Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky # 37: Onward Into 2008
2008-01-03 10:29
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The year has turned, and that means in six weeks, pitchers and catchers report and all will be right in the world again, as long as no MLBers are using needles or ingesting growth hormones to pad their stats and subsequently, their bank accounts.

For this entry, I'd like to take a break from the negativity that has pervaded coverage this offseason and turn this blog over to you, since this column is as much yours as it is mine. I also appreciate the feedback and want to give you, the readers, what you want.

In looking at ideas for tweaking this year's installment, I ask you, what changes, if any, would you like me to make? One thing I'd like to do is be more consistent with the Yankees vs. Mets backpage counter during the season. I'll also try to incorporate more links when applicable.

There's a lot of ground to cover both in traditional and non-traditional media when it comes to covering the Yankees. Who gets it right? Who does it best or worst? Who does the best job of providing both pertinent information that you can't get anywhere else, and also serving as the eyes and ears of the fan? What can the traditional types learn from the bloggers and vice versa? Read the Dick Young piece that Alex Belth referenced further down on the page. Do we want our media to have that much influence on affecting the way teams do business? Is that right? With big corporations owning the outlets, is there an alternative? (It can't be a "Rollerball" environment already). These are the questions I try to answer on a weekly basis; you all were a tremendous help — even when you were ripping me — in 2007. I'm continually impressed at the intelligent commentary that this and every other column spawns on the Banter.

As many of you know, I covered the Yankees from 2002-2006 for The site and the network are not off-limits, but because I still have ties and many colleagues there, I need to be sensitive to any and all YES references. And as I said in my introduction last year, I will not bash my former colleagues on the beat, but I will be critical. To me, that means not automatically accepting what's put in front of me as truth. I ask questions, analyze and look at the broader scope.

So now it's your turn. Thank you for making me feel welcome here in 2007, and keep the suggestions coming in '08.

Until next week ...

2008-01-03 11:19:46
1.   rbj
One thing I dislike about the traditional media is that so many columnists seem to have an agenda. I don't mind bashing a player/team for a specific instance, but ISTM that people like Selena Roberts and Mike Lupica have an anti-Yankee bias (and I really do not want to hear another "but what has A-Rod done in the playoffs" piece. That, at this point, is purely lazy writing).

If someone wants to criticize the Yankee payroll, ok, but also point out that the Yankees reinvest their profit in the team & pay a huge "tax" on it. Point out that there are richer owners (Carl Pohlad) who seem to sit on their wallets.

In other words, I do not want to read about the same old memes.

2008-01-03 11:27:36
2.   Raf
What I don't like about traditional media is how it caters to the lowest common denominator. I'm not a big fan of witch hunts, and the like. It's ok to have a bias, we all do, but it shouldn't show up in the reporting. I don't want anti-Yankee bias, but at the same time, I don't want Yankee cheerleaders either.

Give me intelligent discussion, and I'll keep coming back. Hell, it's one of the reasons why I keep showing up here & WasWatching, to name but two sites.

2008-01-03 12:05:55
3.   Rob Middletown CT
I like reading Steve Goldman's work on the YES site - I wish there was more of it.

I a subscribe to Baseball Prospectus and enjoy their stuff, especially about the Yanks.

I enjoy Neyer and Law over at ESPN.

I enjoy this blog, RLYW, River Ave. Blues, Pending Pinstripes, NoMaas and several other Yankee blogs. I also check out The Hardball Times, Baseball Analysts, Joe Posnanski's blog, FireJoeMorgan and some others I'm forgetting right now. Occasionally I'll even check out other team blogs like USS Mariner.

I enjoyed Pete Abraham's LoHud blog for news, not analysis (which is kinda meh, IMO), but it's now blocked from work and frankly I can get the news elsewhere, so I don't find myself checking it out when I get home.

That's pretty much it for me. The only time I read something from a guy like Lupica, Shaunessey, etc, is when FireJoeMorgan and/or others quote their work and shred it.

2008-01-03 12:54:47
4.   ny2ca2dc
Will, what about expanding your coverage of the trad media to include blogs? Not just 'blogs' as a whole, but specific ones (3 's list is a good start, as is sidebar), although blogs-in-aggregate vs. MSM-in-aggregate wouldn't be off limits. The continuing influence of the SABR/analytic community on the trad writers is also sometimes interesting, as you know.

Happy belated New Years to all!

2008-01-03 14:09:04
5.   markp
Going through the Toaster to get here may be the best thing (aside from content, of course) about the whole set-up. Reasonably intelligent discussion about other teams can be checked out on the way here.
I think YES does what they do pretty well-they tend to be a bit on the cheer-leading side of the ledger, but with the nastiness towards the Yankees and baseball in general in the mainstream media (for an example: the lack of coverage about HGH and steroids in the NFL is mind-boggling).
2008-01-03 14:17:52
6.   Sonny Mooks
I actually like this blog alot.

If anything, I would like to see you expand coverage more into the Yankee minor leagues, with both prospects and coaches.

Basically, offering something different from most other yankee blogs.

I also like the background info you gave on the new yankee bullpen coach, and would love to see more stuff like that on say the coaches, guys in the front office, minor league coaches, etc.

Even the occasional "where are they now" would be cool on some of the guys from the 80's and 90's. (i.e. Bucky Dent, Oscar Azocar, Wade Taylor, etc).

But basically, I'm really big on anything with the yankee minor league system, and who is who with the yankee front office.

2008-01-03 15:16:30
7.   Mattpat11
I think Verducci is fair in most of what he does.
2008-01-03 16:13:38
8.   Will Weiss
4 In longer pieces I've done where I'm really going broad on a certain topic, I've spread into the blogosphere, linking to many of the sites on the right side, as well as the newspaper blogs, which are hit or miss. ... I can make the blogosphere a more regular component or even regular sub-header in the column. Thanks for the suggestion, for sure.
2008-01-03 16:17:54
9.   Will Weiss
6 Sonny, thanks. I could make Minor Leagues a sub-head also, but I don't know about it being a regular feature. The trap I don't want to fall into is having the column be Simmons-like in length (4,000 words, etc.). That's not to say I won't include news and notes from outlets across the Yankees' system. Where applicable, I'll throw in anecdotal bits like what I did for Wilson Betemit. Where Are They Nows are more difficult because of access. Since I'm not working at an accredited media outlet full-time now, it's incredibly difficult to break through.

I appreciate the feedback. All positive stuff, thank you.

2008-01-03 16:40:19
10.   OldYanksFan
6 Where Are They Now? Tonights guest: Jim Leyritz

Roger Clemens says he was injected with "Lidocaine and B-12" and not steroids or human growth hormone by former trainer Brian McNamee, according to a portion of an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" released Thursday.

"Lidocaine and [vitamin] B-12. It's for my joints, and B-12 I still take today," Clemens told Mike Wallace in the interview, which is scheduled to be shown Sunday night.

"Brian has a master's degree in sports medicine," Ward told ESPN The Magazine's Shaun Assael. "He knows the difference between Lidocaine, B-12 and testosterone. What he injected into Roger Clemens wasn't Lidocaine or B-12. It was testosterone."

2008-01-03 16:45:42
11.   JL25and3
10 Roger, Roger, that the best you can do? Frankly, that's so ludicrous that it's tantamount to a confession.
2008-01-03 16:53:30
12.   williamnyy23
11 I agree it does sound fishy, but Clemens wasn't compelled to say he was injected with anything. If his main argument is McNamee is lying, then he could just as easily have stated McNamee never injected him with anything. This is a pure word versus word situation, so both men can pretty much say whatever suits their benefit. Personally, so much about this story doesn't make sense, that I'd rather suspend my judgment until corroborating evidence emerges.
2008-01-03 17:09:52
13.   JL25and3
12 That's why I don't get it at all. the minute he says he was injected, his credibility goes way down.

Vitamin B-12 is bad enough, especially since it's the Palmeiro/Tejada cover story already. But Lidocaine? A local anesthetic?

