Pettitte, Knoblauch, Radomski out; Clemens, McNamee to face off

Pettitte asks out of hearing
Sherman: Joba will start in the pen

I bet this isn’t what Bud Selig and George Mitchell had in mind when the Mitchell Report hit the streets in December.

After nearly two months of back-and-forth posturing in the press and the halls of Congress, it’s come down to two men. Only Brian McNamee and his one-time client and current arch-rival Roger Clemens will testify in front of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. According to numerous reports, Andy Pettitte did not want to testify in public against Roger Clemens, and the committee was satisfied with the deposition testimony it received from Chuck Knoblach and Kurt Radomski, the other New York-based trainer named in the Report. Somewhere, Paul Lo Duca just breathed a giant sigh of relief.

In related news, Jim Baumbach and Robert E. Kessler of Newsday reported that Pettitte’s testimony confirms McNamee’s story and contradicts Clemens’ vehement denials. For Clemens, this will be utterly devastating, and Andy Pettitte, who has long idolized and respected Roger, must not feel too great about the current situation.

From a Yankee perspective, this circus is either ending or just starting. For better or worse, Roger Clemens is now forever linked to the Yankees because of the Mitchell Report fallout and the time of his supposed drug use, the bulk of which is reported to have occurred during his time in the Bronx. If Pettitte’s testimony, part of the public record, shows Clemens’ recent denials to be a façade, the media circus will swarm around Tampa next week like no other. If not, this strange tale of drugs, syringes and gauze will play out in Congress.

For Clemens, this news on the eve of the hearing cannot be good. On Wednesday, two men — one player out of the 89 named in the report — and one trainer will face down a Congressional committee annoyed by the way this drama has played out. One of them will emerge from the committee room most likely the subject of a perjury inquiry and a disgraced man. I wonder what odds Protrade would give on that one.

Finally, there’s always Bud Selig standing in the corner. With this latest development, the Mitchell Report and its original intentions have been launched out the window. No longer is this about stopping steroids in baseball. No longer is that incomplete document that randomly named 89 out of what has to be hundreds of drug users the focus of attention. Rather, it is about only the biggest name in the document and the saga that has played itself out on TV stations and newspapers across the country. It’s about a recorded phone call, eight-year-old syringes and gauze, spousal accusations and firm denials.

Somehow, I bet this isn’t what Bud Selig envisioned three years ago when he commissioned the report, and I bet it’s not what he envisioned when he released this document to the wolves two months ago. A Mitchell Report without names would have served its purpose better than this document, and as the charade continues tomorrow, I have to wonder whether or not this whole thing — this report, this committee hearing, this attention to something that no one can change — is really in the best interest of baseball.

Pettitte asks out of hearing
Sherman: Joba will start in the pen
  • E-ROC

    Thanks George Mitchell. This report is all about Roger Clemens now. Not about an entire era of baseball.

  • Rich

    Very well stated.

    I have been re-thinking my position on the wisdom of naming names in the Mitchell Report. It has opened a Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences that could well harm way too many people.

    That said, Selig, the owners, and the MLBPA (including the clean players in the membership who remained silent) are largely responsible for this mess, and all of them should suffer the consequences, but they likely won’t.

  • E-ROC
  • mustang

    I’m tired of this whole thing. Has anyone heard anything more about this:

    “Yankees: Olney says they’ve discussed Blanton internally, which is a new piece of info. Heyman believes the Yanks have actually talked to Oakland about Blanton. He would add stability, and Olney doesn’t believe Billy Beane would demand MLB-ready talent.”

    I got from MLBTR just wanted more info.

  • TurnTwo

    agree with the post… this was sold to be a comprehensive report about the alleged steroid era, and what we got was basically somefacts, some opinions and a half-hearted list of names. if it was anything less than comprehensive, the names should have immediately been taken out of the report.

    if i was a member of the player’s union, no matter if i did or didnt take steroids or PED’s, I’d be LIVID at Selig and the owners. They are basically walking away from this whole thing scot free while these players are being hung out to dry, even though Selig and the owners did just as much to perpetuate the problem to begin with.

    i wouldnt be surprised if we saw some sort of rammifications from this in the next CBA negotiations.

  • Bo

    It’s almost impossible for Andy to contradict Clemens unless he says they shot up together.

    Anything else is just heresay.

    • Rich

      I don’t think that the Federal Rules of Evidence are applicable to a congressional hearing. So hearsay would be admissible.

      • dan

        Rules… hahahah. funny.

  • Jamal G

    To be honest I think Bud Selig is actually satisfied with how this has turned out thus far. With the “Roger Clemens Report” (as Mike Golic just recently dubbed it on Mike & Mike this morning) occupying all the attention, Bud Selig has been able to steer clear of all the hard questions such as “How were the Owners and Commissioner’s Office so ignorant to the steroid era?”, or “What do you feel was accomplished through the public release of the Mitchell Report?”, and finally my personal question “What does baseball do moving forward now that the Mitchell Report has been released and the fact that wide-spread criticism has it as a vastly incomplete document?”

    I personally believe that Bud Selig is happy in a sense that such a big name was brought out in the Mitchell Report because if it wasn’t all the media attention would be focused on the future and the aftermath instead of the Roger Clemens v Brian McNamee Heavyweight Title Match. Could Bud Selig have had answers prepared for those questions and more? Sure, I don’t think there’s any question about it but I do believe if it was not for the big name in the report then all the media heat would be on those Q & A’s of Bud Selig and his answers would eventually crumble and out him to be a goat under all the media pressure.

    Bud Selig needed a Roger Clemens-esque name to be included in the Mitchell Report, because if not just like you see with an angry mob when they get tired of hunting and aren’t able to find their target and then they get doubtful and start questioning what was the point of all this and their wrath turns to the one who started the whole thing, the source, the proverbial “boy who cried wolf” and that person has to answer for all.

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