Saturday, February 16, 2008

Take Five, Steroids Edition

Five reasons to wonder about Congress, and not about a pitcher and his personal trainer:

1. After watching the Roger Clemens Congressional hearing the other day, on and off, for almost five hours, the same question struck me as everyone else: Why was Congress bothering with this one? Shouldn't this have been in a courtroom somewhere?
There may be better things for our nation's legislature to do that worry about how an ex-pitcher reacts to a shot.

2. And who knew that the status of Clemens' drug use was a partisan issue? The Republicans grilled Brian McNamee, the Democrats grilled Clemens. Guess the Republicans were the ones who got autographed baseballs from the Rocket the week before.

3. If Barry Bonds and his fans were watching the Congressional hearing, they might now be convinced that the steroid "witch hunts" (or, more accurately, attempts to find out the truth) can be conducted without regard to race, creed, color or national origin. Then again, if the fans weren't convinced after reading "Game of Shadows," they probably won't be now either.

4. Representative Dan Burton seemed shocked, "SHOCKED!" (thank you, "Casablanca"), that a personal trainer might lie to the media about his employer's steroid use. Somehow, he apparently didn't figure out that a guy who breaks the law to obtain illegal substances might feel that he has less than a moral obligation to tell the truth to Newsday.

5. Someone may have asked why the two sides came up with opposite conclusions about Clemens' steroid use, but I didn't see it. Were there conversations between the two men before the shots were taken? Did Clemens say something like, "Give me something to make me feel better, but don't tell me what it is, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean, know what I mean"? Did Clemens ever ask what he was taking, and where the substance came from? Did the steroid culture in major league baseball at the time ever come up in conversation between them?

It's still impossible to come up with a definitive answer to what really happened here between Clemens and McNamee, but McNamee seems to have pulled ahead a bit thanks to the testimony of Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch. It will be interesting to see if the issue is pursued in the future, and who pursues it.

1 comment:

Becky said...

While I agree that Congress should be more concerned with open-ended spying on citizens by the government, or soaring budget deficits, the question remains: If not Congress, who then to investigate?

It's not like MLB wants to out it's stars or leave the records with multiple asterisks.

It doesn't seem like Congress is all that interested in shutting down the illegal trade in sports enhancers though, so it does bring into question exactly what their ultimate goal is.