Maybe - maybe - the story is believable solely because no one could make up a story that patently stupid.

As for corroborating evidence, there won't be any.

2008-01-03 17:27:37
14.   williamnyy23
13 That's kind of how I feel defies logic why Clemens would say it. If he is going to lie, you'd think he could do better?

Similarly, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the following:

(1) If McNamee and Clemens were still tight as they had been in the past, why would he give up Clemens? There is no evidence to prove or disprove any claim McNamee could make about Clemens. So, why sell him out if he was guilty? The only reason I can think of is Mitchell/the government implied no Clemens/no deal. If that's the case, that's a clear motive to lie.

(2) The second scenario is Clemens and McNamee have had a falling out. Again, if true, that's a clear motivation for lying.

If there was just one other shred of corroborating evidence to back up McNamee's claim, I'd feel comfortable believing him...not only because it would back up his story, but also explain why McNamee felt compelled to sing about Roger. Without that support, something just doesn't sit right with me, so I'd prefer to presume Clemens is innocent until further notice.

2008-01-03 17:59:27
15.   yankster
This is by far my favorite source of Yankees news. I'll look at the NY papers, but I'm pretty unimpressed by the depth of scrutiny (statistically and otherwise) they apply.

As for blogs, I almost only go when this blog sends me. And when I do find something on my own, I'll post it here. This seems to me to be the best yankees community anywhere. I do wish some of the posting features were a bit easier to use. Running off to tinyurl everytime I want to add a link, isn't especially encouraging.

Thanks so much for the whole year!

2008-01-03 18:26:59
16.   RIYank
14 I'm with you on this one.
(Actually, I think I've agreed with just about everything you've said about steroids, Mitchell, etc. It's making me very uncomfortable!)

Check this out. I was listening to WEEI on the drive home, and they (Steve DeOssie with a bunch of morons, but less offensive than all the other WEEI shows) had Jose Canseco on. It was not what I expected. Canseco says he believes Roger is clean. He says he's pretty sure that he would have known something about it if Clemens were doing PEDs, and in fact he never heard a word to that effect. Also, he said that the reason B12 is a 'good cover' is that it really is/was very common -- and for older players it was common to have your personal trainer do it rather than the team doc, because you didn't want to advertise to the team that your body was sub-par. (Contract negotiations.)
Canseco also said that Mitchell never asked to talk to him. And he pointed out that two guys he'd named in his book weren't mentioned in the Mitchell report. He intimated that the report was a whitewash job.

It was pretty interesting. Canseco has his own fish to fry, but the interview did raise doubts in my mind about Clemens' guilt.

2008-01-03 19:20:04
17.   JL25and3
14 Three things I consider:

1. McNamee has plenty of incentive to tell the truth, whatever that may be. If he gets caught in a lie, either way, he faces federal criminal charges. I wouldn't risk a lie under those circumstances, not to save a friend or to hurt an enemy. I certainly wouldn't assume that I could get away with a lie, because the stakes are just too damn high.

2. Pettitte does lend him at least a tiny bit of credibility.

3. I've thought for years that Clemens probably used PEDs. As with Pudge Rodriguez, it just seemed kind of obvious.

2008-01-03 19:21:17
18.   OldYanksFan
14 The interesting thing is if Roger is innocent, well, he's doing just what he should. And if he's guilty? Well, he's doing just what he should.

If he is guilty, he's driving the nail even deeper. I don't think anyone will forgive this song and dance. However, he if makes a fuss, and nothing more points towards being guilty, I think poeple will have a hard time keeping him out of the HOF based on steroid use.

2008-01-03 19:54:22
19.   OldYanksFan
17 I disagree with #2. The best liars and scammers tell the truth 90% of the time, or they have no credibility. It's not hard to find some legit PED users in MLB. The fact that Andy, or many others are truly guilty, doesn't speak to anyone else.

Imagine the report without Andy and Roger. It would have been laughed at (more then it was). Roger is the name that makes the whole thing 'worthwhile'.

As William pointed out, we don't know how much pressure was on MsNamee to come up with a big fish and make Mitchell look good. I'm not saying Roger is innocent, just that there is certainly not enough to prove guilt.

2008-01-03 22:59:02
20.   EthanMichaels
Hey Will. Just found the site. Wanted to let you know that I'm enjoying it quite a bit so far and wish you a Happy New Year!

Ethan Michaels

2008-01-04 04:04:45
21.   joejoejoe
I have a question for you to consider in '08. Does ESPN now behave like it's a league?

I take everything I read, hear or see on any ESPN outlet now with a huge grain of salt because ESPN has so much invested in rights of it's properties and such big cross promotional deals with all ABC, restaurants, online, telephone services, and the magazine - it's stopped being about sports and it's now about itself. I think the way ESPN handled NASCAR and NHL on Sportscenter when they did/didn't have rights shows that they have little or no objectivity when it comes to making editorial decisions. It's all cross promotion.

There is still a lot of good stuff on ESPN but I've come to treat it like it's the NFL Network,,, or -- first and foremost a vehicle designed to promote their rights and properties, NOT a news and opinion source.

2008-01-04 04:17:24
22.   williamnyy23
16 No need to feel uncomfortable...I'm sure no one will hold it against you!

17 I've read many people advance your reason #1, but I think the logic is backward. McNamee's lawyer has all but stated there is no way he could prove his client injected Clemens. What that means is there is no way anyone (other than Clemens stating he did...which would make no sense) could prove he did either. No matter what McNamee said about Clemens would be based on his word only...hence no risk of being exposed. What your reason #1 ignores is the very real possibility that McNamee was given the impression that no Clemens meant no deal and therefore the same possibility of jail time you suggest would be the penalty for lying to the Feds. So, in many ways, the stakes may have been higher for McNamee if he failed to produce Clemens because it could have meant his "plea bargain" would have been out the window.

Also, while Pettitte does lend McNamee credibility, it's easy to see why there would be no evidence to corroborate his only occurred twice over 10 days. With Clemens, however, McNamee alleges systematic steroid use over several years, and implies Clemens obtained his own steroid. You'd think one tiny piece of corroborating evidence would emerge, or one other witness would come forward? When McNamee's lawyer states that his client never told a sole about what he did with Clemens …that raised serious red flags for me.

Finally, what's so obvious about Clemens' career that makes him a steroid candidate? Consider the following:
(1) He had many great years early in his career, so it's not like his performance ratcheted up later on.

(2) His two great years in Toronto were not far removed from a similar season in 1994. Also, his first great Toronto season (probably the best of his career) was before McNamee alleged Clemens used steroids. Furthermore, isn't it possible that the motivation to prove Boston wrong might have played a role in Clemens have great 1997-1998 campaigns?

(3) After the Toronto years, Clemens performance with the Yankees was very inconsistent. He'd fluctuate from pretty good to just league average, something you'd expect from aging superstar pitcher.

(4) Clemens great 2005-2006 took place during the testing era, yet he never failed one. Instead, an easier league and fewer innings contributed to his great seasons.

So, in summary, Clemens was great early before he is alleged to have taken steroids, had an inconsistent middle career when he is purported to have been juicing, and then had a great late career with Houston during the testing period. Add in that Clemens, while big, is certainly not in body builder shape, and I fail see a clear pattern.

2008-01-04 05:03:45
23.   Bags
If Clemens is lying -- and I've no idea if he is -- he is taking a huge risk.

If he screams his innocence from the rooftops he probably increases the likelihood of goading congress into pulling him in to testify.

Which he'd have to do under oath. If he lies under oath, he's got a legal problem. If he backs off and gives some sort of a legalistic sounding non-answer, he looks ridiculous in comparison to his adamant denials elsewhere.

2008-01-04 05:12:29
24.   rbj
21 Not to mention their tie ins with Disney. Ugh. (But then, I hate Disney).

Will, one additional thing I like about you writing here is that you are engaging the readers. There is, to an extent, an actual conversation going on. Newspaper columnists, and even on air "columnists" (for lack of a better word) don't have that opportunity/get to ignore those who want to engage them.

