE, do depose and state:We also found out in Pettitte's sworn deposition that the agent he shares with Clemens, Randy Hendricks, did in fact contact Pettitte about the Mitchell Report:
In 1999 or 2000, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in which Roger told me that he had taken human growth hormone ("HGH"). This conversation occurred at his gym in Memorial, Texas. He did not tell me where he got the HGH or from whom, but he did tell me that it helped the body recover.
I told my wife, Laura, about the conversation with Roger soon after it happened.
Shortly after my conversation with Roger, I spoke with Brian McNamee. Only he and I were parties to the conversation. I asked Brian about HGH and told him that Roger said he had used it. Brian McNamee became angry. He told me that Roger should not have told me about his HGH use because it was supposed to be confidential. While I don't remember if Brian told me that he supplied Roger with HGH, it certainly was my impression from the conversation that he did.
In 2005, around the time of the Congressional hearings into the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in Kissimmee, Florida. I asked him what he would say if asked by reporters if he ever used performance enhancing drugs. When he asked me what I meant, I reminded him that he had told me that he used HGH.
Roger responded by telling me that I must have misunderstood him; he claimed that he told me that it was his wife, Debbie, who used HGH.
I said, "Oh, okay," or words to that effect, not because I agreed, but because I wasn't going to argue with him.
Shortly after, I told my wife, Laura, about this second conversation with Roger about HGH and his comment about his wife.
Regarding my own use of HGH, as I have admitted publicly, I used it for two days in 2002 to attempt to recover from an elbow injury. I also have told the committee's attorneys, and I restate it here, that in 2004, when I tore the flexor tendon in my pitching arm, I again used HGH two times in one day out of frustration and in a futile attempt to recover. Unfortunately, I needed surgery on the arm later in the year. I regret these lapses in judgment.
I declare under the penalty of perjury that the forgoing is true and correct. Executed on February 8, 2008.
"I think Randy called me about August, maybe, and told me that they were wanting to speak with me . . . I think we, you know, for a second talked about it, and I asked him a question, and I just said, I remember him saying that, you know, there's no active players that are talking. So I mean, to me, you know, that was kind of the end of it, and then I wasn't going to talk either."
So let me get this straight. Hendricks contacted Pettitte, but not his biggest client, Clemens?
That should be all you need to see. But wait, there's more. Not only did Pettitte's testimony strike a blow to Clemens' story, the Rocket's former nanny unintentionally threw Clemens under the bus in her Congresional interview.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wanted to speak with her to get more information about whether or not Clemens was present at a Jose Canseco house party in 1998. The Clemens section of the Mitchell Report began with Clemens first talking about steroids with Canseco at that party. Clemens testified that he wasn't there, and presented a foolish golf receipt, and an affidavit from Jose Canseco, backing up Clemens' claim that he was not present.
It was Team Clemens' way of trying to damage McNamee's credibility. It almost worked, until a former nanny made the mistake of telling Congress that Clemens contacted her and invited her to his home to talk about the party before Congress was able to access her contact information in order to clarify the party with her.
He asked me, he said, do you remember that trip that we went to Cheeca Lodge? And I said, yes. And he said, they saying about this party going on at the lodge. And I said, while I was there with the little ones, I said, I don't remember a party, which I don't . . . He says, you know, the reason that you don't remember that party is because I wasn't there, he said, because I know that he was playing with Jose.
Can someone say, tampering with a witness? The fact that he had to even contact her in the first place, having not seen her since 2001, is shady in itself. And then inviting her to his home, and "reminding" her what happened?
Representative Burton did read this interview, no? In fact, if I gave you every quote that goes against Clemens, we'd be here all day. Everything is available to the public. Just go to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee website.
But to finish my proof that Burton and others did not do their homework, all they had to do was listen to McNamee's opening statement:
"Make no mistake, when I told Senator Mitchell that I injected Andy Pettitte with performance-enhancing drugs, I told the truth. Andy Pettitte, who I know to be honest and decent, has since confirmed this.
Make no mistake, when I told Senator Mitchell that I injected Chuck Knoblauch with performance-enhancing drugs, I told the truth. Chuck Knoblauch, I believe, will confirm this as well.
And make no mistake: When I told Senator Mitchell that I injected Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs, I told the truth. I told the truth about steroids and human growth hormone. I injected those drugs into the body of Roger Clemens at his direction."
Make no mistake, all of that is true. McNamee's portrayal of the man he once adored was accurate, because this thing has in fact gotten messy.
And Roger's looking out for number one.