Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Who says there is nothing good on television these days?
Wednesday's showdown on Capitol Hill between Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, promises to be as entertaining and dramatic as anything that presently graces the airwaves, with the obvious exception of VH1's reality lineup.
The proceedings that will be taking place in Washington, D.C., though, will now feature just the testimonies of Clemens and his trainer, making it a real- life showdown. Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and admitted steroids dealer Kirk Radomski have all been excused from the day's events.
McNamee has said all along that he injected Clemens with steroids, and told former senator George Mitchell as much when he spoke to him, sparking this whole debate. Clemens, meanwhile, has told anyone that will listen that he is innocent and has never taken any performance enhancing drugs.
There will be an investigator on hand for Wednesday's hearings, meaning there is a very good chance someone is going to jail.
Roger Clemens has already been proven guilty in the court of public opinion.
McNamee is a lot like Jose Canseco. What he is saying is probably true, but he loses a little more credibility with each passing day. The big news last week was that he actually held onto the needles with which he supposedly injected steroids into Clemens, as well as the gauze pads.
According to most legal experts, team Clemens is going to eat that evidence alive. Besides the fact that it is totally odd, why would he hold onto the Clemens needles and not the other ones? Is a Clemens needle better than a Pettitte needle? Did he show the needles off to his friends?
He also has pictures of the stuff he injected Clemens with. If I am Clemens' lawyers, I take pictures of fruits, vegetables and weights and bring them with me as evidence. How is that anything different than what McNamee is bringing to the table?
Unless you have pictures of Clemens actually bending over and taking a needle that clearly states "This needle contains steroids", it is still one man's word against another. Clemens and his lawyers know this. As long as nobody else comes to the forefront and admits to seeing Clemens take drugs, nothing is going to come of this, from a legal sense anyway. The evidence just isn't there.
But unfortunately for Clemens, he has already been proven guilty in the court of public opinion, and that may be a tougher thing to overcome than anything that comes from these hearings. Clemens' legacy is forever tarnished.
Don't believe me? How's Mark McGwire doing these days?
Even if McNamee came out and admitted he lied about everything, I think I would still be hesitant to believe Clemens. Most people are probably in that boat. My cynical mind would think, "Oh, he is just covering up for Clemens".
Clemens is a cowboy, though. I am hoping someone questions him a little too hard and he flies off the handle at some point a la his press conference to clear the air a few months back. I am sure he is going to be at his arrogant best, doing whatever he can to intimidate McNamee.
All along, Pettitte was considered the wild card in this whole affair. Him not wanting to testify speaks volumes. To me, that says he has something on Clemens and does not want to even take a chance of perjuring himself. Why congress is excusing him is beyond me.
While their friendship may not be as brotherly as we were once led to believe, Pettitte and Clemens were in fact friends and were once teammates. Pettitte does not strike me as the type of guy to rat on his friends. Then again, he is not going to go to jail for his friend either.
I am kind of bummed out that Knoblauch won't be testifying. Who knows what he would have said? I predicted that he would be going the Sammy Sosa route and forget how to speak English. I guess we will never know.
This is all about Clemens and McNamee, though. One guy is telling the truth and one guy is not. McNamee seems like a little weasel that would say anything to get out of trouble. But, I think I believe him.
You almost get the feeling that this whole thing is going to end on Wednesday with Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, yelling like Tom Hagen in Godfather II that the committee owes his client an apology.
Either way it should be fun. Of course, we will be live blogging the days' events at http://ruddickmlbblog.blogspot.com/.