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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Clemens react (update II)

Did you see Roger Clemens on the 60 Minutes? I thought he sounded believable at first. But when he danced around the lie detector question, admitted he had been injected (with B-12 and painkillers) and talked about how much suing would cost him, I thought he lost a lot. The guy made $22 million in '06, I think he could find a lawyer to take the case for flat rate of $1 million or so.

Update: Clemens filed a defamation suit against Brian McNamee Sunday night in Harris County.

Update II: Just watched Clemens' press conference. To his credit, he's taking the offensive. I don't know if the tape of the phone conversation between McNamee and Clemens that they played helped or hurt Clemens' cause. When McNamee kept asking Clemens "What do you want me to do?" it seemed like a good time to say: "Tell the truth."

Clemens said he is going to testify before Congress.


at 11:36 AM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

I have never really cared for Clemens because I thought he was a jerk and last night I thought he appeared very arrogant.

We will see what happens with the defamantion suit. I am not real sure how RC can win it.

at 12:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think he danced around the lie detector test question because not everyone believes that the lie detector test works. He said he would do anything for people to believe him. I did find it funny that when clemens said that performance enhancers shortens your career. At his age, that wouldn't matter now if he started taking performance enhancer because his career is about done anyways. He didn't answer that question directly about if he is taking it now to stay ahead of younger players.

at 12:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clemens says if he took performance enhancing drugs he would be able to pull a truck with his teeth.

How do we know he can't. Wallace should have taken him out to the driveway to prove it. There's probably some 2-bit trainer out there somewhere who has seen him do it.

Again: Guilty until proven innocent.

at 12:51 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

The problem I have with all of the steroid maelstrom is this... why isn't MLB along with the MLBPA being held to the highest scrutiny?

People either believe Clemens or they don't... they either believe Bonds or they don't.

Me? I don't believe either of them... the only difference is that Bonds admitted to doing the "Clear and the Cream"... which was later discovered to be steroids and HGH.

Instead... ask everyone whether they believe that MLB and the MLBPA KNEW of the use of PED's/steroids and why they let it happen?

Only a fool would really believe that they didn't know about it, and we ALL know why they didn't do anything... money.

They had to bring baseball back after the strike... and this is what they turned a blind eye toward. They first tried to blame it on a "live ball" tehn "watered down pitching".

The collective "ostrich with their head in the sand" that is America needs to quit the "ignorance" act.

We know you did it MLB/MLBPA, we don't wantr you to do it any more.
So come out and admit it, and let's move on.

As for me, I will NEVER view baseball as I did before the strikes... I love the game, but hate the business.

at 12:52 PM Blogger nick the red said...

Clemens sounds like a modern day Pete Rose. I am not ready to say that McNamee is 100% right, but where there is smoke there is fire and and it looks like Clemens needs to stop, drop and roll. He mentions Clemens 15 times! At least 90% has to be accurate, odesn't it?

This will go on like the P Rose situation where you have the die hard fans who will side with their hero and remain blinded by the aura and desire to believe in his virtue. While it is not clear that Clemens is guilty, if he continues along the path of Bonds...he may find out what the inside of a jail cell feels like...Like Rose and Paris Hilton (how about her for a correlation?), he has a tremendously sad way of acting above the law. And I, for one, will enjoy forgiving him if he admits it and laughing in his face (dude needs to think of his family here) if he spends a couple years in the slammer on perjury charges.

Homer and Cueto forever, Bedard never! Go Reds!

at 1:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clemens changing his story from never injecting anything to never injecting "steroids" makes him a liar.

Clemens isn't going to play anymore because he can't pitch without the juice and won't want to risk his Hall of Fame candidacy with a positive. Plus, he's busted, he's embarrassed, time to go home and hope the entire matter just blows over.

Speaking of blowing over...

Why is Stanton still a Red? Why isn't his still being here a big issue?

Too sensitive a topic for our local journalists?

at 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I love baseball the game but the crybaby millionaires and the business aspect of baseball (being screwed so often by Bud Selig) has been disgusting.

Selig has helped to ruin MLB.

Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame before steroid and mechanical spring-loaded elbow-brace Barry takes another at-bat.

Ditto for all the other roid-heads.