As for Clemens, I don't know what to think. It is entirely possible for Brian to have injected him with what he told Roger was B-12, but it was actually steroids. That would have just made Brian look like an even better trainer. How likely is that? I dunno.

2008-01-04 05:25:00
25.   williamnyy23
16 I just listened to the interview on WEEI's archive and it was pretty interesting how vehemently he insists that Clemens is clean. In addition, he also claims that McNamee was lying about the infamous house party conversation in Florida (Canseco claimed Clemens wasn't even there). Interesting stuff...of course, Canseco also said he thinks Arod has used steroids and that Palmeiro and MLB conspired together to discredit him, so it's hard to know how much credibility Canseco has.

One other point that gives credibility to Clemens statement that he took Lidocaine shots comes from a February 2005 NYT article that details how Clemens was concerned about that season because he would no longer be able to take Viox. In the article, he states:

"To be honest, my thoughts were: 'O.K., how's my body going to hold up? I can't take Vioxx anymore,' " Clemens said. "I know I'm going to have inflammation. At the rate of speed and what I do to my body, I know I'm going to have swelling in my joints. And I'm going to be hurting many times when I'm out there on the mound, and I can't show it. I hope there is something out there that's good for me and that I can take for my inflammation. Health is always a concern when I try to push my body to stay up with the next guy."

2008-01-04 05:28:54
26.   williamnyy23
24 Canseco actually stated that he'd heard of trainers doing that to make themselves look better.
2008-01-04 05:45:19
27.   williamnyy23
Here's some more food for thought on Mitchell. Everyone is clamoring for Clemens to take a polygraph test, but why didn't Mitchell have McNamee take one? You'd think that if you were going to base a serious claim on the accounts of one eye witness, you'd make every effort to ensure the testimony is true. Instead of wondering why Clemens hasn't taken a lie detector test, why isn't any one concerned that Mitchell didn't take that precaution?
2008-01-04 05:55:21
28.   JeremyM
Good stuff william, there are so many things that are being misreported in the media that it's refreshing to read this stuff. Now I don't know if Clemens used or not, but the media has convicted him, in large part, on stuff that doesn't add up. "He's bigger than he was in 1985" or "his career was over after 1996" are the two biggest examples of outstanding journalism.
2008-01-04 06:23:17
29.   RIYank
27 Polygraph tests are pretty nearly useless -- they are less reliable than even skeptical people are apt to think. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed the polygraph evidence and admonished the Dept of Energy and counterintelligence agencies not to use them.

Canseco's credibility ought to be very high about now. The problem is that he clearly has some guys he really likes (including Roger) and some guys he can't stand (including A-Rod). His credibility on the topics of those guys -- both types -- is a lot lower, in my eyes.

2008-01-04 06:35:37
30.   williamnyy23
29 I agree completely. I would never take a polygraph because of its unreliability. My only point was that if the lie detector is the gold standard of honesty, why isn't any one questioning Mitchell's decision to not administer one to McNamee?

I also agree about Canseco's credibility, but it plays into my thought that if Clemens really did use steroids for 4-5 years, someone should know. We've now had admitted users and former Clemens teammates like Canseco and Grimsley go on record and omit him from suspicion. I think that is very relevant to the debate.

2008-01-04 07:01:07
31.   Shaun P
29 30 Not only are polygraph tests notoriously unreliable, they are also inadmissible as evidence in court. I don't think Mitchell, who is a lawyer, after all, would even think about using them.

22 William, your response to JL's #1 in 17 is dead on right, as far as I'm concerned. Very well said.

2008-01-04 08:02:45
32.   rbj
One point on Roger's later career resurgence, what about Jorge's past year. Phenomenal, and yet I don't think he did and PEDs for it. True, it is just one year, but still a little extra dedication can do wonders for an older athlete.
2008-01-04 08:36:23
33.   JL25and3
22 "What your reason #1 ignores is the very real possibility that McNamee was given the impression that no Clemens meant no deal and therefore the same possibility of jail time you suggest would be the penalty for lying to the Feds."

