Many will remember Anna Nicole Smith as the blonde Playboy playmate bimbo done in by drugs and sudden fame. I’ll remember her, instead, for telling Rusty Hardin to go screw himself. And before I go on with my take on the Clemens presser yesterday afternoon, I’ve got to say one thing. I’m an attorney, and I really get sick of hearing people call us pricks and slimy, unethical sleazebags for whom the truth is merely a word to be massaged. But thanks to Rusty Hardin’s actions yesterday, I find I’ve got to agree with many of our critics. Lawyers are pricks and slimy, unethical sleazebags.
So, to quote Anna Nicole: “Screw you, Rusty.”
Now, on to the presser.
First, I want to thank the press for another crappy performance. What, are you guys afraid Clemens is going to mistake you for Mike Piazza and aim one at your head? Though from what I could tell by listening to the thing, most of the intrepid questioners were some of our favorites from the Houston media, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of substance.
Let’s just say that I’m shocked, shocked, that, though Clemens has been nailed lying multiple times in the past several days, nobody bothered to follow-up.
First there’s lie number one: Clemens stated to Mike Wallace that he had no idea what was contained in the Mitchell Report until he received the Mitchell Report. He was angry that just days before the report was released, Brian McNamee sent him an e-mail asking where the good fishing equipment was at in the place in Cabo. Which was fine and dandy until Newsday reported on Monday morning that McNamee did contact Clemens and tell him what was in the report.
Sure, it’s one of those he said-she said things with no evidence. Until Rusty Hardin stands up and says that not only did McNamee contact Clemens over a week in advance of the report’s release, but that Rusty Hardin sent investigators to speak to McNamee and that McNamee told them everything that he told George Mitchell.
Clemens wants us to question McNamee’s credibility, but what about his? Why doesn’t someone question Clemens about his inconsistent statements? Is it really that hard?
Then there’s Rocket saying he would never steroids because it would destroy his body, yet Rocket admits to taking Vioxx like Skittles, B-12, lidocaine, and various other pain relieving substances. That doesn’t sound like a guy who’s concerned about his body.
And let’s not even get off on the whole thing about how McNamee never injected anything into Rocket’s ass, until Rocket admitted McNamee injected drugs into Rocket’s ass. Sure, the drug was lidocaine, along with a little B-12, but that doesn’t do much for the whole credibility thing.
Now I didn’t hear this until the presser yesterday, but I really would have liked to have heard some real follow-up on this, because it made absolutely no sense. None. When asked why he allowed McNamee to give him shots even though he didn’t have a medical license, Clemens responded that he thought McNamee did have such a license because he had a trainer’s license and worked for two major league baseball clubs. Does anyone really think Rocket didn’t know everything there was to know about this guy? This excuse is like Barry Bonds saying he took the Clear and the Cream, but didn’t know what was in them.
Then there’s the defamation lawsuit which talks about McNamee’s arrest for rape. Clemens and Hardin seem to think this is the ultimate way to call McNamee’s credibility into question. Which it might do if McNamee had been charged with anything. And which it might do if Clemens hadn’t continued to employ McNamee for another six years.
It’s also amazing how, after all of this time, Clemens refuses to take responsibility for anything. Not appearing before George Mitchell? That’s the fault of his agents, the union, and George Mitchell for not giving him details. Taking Vioxx? That’s the fault of the Yankees. Not appearing before the press right away, that’s Hardin’s fault. Who supplied the drugs like lidocaine? He doesn’t know.
What we don’t know, because it wasn’t asked, is who talked him into lying before Mike Wallace and the media?
And Hardin’s secret weapon was the recording of a phone conversation between McNamee and Clemens. Now Clemens had legal representation on his end of the call, along with a tape recorder. But try as he might, he couldn’t get McNamee to back off of his story, despite what Hardin contends.
I think the statement of McNamee’s which most sticks with me are: “I didn’t want this to happen. I also didn’t want to go to jail” and “I did what I thought was right.” Those just don’t sound like the statements of a man who has lied to the Feds.
It’s this McNamee recording which brings up my “screw you, Rusty” statement at the start of the post. The tape proved only that Hardin and Clemens are pricks. But we know that already. I heard in McNamee a man agonizing over having told the truth, but wanting to make things right, begging Clemens for forgiveness. I’m sure Hardin and Clemens think they caught McNamee trying to say he lied, I heard McNamee wishing he would’ve lied to protect to Clemens, but feeling that his family was more important than Clemens.
(Oh, and Rocket, unlike you, who’s story seemingly changes every hour, McNamee is still standing by what he told to George Mitchell.)
And one more thing, Rusty. I don’t think the IRS cares how you try to justify the statements in the defamation lawsuit. You accused them of targeting Roger Clemens. So I just hope that you’re able to withstand the biggest audit ever known to Man, well, except for the audit that Clemens is about to face.
Later today, the new entrants into the baseball Hall of Fame are supposed to be announced. Man, it will be nice to have something else to talk about.
P.S.: One more thing before I go. It appears that Andy Pettitte is about to forget how to speak English since he just hired Sammy Sosa’s attorney to handle his appearance in Congress next week.
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