Selig, who was smiling and winking at Sammy and Mark et al., and who now cries crocodile tears over the Mitchell Report, needs to be banished from baseball.

at 1:46 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I asked someone from the Reds about the possibility of voiding Stanton's contract after the Mitchell Report came out. They said, and I wrote, that the allegations were too far in the past to do that. Cutting him now would mean writing him a check for $2.75 million. I think he'll be on a short leash, like Rheal Cormier, once the season starts.

at 1:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an experienced lawyer, I'd say Clemens will never really prove anything. Accordingly, a lie detector test is irrelevant. But so is testifying under oath before Congress. This is NOT Barry Bonds. The Feds can prove by other corroborating evidence that Bonds was dirty. Until such evidence surfaces with Clemens, he gets at least some room for doubt. Personally, I think that he did it, whether steroids, HGH or other. By his own admission he said that he'd take painkillers to pitch in the WS. I think that is indicative of his attitude towards getting help to pitch. What I've always speculated about is that all of these retirements actually create a smaller window for Clemens to be tested and caught for drugs. His accuser stands alone at this point, Clemens will never prove a negative-- although I'm sure he can find millions to testify that he never did performance enhancers. Now can somebody actually PROVE that he did? Remains to be seen.

at 1:59 PM Blogger poynorch said...

I teach and coach high school baseball. Clemens came off like one of my freshman that had just been caught. He was angry and had nothing to bring to the interview except his anger. He's probably angry with himself. He sure didn't sway anyone to his side last night. If anything, he swayed folks the other way. I understand his frustration because he cannot really exonerate himself, but his reaction hurt him. He really reacted as an unintelligent, immature high schooler. No content, just denial. Hmmmm....almost looked like roid rage! I doubt it was, but oh the irony!

at 2:17 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Plain and simple: Innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

No leeway.

at 2:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm - didn't someone within the baseball press write that the type of pain killer RC referred to is usually applied topically or with a patch and not injected ...

at 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully Stan-TON has a contract that says, one positive test for banned substances, good bye 2.75 million!

at 2:52 PM Blogger Tom's Dad said...

B-12 is a well known masking agent for steroids. Ask anyone in the body building world. For years guys would juice, then take a B-12 shot and nothing would show up on the tests. Also, Wallace never brought up the fact that Clemens' last few seasons did not start until after the all star break. Seems like just enough time to get that stuff out of your system before you are required to get tested. Juice all Winter, say you are thinking about retiring, test yourself and once you get a negative test back, tell the world you decided to come back and pitch one more year. That doesn't seem too far fetched to me.

at 2:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize that their actual production either at the plate or on the mound is circumstantial evidence at best in this whole controversy, but many people have pointed to Barry Bonds' power explosion as an indictment of his abusing PED's. The same thing could be said for Clemens.

It is pretty telling that in his last years in Boston (1993-1996) Clemens career was on the decline. He wins totaled 11,9,10 and 10 in those years. Then he leaves for Toronto where he meets his new trainer and suddenly he is like a new man winning 21 games in 1997 and 20 in 1998. Then he continued to have productive season until just a few years ago.

Granted, the new-era athlete takes much better care of himself than their predecessors and weight-training has taken them to new levels, but no one gets that much stronger and more resilient in their late 30s and early 40s. It just doesn't happen. -MB

at 3:27 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Agree that Clemens sounded like a petulant child. And Pete Rose.

He also contradicted himself numerous times and spouted off pure nonsense:

- I'd do ANYTHING to win and help my team, including taking all sorts of harmful Vioxx and painkillers that could've shortened my career and even life. ... but I'd never do steroids, because they're bad for you.

- If I did steroids, why didn't I pitch better? Um, you *did* pitch better.

- If I took steroids, I'd have a claw on my forehead and would be pulling tractors with my teeth... like Andy Pettite, Ryan Franklin, and Alex Sanchez, presumably.

- Pettite and I are the closest of friends and workout buddies ... yet I have no clue that he was using HGH.

- I trusted my trainer completely about *everything* I put into my body, including full approval over my diet ... but I had no clue that he was involved in steroids.

- My trainer told the truth about Pettite, but lied about me ... because "the cases are totally different." Oh.

- I never injected anything into my body... except for the dozen or more times I shot up with B12, which is proven to do nothing to help athletic performance.

- I'll do anything to clear my name... except possibly sue or take a polygraph.

- I'd do anything to clear my name... except talk to Sen. Mitchell during his investigation.

