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Congressman Elijah Cummings Crushed Roger Clemens, Made Sense

Out of the four hours and around forty minutes of testimony heard Wednesday morning in Congress by Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, all but one minute is superfluous. The exchange between Congressman Elijah Cummings and Roger Clemens was the paramount moment of the hearing and the apotheosis of cutting out b.s. and getting to the bottom line. The comments were noted by Jayson Stark in his blog:

“If I walked in here,” Cummings told Clemens, “and it was even Steven, you and Mr. McNamee, I must admit that the person I believe most & is Mr. Pettitte. When Mr. McNamee gave histestimony about Knoblauch and Pettitte, those allegations turned out to be true,” Cummings went on. “But for some reason, … when it comes to you, it’s a whole ‘nother thing. … How do you explain this?”

Clemens then insisted one more time that Pettitte had “misheard” him. Cummings wasn’t buying it.

“I’ve listened to you very carefully,” Cummings said. “And I take you at your word. And you’re telling me that Andy Pettitte is an honest man, and his credibility is pretty much impeccable. … You said you were misunderstood. But all I’m saying is, it’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe your story.

“I hate to say that. You’re one of my heroes. But it’s hard to believe you.”

EXACTLY. How is it possible that McNamee was right about Knoblauch’s, Pettitte’s, and even Debbie’s HGH use, but not Roger’s? And if Pettitte’s word is the one to believe, then doesn’t that implicate Roger? Sure as heck does in my opinion. As forceful as Clemens is, and as persuasive as he legal team is, I still can’t get around that McNamee was right about everyone else (for as many inconsistencies as he’s had). While McNamee’s words aren’t 100% accurate, I think he’s telling the truth about the most important item — that Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs. Bottom line. And why were four hours of bullcrap needed when it took Cummings only one minute to lay out what really mattered?

By the way, I have another really trippy Roger Clemens story that places this whole ordeal in good context if you continue reading.

I was watching the movie Little Big League last night since it was on TV. In the movie, the grandfather asks the protagonist’s mother if he can take his grandson to a ballgame on a school night. Here’s how the grandfather pleaded his case to the mother:

I wanted to ask you if it was OK for Billy to go to the game on Tuesday. It’s Boston, Roger Clemens is pitching — the greatest strikeout pitcher in the game today and Billy’s never seen him live.

Wow. Just compare that line from a movie made in 1994 to what we’re dealing with now. 14 years ago, Roger Clemens was the guy you wanted to take your grandson to watch in-person since he was one of the all-time greats. Now, he looks like nothing but a lying steroid cheat. Sad, sad story.



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  • Ace

    First, let me say that i think Clemens use HGH and steroids.

    Here’s my problem with Clemens saying that Andy “misheard” or misremembered”. Him and Andy are supposed to be very close professionally, which Clemens admitted to. Now if they were close, even if just professionally, why would Andy say the converstation went the way it did. More specifically, why would he say in the second convo “I said ‘oh’. Not that I believed him I just didn’t want to argue with him’. Now if they were close, and Andy had any doubt at all that Clemens said what he said than i would assume being his friend Andy would say something like “i said ‘oh’ and at that point i thought maybe i did misunderstand the previous converstation.” But he didn’t say that, which I take as he remembered both convos clearly and accurately. You don’t take such an affirmative stance if you’re unsure, especially against a friend, even if the relationship is jsut professional.

  • JEWCY

    LB,

    excellent article and take

    -jewcy

  • http://DeeWA2008.blogspot.com DNR87 Dee

    Sounds like I’m not the only one to think Roger has gone the wrong route.

    Pettitte, Knoblauch, they’re REAL men to me! Admit when you’ve made a mistake, and move on…. learn from it.

    I called it on my Blog even before yesterday. Watching him make a fool of himself yesterday, not to mention that he was UNDER OATH, was truly nauseating!

  • Jeff

    The bottom line, its all words at this point. Yes Macnamee has the needles, but it would be hard to admit those as evidence since they could easily have been tainted over the last 6 or 7 years, so lets get down to brass taxes. There is no hard evidence, its all gonna be he said, he said. I don’t think you can charge anyone a crime of perjury based on words and I think Clemens knows this. Unless a video of Clemens doing the HGH surfaces he’s gonna be in the clear, at least in a criminal court. In the court of public opinion, he’s gonna be considered guilty for the rest of his life.

    What I wanna know is why all the owners of baseball and the heads of the players union aren’t being more heavily scrutinized. They are the ultimate ones to blame here, letting this go on for way too long. Also, this damn Mitchell report. Everyone is focusing on this report. There are many players that did HGH and steroids that weren’t named in this report, and its crazy that they are off the hook, just because they weren’t named in the report because the report took testimony from just one guy….Macnamee.

    And aren’t we all a little guilty as well. We all went to baseball games, supported the sport when we knew this was all going on. Anyone who spent 1 dollar on baseball over the last 10 years, anyone who got excited and caught up in the race to 70 back with McGuire and Sosa should take some of the blame as well, myself included.

  • http://guttylittlebruins.com blackjack

    LOL! seriously bro, you write the best freakin’ headlines.

  • SpinMax

    Funny how with Clemens crystal clear memory he can claim Pettitte misremembers a conversation in 1999…but when Pettitte also brings up a conversation from only a couple years ago about ‘what to say if asked if they used drugs’ Clemens is the one who says he doesn’t remember it.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Jeff,
    There are tons of players left out and the focus is unfortunately on a few certain ones. The benefit is after seeing all the scrutiny these players have gone through, maybe more in the future will be deterred from using. And I wouldn’t call myself guilty for supporting the sport; I never said the players should have cheated the game, and I really was skeptical of the power game all along.

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