Why is that a very real possibility? There's not a single reason to believe that; it's made up out of whole cloth.

What you're suggesting is that the Feds told McNamee: you have to tell us everything, and you have to tell us the truth, or else you face federal charges. Except the truth has to include implicating Clemens, even if it's a lie, otherwise you face federal charges. But you have to tell the truth. But you have to lie about Clemens if necessary.

That doesn't make any sense at all. I don't know of any reason why the feds would say such a thing. They're not interested in lies, they're interested in cases that they can investigate and, possibly, make stick. What you're suggesting would threaten to undermine every steroids case they have, and would just be...stupid.

McNamee also has a lawyer. I'm assuming his lawyer isn't stupid, either.

"...there is no way anyone (other than Clemens stating he did...which would make no sense) could prove he did either. No matter what McNamee said about Clemens would be based on his word only...hence no risk of being exposed."

No, that doesn't follow at all; your logic is entirely peccable. McNamee knows there's no evidence to support his claim, but that doesn't mean he knows there's nothing to contradict it - or at least call it into serious question. Lies have a nasty habit of being exposed. For example, I can easily imagine conversations between Pettitte and Clemens that would support Clemens's account - and Pettitte would be an extremely credible witness. If McNamee really lied, deliberately, with the assumption that his lies were invulnerable, then he's also stupid.

As for my assumption that Clemens used, sue me. Of course there's a story line that could explain his career without PEDs; you can say the same thing about anyone's career. On the other hand, his career is amazingly consistent with a PED explanation as well, especially since it's so unusual a career pattern. Eac h step along the way has a possible explanation, but when you put it all together, PEDs seem more parsimonious to me.

And that's a serious issue, I think. There are rather tortured explanations for why McNamee is lying, why the feds would force him to lie, why Pettitte's confirmation is irrelevant, why Clemens's career might not have been influenced by PEDs, why his body might have just developed that way, why his story is so entirely implausible. But if everything is pretty much what it seems, all of a sudden it all fits together quite neatly, without any needs for convoluted story lines.

2008-01-04 08:40:01
34.   JL25and3
25 OK, so maybe Clemens needed something to replace Vioxx. Would he simply take injections of an entirely irrelevant drug on the simple say-so of a trainer, with no further medical input and, apparently, no knowledge of the drug he was taking? And have a trainer give him the injections? Am I believe that he's really that stupid?
2008-01-04 09:02:37
35.   williamnyy23
33 What makes it possible is the nature of plea bargains. I am not a legal expert, but I am pretty sure that in addition to telling the truth, the value of the information goes a long way toward determining what deal is offered. If a criminal offers up evidence that a prosecutor doesn't want or need, there is no way they will get a plea bargain. I think there is a distinct possibility that this could have been the case with McNamee. Whether real or not, if McNamee felt that giving up Clemens would get him a more favorable plea deal (or letter of leniency from Mitchell), it becomes a real motive for lying.

I also don't share your complete faith in how the justice system works. There are lots of cases of overzealous prosecutors who pressure plea bargain candidates into providing the "right information". As a result, the witnesses offer up the information they think the prosecutor wants to hear.

Secondly, Mitchell agreed to recommend leniency for McNamee if "he told the truth", but if the truth was not useful to the report, would Mitchell have been interested?. Also, Mitchell isn't trying to make a charge stick...he is only trying to give as much credibility to his report as possible. If McNamee thought that naming Clemens would guarantee a favorable letter from Mitchell, then what does he have to lose by falsely implicating him. How on Earth is Clemens going to prove he lied? McNamee can say anything he wants knowing that Clemens can not prove that something didn't happen without catching McNamee on tape admitting as much.

Also, why didn't Mitchell double check McNamee's story with Canseco since he plays a central role in part of it? Furthermore, why didn't Mitchell suggest McNamee take a polygraph test, if only to see if he was willing?

You are free to hold any assumption you want about Clemens, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny (which, of course, doesn't mean it might not still be correct). So, in many ways, it becomes just a hunch. I'd also love to see how you explain why Clemens career path is an ideal PED case. I thought my illustration showed otherwise, so perhaps you can explain where you disagree.

