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:

The RocketClemens’ 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 guilty.

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.

2 Responses to “Roger Clemens: What they’re saying.”

  1. What is with Shaughnessy and his blinding hatred of a couple of aging pitchers?

    I am not saying that I disagree with what he is trying to say, but here is a well-known sportswriter basically condemning a person as a liar without even attempting to give a basis for his gut feeling.

    Anyway, Clemens is a stupid, fat, liar. Shaughnessy is the very same blowhard that he likes to label Schilling.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    One of the most perplexing statements I’ve seen is from Buster Olney:

    “A recurring question is why Clemens or any other player named in the report simply didn’t come forward and meet with Mitchell investigators, once he was asked to do so. Part of the reason was uncertainty about what they were going to be asked, and uncertainty about what George Mitchell’s version of due process was going to be.

    “Two days before the Mitchell report was released, a veteran agent described the concern: ‘Imagine if you got a summons to appear in court next Tuesday, but nobody would tell you why. Nobody would tell you what the charges are, nobody will tell you anything about the evidence being presented, and nobody will tell you who the witnesses are. When you have a case in court, there is a time of discovery so you can prepare a case. There was nothing like that, in any way, with the Mitchell people.'”

    First of all, I think if you’re contacted by George Mitchell, who was well known to be writing a report on the use of steroids in baseball, and you happen to be a major league baseball player, you might have a pretty darn good idea of why he was calling you. The least you could do was leave him a voicemail saying, “I didn’t do it.” Plus, the irony here is just too delish to resist. Yes, you could imagine you got a court summons…but first, you’d have to picture the Mitchell Report with subpoena power!

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