February 10, 2008
Et tu, Debbie?

This was weird. This is truly bizarre.

Brian McNamee took aim at another member of Roger Clemens' family Friday, reportedly telling congressional investigators he injected the pitcher's wife with human growth hormone for a photo session five years ago.

The New York Daily News, quoting an anonymous Washington source, reported that Clemens' former trainer testified Thursday on Capitol Hill that he injected Debbie Clemens at her husband's direction for a 2003 Sports Illustrated photo shoot.

You can see that picture here. And you're welcome.

McNamee, the former New York Yankees trainer who claims in the Mitchell Report that he injected Roger Clemens with steroids and the growth hormone, called HGH, gave a seven-hour deposition Thursday with lawyers from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

McNamee's lawyers presented two color photos of needles, vials of testosterone, gauze and other evidence they claim links Clemens to steroids shortly after the trainer's testimony.

Pictures of the alleged evidence? We all understand that would never make it into a courtroom, right? And again, since Clemens says he was injected by McNamee, it's not clear to me what the actual needles would prove. I guess maybe if all a needle had were traces of Clemens' DNA and a steroid, without any trace of vitamin B12, that might be something. Maybe. But it's still far from convincing, given everything else I've seen. And really, was it necessary to drag Debbie Clemens into this? Unless there's a crime being alleged here, to which McNamee would then be an accessory, last I checked she was not subject to MLB rules about HGH. What will McNamee say next?

Meanwhile, Clemens is counterattacking.

A lawyer for Roger Clemens said Saturday the pitcher can prove he didn't attend a June 1998 party at Jose Canseco's home described by Brian McNamee in the Mitchell Report.

According to McNamee, Clemens first raised the subject of steroids not long after McNamee saw Canseco and Clemens meeting during the party.

Clemens' side has turned over evidence to congressional investigators, including an affidavit from Canseco, to support that the pitcher wasn't present at Canseco's home that day, the attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

Hardin said video footage from telecasts of baseball games around the time of the party also were given to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In the telecasts, Hardin said, TV announcers can be heard discussing Canseco's party and noting that Clemens wasn't there.

Looks to me like Team Clemens is ahead on points here. Now of course there will be more revelations and accusations and so on, and who knows how this will turn out. But I wonder at what point the "An Accusation Is Good Enough To Prove Guilt To Me!" crowd, like Bob Feller and Hal Bodley will think that maybe they were a bit hasty to judge. Assuming they're capable of such reflection, of course.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 10, 2008 to Baseball

I fail to see why Congress is even involved in this mess. And what does any of it have to do with Federal statutes?

Baseball clearly has some housecleaning to do. But unless Congress is contemplating stripping Baseball of its anti-trust exemption, I don't see what the Congressional role is...except perhaps to allow politicians to grandstand.

If performance enhancing drugs are indeed the issue then why mess with baseball. Why not haul professional wrestlers into Congress? For that matter, why not send their investigators out to any local Gold's Gym.

I understand that Bonds got himself crosswise for lying to Federal investigators. But what was the underlying crime?

I'm not trying to defend Clemens. Far from it. But I am curious where exactly the line is between baseball and sporting "rules" and actual Federal statutes when it comes to performance enhancing drugs.

Posted by: Kent from Waco on February 10, 2008 9:07 AM