- I've earned the benefit of the doubt from my many years of great performance ... which has no historical precedent, and which is now alleged to have been ill-gotten. (Like a successful drug dealer saying he should get the benefit of the doubt b/c he's rich).

- If I did steroids, who'd I get them from? (Can't argue with that one, Rog.)

- The trainer lied about me because he wanted to stay out of jail ... even though he was told that if he lied he WOULD go to jail.

On the whole, unimpressive. I will concede this: I don't know how much different Clemens would've looked/sounded if he WAS innocent.

at 3:35 PM Anonymous firefly118 said...

Clemens is going to jail!!!!!

All he had to do was shut his mouth, deny any interview with anyone, and hope he got a 50/50 split to the Hall of Fame. Now, because his ego has got the best of him, he will nail his own coffin. He took steriods and we all know it, it was a common thing for these great athletes in the last 7-8 years, and most of them did it. He got bigger and stronger into his late 30's and early 40's, come on, we are not stupid. And why in the world would a guy say he gave steriods to someone that he didn't. McNamee has nothing to gain for naming Clemens, he already got a deal just to provide info on what he knew, there is no extra points for naming any certain people. Now that Roger has denied it, and filed a law suit, and will deny it to it Congress he is done and will purjur himself. There will never be a lie detector test taken, I don't trust them either, but he'll never take one anyway. He was a great pitcher, and even if he took steroids, he still deserves the Hall (so does Pete), but lying takes it to a whole new level....

at 4:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

at 12:36 PM Anonymous said...

Again: Guilty until proven innocent.

Bet you’d feel a lot different about the situation if you were the one being accused of something, based on nothing but another person’s allegation, with nothing but your own word to prove your innocence.

I had a family member, a teacher, who, years ago, was accused of touching one of his students. It was her word against his: it didn’t matter that there was no proof, or that his (30+ years) reputation and record (both in and out of school) were spotless up to that point. Despite his claims of innocence, he was tried, convicted and condemned before he ever set foot in a courtroom.

He ended up being exonerated (she broke down and admitted she lied), but his reputation never fully recovered. He still lost his job, and couldn’t get another one teaching again. People (outside of his family) still didn’t believe him. The utter hopelessness of the situation eventually led to him committing suicide.

It doesn’t matter who you are: celebrity, politician, or ordinary citizen. It doesn't matter where you're tried: a court of law or a court of public opinion. In this country, you are innocent until you are proven guilty, and an accusation with no proof to support it is not good enough to convict someone.

Do I believe Clemens (or Stanton, or any of the other players named in the Mitchell report with no proof to back up the charges) used performance-enhancing drugs? Not until I see some concrete evidence to back it up, and right now, there isn’t any. What’s being used in the court of public opinion to condemn him right now is circumstantial at best.

If you’re going to accuse someone of something, you’d better have the proof to back it up, before you unfairly destroy another person’s life.

at 4:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, until he's there, Selig deserves the scorn of Reds Nation.

These Steroid junkies do not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Especially, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, and "oh I was just taken vitamins" Clemens.

at 9:41 PM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

John, in regards to the part where Mac said "what do you want me do do?" I think it was Buster Olney on Sportscenter that said it could be perceived as tampering with a witness if he actually told him what to do.

I personally thought the telephone conversation hurt his cause. And he was also his jaded self once again asking "Can I drink this water?" What a #$%^ take your pick to fill in the blank there.

at 11:23 PM Blogger Steve Bittenbender said...

I don't see how the taped call helps Clemens' case at all. In fact, it seems to be (at worst) borderline witness intimidation and (at best) a bush-league tactic.

Clemens is in trouble, and I'm not sure we'll see him in Cooperstown five years after he retires (whenever that happens to be).

at 8:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty for criminal trials.

Guilty in accord with appearances in any trial of public opinion.

If you don't like it, then don't seek fame!

at 11:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clemens said the injections he got were "Lidocaine and B-12. It's for my joints, and B-12 I still take today." Why would someone have B-12 injected into themselves? Sure, injecting something gets it right into your blood stream, but it's a vitamin supplement. Also, if he's still taking it today, is he implying that he is still getting injections of it. Probably not - he's probably taking it orally these days. So why not take it that way when he was playing baseball?

at 2:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clemens has gone from yesterday's hero to today's bum.

Well earned Roger.

B12 my association!

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