11:56 PM EDT, July 6, 2011
Rocket's rough ride
Roger Clemens is going down, just like one of the 292 guys he struck out in 1997, the year many people believe he became a steroid cheater.
I have a strong feeling he's going to be convicted of lying to Congress. Clemens will try to discredit his former trainer, Brian McNamee, and he might succeed. But how's he going to take away the testimony of Andy Pettitte and possibly others who will say they knew that Clemens had used banned substances?
This could be an epic clash, especially if Clemens winds up on the witness stand.
The feds learned lessons in the Barry Bonds case that they will use in making a tighter case against Clemens. The Rocket is in for a rough ride.
Pitcher's in a jam
Everything could change quickly, but as of now, it appears Roger Clemens is in trouble.
The defense's strategy — to argue that Brian McNamee made up allegations to protect his job and/or help him with his legal issues — seems fundamentally flawed.
Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton have admitted receiving PEDs from McNamee. Why would McNamee have chosen to blackmail Clemens instead of those other former Yankees if Clemens hadn't gotten drugs too?
McNamee's track record is far from squeaky clean, and it's up to the 12 people in the jury box to decide Clemens' guilt or innocence, but the big right-hander looks to be facing a hitter's count.
Don't bet against him
It seems that Rocket Man would need the Casey Anthony jury to escape this jam. Common sense indicates Clemens took steroids to lengthen his career.
Even Clemens' best friend, Andy Pettitte, admitted to dabbling with chemical fastballs. So Clemens, a fiercely proud man in danger of having his Hall of Fame credentials tarnished, defied Congress and lied to them in 2008. Slam dunk perjury, right?
But if the more despised Barry Bonds could get off with a mere love tap on the wrist, then Clemens has a great chance of not getting nicked at all. With sleazy Brian McNamee as the central witness, Clemens might have had a harder time beating the Royals than he will beating these charges.
Watch the needle
Los Angeles Times
It will be hard for Roger Clemens to escape federal perjury charges if the needle that Brian McNamee allegedly used to inject the pitcher with performance-enhancing drugs can be proved to have been used as described.
Clemens' phalanx of attorneys and huff-and-puff denials won't amount to much if the needle is found to contain the pitcher's DNA as well as the remnants of any illicit drug.
Making Clemens' defense more problematic is the expected testimony of former teammate Andy Pettitte.
Bottom line: In an era when high-profile athletes rarely are held accountable for anything, Clemens could be left holding the bag of whatever it was he used to taint his image.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun