Really, Rocket? (cont.)
Posted: Monday January 7, 2008 9:12PM; Updated: Monday January 7, 2008 9:12PM
It's so difficult to get a handle on this, to believe one way or the other. There are so many questions still to be answered, so many still to be asked.
The recording played for reporters Monday, a phone call that took place between Clemens and McNamee last week, is a perfect example of how muddled this has become. It probably raised more questions than it answered. Those who tend to believe Clemens apparently believe the recording shows McNamee was lying. Those who believe McNamee apparently see nothing of the sort.
A typically confusing exchange in the 17-minute conversation:
CLEMENS: For the life of me, I'm trying to find out why you would tell guys that I used steroids.
MCNAMEE: I understand that. I understand that.
CLEMENS: Somebody's got to come and tell the truth ...
MCNAMEE: Yo, Roger. Roger. Tell me what the [expletive] you want me to do. What do you want me to do?
Do you take from that snippet of conversation that McNamee lied when he told the feds and investigators for the Mitchell Report -- under threat of criminal prosecution for lying, by the way -- that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone on several occasions? Or does it sound like he's simply willing to lie now to appease his former friend and employer, Clemens?
How about later, when McNamee says this: "I'm with you. I'm in your corner. I don't want this to happen. But I'd also like not to go to jail, too."
Or this, from McNamee: "The truth is the truth. That's what it is."
Or this, from McNamee again: "All I did was what I thought was right. I never thought it was right, but I thought that I had no other choice. Put it that way."
What do you make of all of that?
Oh, it's convoluted all right. On one side, you have a desperate man forced, under the threat of jail time, into talking to the feds. On the other, you have a desperate athlete with a relatively drug-free reputation -- or ex-athlete, because it sounded Monday like Clemens is definitely retired now -- doing seemingly everything that he can to discredit his accuser.
I want to believe Roger Clemens. I really do. And maybe someday, I will.
But, for right now, I just can't. I've seen this sorry play before.
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