How about some Sports-related lies, for a change of pace.
Former BFF’s Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens aired their tiff on Capital Hill yesterday. Now, this circus has plenty of good sideshows, such as the creation of new words (misremembers), and a race to see who has the dumbest attorneys (i.e., allowing Clemens and his legal team to talk to a witness before giving access to the government investigators; suggesting that President Bush will pardon Clemens, despite not being charged with anything (yet), due to “the corrupt proclivities of his (Bush’s) administration.”). With lawyers like that, I might opt for self-representation.
I prefer to focus on a couple of other things. The media is getting a lot of play with their take on the deposition by Roger’s buddy, Andy Pettitte. The message seems to be that Andy really hung Roger out to dry with some very damming statements. ‘Pettitte confirms that Roger used HGH’ and so on. The problem is, it’s not true.
Note to the media: let’s do something creative, like, for example, actually read Pettitte’s deposition! Yes, Andy says that he recalled back in 1999 that Roger mentioned using HGH. He also very clearly said he doesn’t remember anything specific about the conversation itself, other than taking away the idea that Roger said he used HGH. In 2005, during the Congressional investigations about steroids in baseball, he asked Roger what he would do if reporters asked Roger about drug use. When Roger acted puzzled, Andy relayed his prior conversation with Roger about HGH. Roger said that he wasn’t talking about himself during that earlier conversation, he was referring to his wife. Andy stated that from that point on he “kinda felt that I might have misunderstood him.” When the deposition questioner asked, “Do you think its likely that you did misunderstand?”, Andy said that he “was under the impression” that Roger had told him that he had used HGH, but after the 2005 conversation, “I took it for that, that I misunderstood him”. Even Roger’s half-witted lawyers could take that tentative “accusation” and make it worthless. And yet, the media would have you believe that Pettitte hammered his buddy with a devastating accusation. Please.
Next, many talking heads in the media are at a loss for just why McNamee would want to discredit Clemens. Again, the deposition provides at least one possible scenario. Pettitte talks about a time in 2003 or 2004 when he was working out with Brian and he seemed very angry. It seems that Brian was trying to work out a deal with a vitamin company and get Roger and Andy to endorse the product, since they both used it. Brian was in line to get some money for arranging this deal, but Roger wanted too much compensation for his endorsement and it appeared to block the deal from happening. It was in this agitated state that Brian told Andy that Roger had used steroids. Now, you could say that Brian was going to use some dirt on Clemens to get back at him. Or, you could say the Brian was going to create some dirt on Clemons to get back at him. But at least there appears to be a vendetta angle that could be at work here.
Also, there appears to be a couple of other stories in which Brian dropped Andy’s name, and Andy could not confirm their accuracy. Both were alleged conversations that involved Roger and steroid talk. Brian said Andy was present for the conversations but Andy had no recollection of them. Bad memory or overreaching storytelling?
Finally, some people were questioning why Pettitte got a pass on appearing at this dog and pony show. My guess, as Pettitte alluded to in his deposition, was that he doesn’t want an aspect of his family’s personal life (i.e. his father’s series of medical and mental issues) to be potentially discussed on a national stage. Andy had mentioned, during the questioning, that his father provided him with some HGH in 2004.
In summary, someone is lying, and neither one of the main players came out looking very clean. But let’s hope the media can at least provide a depth of information beyond the type of reporting that is equivalent to backyard gossiping.