Steroids and Roger Clemens: Drayton McLane Can’t Quit You
I’ve got another attorney Roger Clemens might want to consider for replacing Rusty Hardin. I suggest Dennis Riordan, also known as the attorney for Barry Bonds. And why would Rocket want to hire this guy? How about this: Unlike Hardin, Riordan knows how to handle the Feds. Because, if even temporarily, he’s had the indictment against Barry Bonds tossed out of court.
That’s right. He didn’t piss off any judges. He did his job. He found problems with the indictment, he brought those problems up before the court in a well-argued brief, and he had the thing tossed. Now, it’s probable that by the end of today the indictment will be refilled with the problems cured. But damn, can any of you see Rusty Hardin being able to pull this off?
And I’ve got to hand it to Rocket. He’s thrown his dead mother under the bus (she’s the one who encouraged him to take B-12 shots); he’s thrown the doctors and training staff of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees under other buses (the Blue Jays team doctor didn’t know how to give him shots and the Yankees doctors and training staff tossed out Vioxx like Skittles). Andy Pettitte misremembered conversations. His agents didn’t tell him that George Mitchell tried to contact him. His wife Debbie took HGH shots without his knowledge.
With all of that, you would think he would be running out of people to get into trouble. You would think wrong.
The Feds are now investigating a Pasadena gym that is owned by Kelly Blair, a distant relative of Andy Pettitte. It is from this gym that Andy Pettitte’s father got his HGH – this is the HGH that Pettitte’s dad gave to Pettitte. Because of this gym, people have been contacting Jeff Bagwell asking whether Bagwell had any involvement – Bagwell’s agent Barry Axelrod claims that Bagwell doesn’t know the gym owner; he also claims that it’s not the Feds who contacted him about Bagwell’s involvement.
But that’s not all. Rocket’s now got another member of the Rocket family under possible investigation. Because, you see, one Koby Clemens, catcher-wannabe in the Astros minor league system, did work out at this gym and with Kelly Blair.
Bravo, Rocket. Bravo.
As the Feds invade Houston-area gyms for connections to illegal HGH and steroid distribution, Rocket leaves Florida and comes home. And this is how the Astros brass wants it: “Privately, the Astros have made it clear they wish Clemens would stay away while the FBI investigates whether he perjured himself in testimony given to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in February,” the Chron reports. “If Clemens doesn't get the message from McLane's recent public comments, they ultimately might be forced to tell him to stay away.”
I wonder if any of you also see the comedy in that statement from the Chron. Because I wonder from which public statement it is that Rocket is supposed to be getting the message to stay away. Is it the public statement that the Astros are pondering voiding Rocket’s personal services contract? Or the public statement that Drayton never reneges on a contract? Is it the public statement that exposure to Rocket is good for the minor leaguers, or the public statement that Rocket is a distraction?
Those are things which McLane or Astros staff has said to the media in the past week. And I’ve got to tell you, I’m confused by the message of these public statements. And if I’m confused, then I’m betting Rocket is fucking confused. Then again, maybe Rocket was told something in private which means he’s not so confused – thought that’s not what my pal Jose de Jesus Ortiz wrote.
Here’s what I think. The Astros don’t want Rocket anywhere around the franchise. But for some reason, Drayton just doesn’t know how to quit Rocket. And even though he’s not technically under contract at the moment, they’re going to let him do whatever the hell he wants because that’s what they’ve always done with Rocket (after all, when Rocket was gearing up to return to the Yankees last year, he did so at the Astros spring training facility). Of course, Drayton should be concerned because, right now, everything Rocket touches ends up getting swept up into the HGH/steroids controversy. Which means before long we might be getting stories on what it is they’ve been shooting up Berkman’s ass. – John Royal
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.