There’s been plenty on the Brian McNamee/Roger Clemens front over the past few days. Although I’d love nothing more than to see this whole thing just disappear, it’s not going to, which means we’re stuck with it. First thing I caught on it this morning was a piece on ESPN, where McNamee’s lawyers are looking to expose a conversation between McNamee and Clemens which took place on the day before the Mitchell report was revealed.
“They should ask for the entire tape of the interview back in December. That’s the tape they should ask for,” Earl Ward, one of McNamee’s lawyers, said Tuesday. “According to Brian, they tried to get him to recant. Brian said, look, what I told the [Mitchell and federal] investigators was the truth.”
If that’s the extent of the conversation, I’m not sure how much it helps McNamee’s case. However, if his lawyers are pushing for its release, there’s bound to be a bit more revealing information contained therein.
But then I caught a piece in Slam! Sports which aims to trounce McNamee’s credibility. In fact, just three paragraphs in, we’re treated to this quote:
“I hope baseball is not putting all of its case on this one witness because in my 32 years as an investigator, I would not find him to be very credible,” Florida state attorney office investigator Don Crotty said yesterday.
Crotty’s distrust of McNamee stems from an incident back in 2001, where a number of Yankees were having a party in Florida — which incidentally started in Chuck Knoblauch’s room. Outside, investigators found a woman passed out in a swimming pool. She had been drugged with GHB. McNamee was implicated, but never charged, since prosecutors didn’t think the victim’s case would hold up — because he had slept with a married member of the team. Crotty believed that McNamee was dishonest with him when questioned pursuant to the case.
It also appears that Brian referred to himself sometimes as Dr. McNamee:
An investigation showed his doctorate earned at Columbus University in Louisiana is now Columbus out of Mississippi, since Louisiana closed its operation in 2001 for handing out degrees to many who did “little or no academic work.”
The article says that Clemens actually believed that McNamee had a medical degree.
Also discrediting McNamee is his tenure with the NYPD. Though he was involved in many high-profile cases, including the death of Eric Clapton’s son, he’ll never shed the 30-day suspension he received for his negligence in the escape of a prisoner.
And then we have the issue of physical proof of Roger’s use of steroids. The Blue Jays team chiropractor at the time Roger was with the team didn’t see the telltale signs of steroid use:
“I worked with him daily and didn’t see any signs of steroid use,” Dr. Patrick Graham told The Sun yesterday. “I didn’t notice any rashes, acne or increased muscle mass or structure.”
“I think I would have seen signs of it,” he said, adding he always thought the Rocket’s success in Toronto was because of his newly developed “split-fingered fastball.”
Even after Clemens left the Jays organization, he would come in for a back treatment whenever in Toronto and Graham said he observed no body changes. “I haven’t seen him for two years, but I just don’t think he was on steroids.”
Professional trainer Phil Zullo, of North York’s Pro-Fit, agrees — saying if Clemens took the amount of steroids and the type McNamee alleges in the report, he would have ended up looking like Hulk Hogan. “With the way Roger works out and trains, he would have been a giant,” said Zullo, who did not work with Clemens but has always been known to be against the use of any substances for the amateur and professional athletes he trains.
True, none of this proves that Clemens didn’t do steroids. But then again, is he ever going to be able to prove that?
My stance remains the same as it has since the beginning, in that I don’t think he has to prove that he didn’t. Clearly, my opinion differs with much of the public. But why should Roger have to go to these lengths to defend himself against one person, with a spotty history, who was facing jail time? If there was more than one source of this allegation, then yeah, maybe Roger has to up his defense. But I don’t see the reason to assume the worst when we’re talking about the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence.
Once again, though, it’s my deepest desire to see this story go away.