Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gee Whiz! Are You Kidding Me?



"Gee Whiz!! Are You Kidding Me?" A Perfect Description of Roger Clemens' and Brian McNamee's appearance on Capitol Hill today over Steroids Use as proclaimed in The Mitchell Report. Representative Dan Burton (Republican, Indiana)had uttered the remark--blasting McNamee for not telling the truth. But, Mr. Burton's comment could well have been a summation of this Hollywood Movie. As predicted, this was MUST SEE TELEVISION. An erstwhile battle--with combatants ready to roll. A Packed Rayburn House Office Building Committee Room, An Attentive At Home or Work Audience Watching, An Embattled Future Hall of Fame Pitcher, A Behind The Scenes Trainer Tossing Some Serious Smoke, and possibly, the most Grandstanding Congressmen & Congresswomen witnessed in The Nation's Capital in some time. Yes, this was The PLAYOFFS and America's Elected Officials were looking to score.

None more so than when Committee Chair--Henry Waxman (Democrat-California) started insinuating to Roger Clemens that he had Witness Tampered with a former Nanny--before allowing her to speak to Congressional Staff. Clemens' Attorneys, Lanny Breuer and Rusty Hardin--sitting in The Field Box Seats--immediately jump onto the field of play--"Objection!!" they yelled. Only to be gaveled down by Waxman--they were "out of order". But not before Mr. Hardin fired back one serious sinker, low and away--"In the FREE WORLD--that is my job as council--to PROTECT MY CLIENT!" (In The Free World!!--how good is that!--and we live in America) The Guffaws & Claps were palpable. In Our Newsroom on Capitol Hill--A BIG CHEER WAS LET OUT. Perry Mason had come to the rescue for his man. Hamilton Berger had been struck down, yet again. You know, Hollywood's writers may just be returning after a long labor strike--but none of them could have written such an exquisite line. Waxman was left speechless. On his very own turf--this Representative was given the brush back. How cool was that!!

On and On, and On--it went. Riveting and Downright enjoyable to watch. Someone might go down for the count, but everyone watching really wanted to know--who was going to win back, and who was going to lose--their reputation. Even The Justice Department was watching very closely.

As the innings played out on Capitol Hill this morning and early in to the afternoon--it became clear the only aspect missing was the calling out of "Scorecard!!, Get Your Scorecard!!" from The House Sergeant at Arms. As you know, sometimes you can't tell the players--without The Scorecard. Besides, this low scoring affair needed to be saved --for posterity--Pitch after Pitch, Swing after Swing. A High & Tight Fastball here, followed immediately by a Curve there. Sometimes those tosses were deflected--other times the batter would swing and miss. Over time, no one was really gaining an advantage--although some flak was being taken by all.

Two Good Examples.

Representative Elijah Cummings (Democrat-Maryland) lead off by feeding Roger Clemens fastball after fastball--fact after deposed fact, using Andy Pettitte's Deposition as his bait--lining up Clemens for the off speed zinger. After 23 Years of Major League Baseball--Roger Clemens could see that slider coming. Defiant at times--and always responding with "Mr. Congressman" (which brought a chuckle to my lips all day)--Roger fought back--testily. Just 20 Minutes after the 10AM Starting Time, this hearing had become one nail biter. Just One Score by Cummings, or One Error by Clemens was all that was needed to finish Roger off. But, this Sure Fire Hall of Famer (if he survives these perilous times) choked up on his bat--hoping to deflect pitch after pitch. Quickly, Roger Clemens learned--he was NO LONGER IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN. He was playing Congressional Ball. This was HARDBALL on a different plane. And in this league--Roger Clemens didn't necessarily have command of the strike zone. At first, he struggled mightily and although, Roger Clemens did lose some serious face today--he didn't strike out.

Thanks to Representative Dan Burton (Republican--Indiana) who just HAMMERED AWAY on Brian McNamee. Congressman Burton not only threw 100 Mile Fastballs Right Down the middle of the plate--implicating McNamee as a liar--Brian McNamee took all those pitches--looking--for not only Strike Three--but for Three Strikes "You're OUT!!". Burton with the FLAMBOYANT OUT CALL!! silencing McNamee with "you (McNamee) just lie when its appropriate for you....Lie after Lie, after Lie after Lie--you are not believable!!" And, finished McNamee off with: "You are destroying him (Clemens) and his reputation--how does he get that back? if it is not true!!"

Clemens' Former Trainer dropping his head in shame. Under normal circumstances--Brian McNamee would have been summarily judged as a discredited witness--And This Game Would Have Been Over. Only Andy Pettitte's and Chuck Knoblauch's Depositions saved him any grace. Because intentional or not--these two former teammates of Roger Clemens--their Sworn Testimony--gave credence to McNamee's withering ways. Pettitte & Knoblauch had provided the long relief and shared the save opportunity for McNamee--when Brian was taken out--early in the game.

For Four Hours and Thirty Minutes this battle was engaged. No one was left on the sidelines. Even Roger Clemens' wife--Debbie--was dragged onto the field of play and scrutinized. As well as, Jose Canseco (who basically got the ball rolling on the public's awareness of performance enhancing drugs) as a clash point over a 1998 party which McNamee claims Clemens attended. A party in which the aforementioned Nanny was a key witness.

Unfortunately, at its conclusion, this Made For TV Event didn't have a Hollywood Ending. Because, when all the pitches were tossed and the batters had taken their respective swings--today's hearing in Rayburn House Office Building--Room 2154--left everyone wondering: "Just, how much was fact? And how much more--was fiction?" No, this Soap Opera, Court Room Drama, Who Dun-it and sometimes Side Splitting Comedy, had no happy ending.

"I Swear To Tell The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth" was repeated by Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee at the very beginning of these testy proceedings.

Yet, at the very end of this epic affair--what was UNDENIABLY CLEAR--is that SOMEONE IS STILL NOT TELLING THE TRUTH.

"Gee Whiz--which one of you is kidding me?"

Today's In Game Photo--AP (Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

15 comments:

mike edgar said...

Whether Clemens is lying or not, Congress, in my opinion, has absolutely no business wasting its time and our tax dollars holding these hearings. What a joke. Oh, and by the way, Henry Waxman is an arrogant, pompous, windbag. He's a big nanny government guy, and wants Congress involved in everything. He probably wipes himself with a copy of the Constitution every day, because that's how little he respects and upholds it.

mike edgar said...

By the way, SBF, nice job of describing the action! Very original. :-)

mjames said...

Clemens did strike out. I have yet to hear any news or media source, at least in New York, stating that he proved his case. What was clear is that Clemens is a bully and a creep. He threw his wife, friends, lawyers, agents, owners, nanny, union under the bus all to protect what looks like now is nothing more than a "cheat". One last thing maybe Clemens can take some of his millions and spend it on getting his GED. Enough with massacring the English language. This guy can not speak english.

Sean said...

Your analysis is comical. The committee asks for the Nanny's name and address, and they only get it after the Clemens team "talks" to her in person. Yeah, nothing improper there. Waxman scored big on that one.

Clemens is rightly getting killed today on sports talk radio and other media.

And it's really rich to see Rep. Burton talk about the hearing as a circus. This from the guy who dragged this country through endless hearings on every salacious and false rumor during the Clinton years. Burton made an even bigger fool of himself than he already is.

Anonymous said...

Clemens became Pete Rose and Martha Stewart yesterday. He is finished, he is dog doo doo. Can they find an orange suit big enough to fit him?

SenatorNat said...

Actually, I think that Congress has role when it comes to the proliferation of illegal drugs adversely impacting a major American enterprise, like professional sports. States and localities invest billions in facilitating these franchises, they enjoy special immunities from anti-trust laws, and they actually are intertwined with national holidays (e.g. Fourth of July) and in the case of the NFL, have created a new one (SuperBowl Sunday). When the Chicago White Sox were found to have thrown the 1919 World Series, that became a national issue, despite other pressing concerns such as the Palmer raids, reconstituting Europe following a World War, and the incapacitation of President Wilson.

Having said that, the Chairman and Mr. Burton could not have been more partisan, and ludicrous in their demeanor and in their opposing lines of "questioning." The only person more absurd was the Rocket, of course. And his lawyers, who were comical. "What are we, potted ivy?"

Waxman looks exactly like the dumbfounded chairman of the Senate racketeering investigations committee in the Godfather; while Burton resembles the coopted Senator who was set up with the dead blonde in his bed in Nevada...Clemens needed only to remind the Committee: "I would remind the Committee that I also take One-A-Day Vitamins and Centrex..."

