Sorting through the Clemens circus

19 Feb

clemens.jpgAnyone with an internet connection and a semblance of curiosity could locate ample information about the surreal Roger Clemens trial. Damn near every sports site in the country has been covering the action in some form or another. So, you know, it’s there if you need it.

I recognize I may have very little to add for those of you aware of the goings-on, but I recently asked my lead counsel (and sporadic commenter) The Murph to compile a bit of info anyway. I’ve got explicit reasons why: (1) posterity; I want to be able to look back years from now on what we were thinking about this hilarious case, and (2) frankly, I’d missed a few of the choice nuggets that The Murph pointed out.

So here’s the deal: directly below are a few of the best (or most frustrating, depending on whether you value ridiculous behavior from people in power, or a just legal system) quotes from the folks questioning Clemens, and after the jump, a brief history of the legality of steroids in major league baseball. Do enjoy, and please, please, for the love of god please, this is The Murph speaking through B’s fingers, on his hands and knees asking pleading begging you to not just skim the following bullets but actually read them and remember that this behavior is coming from our nation’s leaders. If you aren’t fuming with anger through your tears of laughter, then you, sir or ma’am, have some real soul-searching to do. Or maybe we do for caring this much.

  • A week prior to the hearing, Clemens was seen autographing memorabilia of items belonging to members of the House Oversight Committee. These are the same people that would soon be questioning Clemens about steroids.
  • Rep. Davis questions Clemens about a time Mike Stanton noticed blood on Clemens pants: “Mr. Clemens, do you recall bleeding through your pants in 2001?” Clemens: “I do not.”
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay “A colleague of mine, Mr. Capuano of Massachusetts, wants to know what uniform you’re going to wear to the Hall of Fame.”
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, after lofting softballs of praise on Clemens and blatant character assassination of McNamee Eleanor, ends by saying,”Mr. Clemens, all I can say is, I’m sure you’re going to heaven.”
  • Rep. John Duncan decided to focus in on the Mitchell investigator’s decision to contact Roger Clemens, instead of his lawyer, regarding the allegations prior to the report’s release. Said Duncan, “Seems to me, that there may have been some people a little too anxious to get this report out and get all the publicity attendant thereto.”
  • Rep Virginia Foxx Presents to the audience a poster with four different photos of Roger Clemens with four different teams (Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, & Astros).  Foxx: “You appear to me to be about the same size, it doesn’t appear to me that your size has changed much.”
  • Before beginning her questioning, Rep. Carolyn Maloney thanks Clemens for all the pennants he brought to New York.
  • Rep. John Duncan takes time off his questioning to point out that he feels the syringes supplied by Brian McNamee are useless as evidence.
  • Rep. Darrell Issa ends his questioning by looking directly at McNamee and saying, “shame on you.”

Somewhere in this whole mess, The Murph’s head exploded.

(Remember, after the jump is a brief history of steroids in the MLB.)


1988 – Anti-Drug Abuse Act is amended to include criminal penalty for any person distributing anabolic steroids with the intent to use for anything other then the treatment of disease based on the recommendation of a physician.

1990 – Believing that the Anti-Drug Abuse Act is insufficient, congress replaces it with the Anabolic Steroid Act (ASA). ASA now includes criminal penalty not only for those looking to distribute, but also those that intend to use for the purpose of athletic muscle growth. Steroids is placed in the same legal class as barbiturates, ketamine, & LSD precursors.

1991 – In response to the ASA, MLB commissioner Fay Vincent issues a memo to each team indicating that steroids will be added to the MLB’s list of banned substances. The memo states “The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players or personnel is strictly prohibited … This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs … including steroids.” The seven-page document didn’t include a testing plan — that had to be bargained with the union — but it did outline treatment and penalties.

2001 – MLB implements random drug testing policy for all players not on team’s 40 man roster. Players will be tested for steroid based performance enhancing drugs as well as “drugs of abuse” (marijuana, cocaine, etc.).

2002 – MLB conducts survey testing to gauge steroid use in MLB. The testing will be anonymous and no one will be punished.

2003 – MLB announces that somewhere between 5 to 7 percent of players failed survey testing administered during the 2003 season

2004 – MLB begins testing for steroids. All positive tests will remain anonymous to the public. Punishment for failing 1st test is drug counseling.

2005 – (Jan) – Players and owners agree to new drug program. Punishment now includes game suspensions (10 – 1st offense, 30 – 2nd, 60 – 3rd, & 1 yr – 4th) & players names to be made public.

2005 – (Nov) – MLB strengthens penalty for failed drug test (50 – 1st game, 100 – 2nd, lifetime ban 3rd).

2007 – (Dec) – Mitchell Report Released.  Report includes 88 players names, including Roger Clemens.


One Response to “Sorting through the Clemens circus”

  1. norm February 20, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    …And that ladies and gentlemen is why U.S. Representatives are irrelevant.
    Good work Murph.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: