Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Republican Committee Members "Cast Their Lot" with Clemens

ESPN analyst Howard Bryant observed today that Republicans on the congressional committee overseeing the hearings of baseball's human growth hormone scandal showed a preference for accused Major League Pitcher Roger Clemens, who is opposed by the testimony of fellow pitcher Andy Pettitte, his wife, and former trainer Brian McNamee, whom the Republican members attacked relentlessly during the hearing.

Bryant writes:
Brian McNamee was ruined on Wednesday.

But unlike Clemens, he was human, and on one point -- the only point that matters -- still credible.

Clemens, meanwhile, revealed himself as incapable of introspection or culpability. When cornered, he attempted to bully, but Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building is not a pitcher's mound and he did not hold the gavel. Not being in control frustrated Clemens, and he did not know what to do.

He avoided accountability for his role in his own drama. At no point during the day did he take responsibility for the direction of his career or the choices he's made. As much as McNamee, by being a signature player in the steroids era, Clemens has been part of a drug culture that has diminished his standing and that of his sport, but he never once acknowledged his part in its, or his, downfall. There was always someone else who should have done something for Roger. Clemens had an answer for everything the committee asked him, and each answer, when sifted to its essence, was that nothing was his fault.

Clemens ended belligerently by interrupting Committee Chair Henry Waxman's closing remarks after getting his 4 1/2 hours of publicity (Rep. Waxman actually granted Clemens' express request to hold a public hearing):

The Republicans are hitching their wagon to the wrong horse in this case, although Clemens' chest-thumping, yankee-doodle-dandy style of bullying does fit their MO.

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