He is so obviously lying, because he took steroids and HGH, obviously, and his trainer administered them. Otherwise, McNamee would not have been alive to testify - having been murdered by the Rocket for shooting his wife Debbie in the naked behind! The last, and only, person to shoot my wife in her naked behind had better have been a medical doctor or nurse, I can assure you! No ex-cops, or PhD's in physical education, need apply for this assignment!!

He is an enormous Fraud; supported by folks in high places, apparently including the President; folks who certainlywould not reach out to support Barry Bonds in the same way: "just stay strong Barry through all this," which is why, I suspect, folks rally around Bonds, when they know in their hearts that he is a Giants Fraud, too...

"Say it ain't so, all you self-important zillionaire professional athletes..."

Trust in Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. All Good.

Special Agent said...

Didn't strike out? Did you watch the same hearing the rest of us did? Clemens just lied his way out of the HOF. Future HOFer no more.

Anonymous said...

actually the attorneys we not supposed to speak in that setting.

mike edgar said...

I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one, Senatornat. Even if I were to concede that Congress has a legitimate interest in finding out to what extent illegal drugs are and/or have been used in baseball, it certainly does not have to hold the kind of "dog and pony show" hearings we saw this week, and which their egos can't let them resist.

The other aspect of these hearings that really bothers me is that they became a show trial of Roger Clemens rather than a larger investigation into drugs in baseball. My personal opinion is that Clemens took HGH and steroids, and is lying in his denials, but I don't like the way that the Mitchell report was so selective in its focus on players in only certain geographic areas, and I don't like the way that these Congressional hearings were so focused primarily on Clemens, McNamee, et al.

These clowns on Capitol Hill saw an opportunity to share some camera face time with a popular athlete, and they couldn't walk away from it. It's just a bad joke.

Anonymous said...

Roger Clemens used people around him to extend his career and to bilk money out of owners and the fans that paid to watch what they assumed was a fair competition. The partisanship was apparent at the hearing, but do not forget that Tom Davis, a Republican, was first to call a hearing on steroids in baseball in 2005 (remember that?) that started all this. Waxman was left with closing the deal after Clemens claimed that everyone else was lying or "misremembering" what happened as reported in the Mitchell report. Clemens is now a joke (or a punchline). I used to respect the guy just like I used to respect Mark McGwire. I hurl a splintered bat in his general direction....

William French Smith said...

Mr. Edgar,
As long as a sporting industry is granted a no competition excemption to our antitrust laws, you'd better believe that the Congress has a duty to investigate any perceived misdeeds. That includes Players, Owners, and Unions.

mike edgar said...

You make an excellent point William French Smith. I had not considered this from that perspective.

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

William: Well, steroid use is a public health issue, especially amongst kids and should be investigated by the government; however, the farce that took place this week in Washington resembled an inquisition of a multi-millionaire athlete along with his seedy trainer and how they vaulted themselves to the top.

Granted, government has the right to look into businesses that violate anti-trust laws, but did anything tangible out come out this hearing for the public good? No.

There are other pertinent issues in this country to ponder about (yes, far more serious and further reaching than baseball in this country) and it's silly that the government has spent numerous days and countless dollars on the events of the this week.

RallyTime Richard said...

Mike,

Waxman held the hearing because Roger wanted another spot in the limelight to once again exhibit his anger and his utter disbelief at this hurrendous betrayel by the lying bastard MacNamee. At least that is what he wants us to see. Roger's livid response is a calculated ploy to win over some support from people who feel "look at he reaction, he is really hurt, he's livid, he must be telling the truth."

Waxman did not start this investigation and he did not want the open testimony. Yes, he is goofy looking, but I disagree that he is an arrogant pompous windbag.

Roger is a lying, cheating, money-grubbing whore. I've been saying it for years and he keeps proving me correct.

The story on who is responsible for the hearing is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/15/sports/baseball/15clemens.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=waxman+hardin&st=nyt&oref=slogin

mike edgar said...

Rallytime Richard,

Henry Waxman has been a pompous, arrogant windbag for many, many years. I did not draw that conclusion from these hearings. It's just that he took the opportunity at these hearings to demonstrate once again how much damage his constituents do every two years by re-electing him.