Of all the names which popped out of the Mitchell report (an investigation into the use of banned performance enhancing substances by major league baseball players), one stands out: Roger Clemens. A de facto Hall Of Famer based on his career statistics, the mid 40-ish fireballer has steadfastly denied that he ever used steroids or human growth hormone, as alleged by the man who allegedly shot the drugs into Clemens' beefy behind.
Brian McNamaee was a clubhouse attendant during Clemens' years with the Blue Jays and the Yankees, and has claimed that he shot Clemens with steroids in Toronto and HGH in New York. Clemens has missed no opportunity to publicly denounce those claims and to brand McNamee a liar.
He also taped a phone call between the two and publicly played it for the press yesterday. At no point does McNamee refute Clemens' claim that he did not use the substances. In other words, McNamee never defended his version of the story.
This is high stakes poker being played out in the public eye. It is rare for a public figure to come out on the attack against accusations. I have to go all the way back to the early 80s when Carol Burnett won a defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer (and forced them to raise their price) after the paper published a story claiming that Burnett, a teetotaler, had been drunk at a restaurant.
Clemens is clearly going for all out victory here. He seeks to disgrace and discredit McNamee, whose lawyer has promised war.
Just what is going on here? And it had better not turn out to be "I didn't know what was in the syringe" either. Somebody's lying here. There is no middle ground.
NY Daily News with the scorching story: