Thursday, January 03, 2008

The slow pitch softball player and the high heater

There are two very different games being played by two central parties involved in the Mitchell Report.

Roger Clemens is playing beer-league softball while Brian McNamee and his lawyers are coming inside on Clemens with some chin music with the high heat.

Clemens, in light of McNamee's claims that he injected Clemens with a pharmacopoeia of performance enhancers, thus far has elected to avoid any lawsuits, choosing instead to fight his case in the court of public opinion. His agents the Hendricks brothers and Rusty Hardin have scripted a series of denials and arranged for an interview with Mike Wallace, an admitted Yankees fan, and friend of both Roger Clemens and George Steinbrenner. No one expects this to be vintage Mike Wallace.

The denials scripted by Clemens' handlers have attacked McNamee, previously called a friend by Clemens, now referred to as "a troubled man," by his handlers. Those denials, of course, have rung hollow in light of Andy Pettitte giving McNamee's claims credence.

Clemens claimed that he would speak at the appropriate time. Evidently the appropriate time, in his head, wasn't when he was initially given the chance by George Mitchell to respond to the allegations in private during the investigation. No. In his head the appropriate time, evidently, was to wait until his use was made public, and then to arrange for an interview with the interviewer of his choice. Really credible set up there

The interesting fact - McNamee was, in essence, under oath while making his highly detailed claims. Clemens, of course, won't be on 60 Minutes, and has failed to initiate any sort of legal action as we close in on a month after the report hit. McNamee's handler's, on the other hand, are coming with the high heat, threatening to sue Clemens for defamation if the 60 Minutes piece airs.

Everything in this smacks of the quintessential flame thrower for the last 20+ years in MLB being nothing more than a glorified softballer when it comes to protecting his legacy.

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