34 What is the irrelevant drug you are referencing? Anti-inflamatories are very relevant drugs, so I am not sure your point.

2008-01-04 10:36:52
36.   JL25and3
35 Lidocaine is the irrelevant drug. It's not an anti-inflammatory, it's a local anesthetic. An intramuscular injection into the butt will have absolutely no effect on the joints.

McNamee isn't making a plea bargain. He's avoiding being charged at all, which is a different thing. It's not the difference between a little more or a little less; it's the difference between going to jail or walking away without consequence. Much greater risk.

Of course it's a hunch, but it's one I've had for years, since the first time I heard the name suggested. An extended late-career renaissance, accompanied by a ballooning body, does seem to fit the image. Yes, it can be explained otherwise. But again, while each piece of the puzzle can be separately explained, there's also one explanation that covers every piece.

2008-01-04 12:13:09
37.   williamnyy23
36 I did a search on the internet and found a how to guide for injecting B-12. It mentions using an anesthetic. Perhaps it is irrelevant then.

McNamee isn't being charged BECAUSE of his cooperation. If anything, getting off scott free is a greater incentive to lie. If McNamee thought that not offering up Clemens meant he would be charged, then your argument only makes mine stronger.

Hunches are fine, don't get me wrong. I just wouldn't loudly condemn him on that basis.

Finally, Clemens has not had an extended late-career resurgence. First off, he never had an ERA+ of more than 130 with the Yankees. Secondly, his two great seasons in Houston occured during testing. So, again, I fail to see the pattern you are suggesting. If anything, Clemens career path DOES NOT fit what one would expect if he was using steroids when alleged.

2008-01-04 12:45:13
38.   JL25and3
37 I wouldn't condemn him loudly on the basis of my hunch, any more than I'd condemn Pudge Rodriguez too loudly. Three or four years ago I thought it fit, and everything that's happened since still fits.

And if Clemens has been using HGH - quicker recovery would sure help an old pitcher - then the testing theory goes out the window.

I'm not sure I get why there's an increased incentive for McNamee to lie, because lying is the single thing that can most surely get him locked up. I certainlly don't see any reason why the Feds would press him to incriminate Clemens even if it was a lie. I suppose it's possible that he misinterpreted their intent and thought he was being pressured to incriminate Roger at all costs...but that's the point at which it becomes a complicated story line with zero evidence. This is a good case for Occam's Razor.

2008-01-04 13:56:14
39.   williamnyy23
38 Here's how I break it down:

1) McNamee distributed Steroids.
2) The Feds caught him doing it.
3) Facing possible prosecution, McNamee was given the opportunity to cooperate with Mitchell in return for having no charges files.
4) Part of cooperating with Mitchell entailed providing useful information.
5) Whether implied or inferred, McNamee believed he had to offer "juciy" information in order to qualify for he immunity.
6) McNamee decided to lie about Clemens because he figured it would ensure he received favorable treatment. Or, perhaps he felt the absence of Clemens would make it look like he was holding back.

The reason there is increased incentive for McNamee to lie is because he may have felt delivering Clemens would get him out of jail time. Also, I don't see where the risk is? How would McNamee ever be caught in the lie...he's basically saying something happened that no one else can corroborate. The chances of his being caught in such a lie would be so remote, making it a worthwhile risk to take.

Also, the Feds didn't have to say we want Clemens. All they had to say is we want something big, and one could understand how McNamee inferred that meant Clemens.

It really isn't a complicated story line. It's simple case of one man making a serious allegation with both no proof and a motive to lie. Under such circumstances, I think the accussed deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I don't think there is any evidence that HGH has any PED qualities, so I am really concerned with it.

2008-01-04 13:57:26
40.   williamnyy23
38 Also, as for HGH, I don't think there is one scientific study that suggests it is useful to athletes as PED, so I don't think it is relevant. If others want to believe HGH is a PED, I guess I can't argue.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.