We here at Umpbump have largely stayed away from the Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee tete-a-tete, because there really just isn’t much to say.
As if to prove that point, here’s a look at what different sports columnists are saying about the Rocket’s roid denials, which can be broken down into two categories:
Clemens’ strategy has been tried before.
His is not a new strategy. It is frequently used by teenagers when cornered by their parents. It is called “shout loudly in protest, look offended and talk a lot about things not related to what you are accused of.” — Bill Dwyre, L.A. Times.
Celebrities, the rich and famous, Britney and Lindsay, heads of state, baseball MVPs and Cy Young Award winners are very different than you and me when ‘fess up time comes around. Their protestations of innocence resonate through history and will be high in their biographies. — Bill Conlin, Philadelphia Daily News.
Clemens is hardly the first one, of course. No one has screamed louder or longer than Barry Bonds, even as the government methodically built a case against him. Pete Rose screeched for a decade and a half that he was innocent, that he was an aggrieved victim of wretched circumstance, right up until he needed to replenish his checking account and discovered that a revised version of the truth — also known as admitting a lie — could be a profitable way to pass the day. Hell, there was that picture of Frank Sinatra with half the Gambino Family that surfaced years ago; even that wasn’t enough to change the Chairman’s story. — Mike Vaccaro, New York Post.
Clemens looks dirty. Given lack of a positive test (for steroids or human growth hormone), no paper trail, and the testimony of a single witness most of us have never met, it’s an unfair conclusion, but that’s what I came away with. — Dan Shuaghnessy, Boston Globe.
If you were a major league player last summer, and George Mitchell wanted to speak to you and you had nothing to hide, why would you not have talked to him? If Mitchell had asked you to name names, you could have politely said, “I’m only here to answer questions about me.” I just can’t understand why a player like Clemens, with so much at stake, did not accept Mitchell’s invitation. — Tyler Kepner, NY Times “Bats” blog.
Whether Clemens likes it or not, the skepticism of him is warranted, and not simply because his late-career surge mirrored Bonds’. — Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports.