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Mr. Clemens goes to Washington

Posted at 10:02 PM on February 13, 2008 by Chris Dall

It's hard to say what exactly was learned from today's hearings on Capitol Hill, other than that:

a) nobody grandstands better than politicians
b) Roger Clemens has bad lawyers (and apparently doesn't know what a vegan is) and
c) Roger's probably removed Andy Pettitte from his friend list on his My Space page

Seriously, the proceedings today were a joke. When the congressmen (and women) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform weren't busy being sanctimonious, they were fawning over Roger like they were at fantasy camp. When Clemens wasn't busy claiming sainthood, he was trying to pass the cockamamie story that the confusion arose from his telling Any Pettitte about a TV show where "three older men" were talking about taking HGH. (Is that the best he could do? I mean he might as well have gone with "no, I told Andy I wanted to be a DH. He must have misheard me"). And even though I thought Brian McNamee came off looking more believable than Clemens, his admission that he had previously lied and omitted facts doesn't exactly make him a great witness.

The whole thing actually made me start to feel bad for Roger, even though I don't believe him, and he chose to have his day on the hill. But the fact is that the steroids issue goes far beyond him. The reason for today's circus was the fact Major League Baseball and the player's union pretended there wasn't a steroid problem for more than a decade, and when light-hitting second baseman started to hit 40 home runs a year, pitchers felt like they needed to keep up. That shouldn't absolve Roger Clemens or any other pitcher in the Mitchell Report who allegedly used performance enhancing drugs. But Roger Clemens should not be made the poster boy for the steroid era, any more than Barry Bonds should. That honor should go to Bud Selig and Don Fehr.

Check out news cut for some of the high, er, lowlights of the hearing

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