MLB News: Roger Clemens to be indicted for perjury

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 13:  Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens (R) and former Major League Baseball strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee testify about allegations of steroid use by professional ball players before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. The 'Mitchell Report' named several former and current major league baseball players, including Clemens, who are accused of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times is reporting that former pitcher Roger Clemens will be indicted on charges of making false statements to Congress during his testimony about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment comes nearly two and half years after Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee testified under oath at a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, directly contradicting each other about whether Clemens had used the banned substances.

The committee held the hearing in February 2008, just two months after McNamee first tied Clemens to the use of the substances in George J. Mitchell’s report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. After Mitchell released the report, Clemens launched an attack on McNamee, saying he made up the allegations.

I’ve long held the opinion that both Clemens and McNamee lied about their testimonies back in 2008. I don’t think we’ve heard the true story of Clemens’ involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, although sadly I don’t know if we ever will either.

Even though Clemens has been indicted, don’t expect a speedy trial. Barry Bonds was indicted in 2007 and his trial won’t start until next March. Thus, it could be years before Clemens goes to trial.

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David Wells: ‘Players that cheat should be banned after first offense’

Former MLB pitcher David Wells tossed a few high hard ones at Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens this past weekend, saying that any player that cheats the game should be banned from baseball after the first offense.

Wells said the home runs that Rodriguez hit during the time he admitted he was on steroids shouldn’t count, including the three he jacked against Wells in 2003. He also questioned Roger Clemens’ veracity on his constant denials that he never juiced, and said all steroids cheats should be banned from baseball after the first offense and have no shot at getting into the Hall of Fame.

“I think that would be great. No 50-game suspension. Ban them right away,” Wells said. “That would stop it in a heartbeat, especially with the money they are giving out today. It would be incredible if they did that. You wouldn’t have to worry about steroids or HGH.”

Why do players abuse steroids? So they can post incredible numbers, assault records, extend their careers, sign big contracts.

“It (stinks) because of the fact that these guys are playing dirty and that’s not fair to the guys who busted their butt all those years to try and stay here and just didn’t have what it took,” Wells said.

If baseball truly wanted to stop player’s use of performance-enhancing drugs, they would take on Wells’ philosophy. No player in their right mind would risk taking steroids if they knew a positive test would result in a lifetime ban from the game. (Well, maybe I shouldn’t suggest that no player would risk using, because I’m sure some nitwit would do it anyway thinking he’d never be caught.)

One thing to note is that MLB wouldn’t be able to make this rule retroactive because if they didn’t think it was important to have a testing policy in place 10 years ago, then they shouldn’t be able to ban a player who admitted using during that time. So guys like A-Rod and Andy Pettitte would be given a free pass for now.

But a lifetime ban would put the responsibility back into the players’ hands – where everything starts anyway. If a player isn’t sure that a supplement or medication will get him banned, he needs to check with a team doctor and have it authorized. That way everyone knows what’s going into these players’ bodies and therefore there wouldn’t be any surprises. And this wouldn’t just help keep the game clean, but it would also show that MLB cares about the players’ long-term health, too. It seems to be a win-win for all parties involved.

Lupica: Clemens sticks to fiction

In one of his recent articles, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica hammered Roger Clemens about what the former pitcher said on the “Mike & Mike in the Morning Show” for ESPN Raido.

McNamee is making it up. And Andy Pettitte is still “misremembering” a conversation he and Clemens once had about HGH. And of course the four reporters from the Daily News who have written the book “American Icon” about Clemens – Teri Thompson, Mike O’Keeffe, Christian Red and Nate Vinton – must be making it up for 428 pages, plus footnotes.

Then, referring to “American Icon,” Clemens said, “I’ve seen excerpts from the book and they’re completely false.”

He didn’t say which false excerpts he’d read. But then once you get Clemens off his talking points, almost everything becomes a brain buster.

He even suggested Tuesday that “common sense” had to tell you he wouldn’t take steroids, because of a history of heart trouble in his family. One of the people he cited was a stepfather who died of a heart attack. As if somehow they weren’t just related by marriage, but by blood as well.

So Clemens does add a new wrinkle, that he was worried about what steroids might do to his heart. You wonder how they could ever do as much damage as Clemens has done to himself over the last year and a half. Somehow he still wants that to be everybody else’s fault. The media’s most of all.

He is a little bit like Barry Bonds now, though Bonds does a much better job of keeping his mouth shut, probably because he has much better lawyers than Clemens, starting with Rusty the Lawyer down there in Houston. Bonds is as good as retired. So is Clemens. Bonds can’t hit home runs to change the subject, Clemens can’t strike people out.

What’s absolutely ridiculous about what Clemens said about his family’s history of heart conditions (besides the idiot comment he made about having heart issues because of his stepfather), is that this is his first mention of anything like that. He has never said that it would be “suicidal” of him to use steroids because of his family history – that was the first time since the steroid allegations came out that he referred to any kind of family heart history. Did he actually think that the American public was going to buy that? That’s what he and his crisis coach came up with over the past year?

Lupica’s right – Clemens should take a page out of Bonds’ playbook and just stay out of the public. Clemens does more damage to himself when he opens his mouth.

Clemens once again refutes steroid allegations

While appearing on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio on Tuesday, Roger Clemens bashed the new book “American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime,” written by four New York Daily News reporters, and once again denied being injected with HGH by former trainer Brian McNamee.

When asked about the physical evidence reportedly handed over by McNamee to federal investigators and whether it had his DNA on it, Clemens said “Impossible, because he’s never given me any [performance-enhancing drugs], it’s as simple as that. He’s never given me HGH or any kind of performance-enhancing drug, so it’s impossible.”

Later in the interview, he said McNamee “… never injected me with HGH or steroids.” Pointing out that his family has a history of heart conditions, Clemens said “It would be suicidal for me to even think about taking any of these dangerous drugs.”

Asked about Pettitte’s testimony that Clemens had told him he used HGH, Clemens repeated a line that he uttered during his congressional testimony: “Andy misremembers.” He said he’d only talked to Pettitte a few times since then because of the legal issues.

“I still consider Andy a friend,” Clemens said.

One of the biggest crocks in Clemens’ testimony is his claim that ‘Andy misremembered.’ I find it incredibly hard to believe that Andy Pettitte (or anyone for that matter) would have a conversation about HGH and not remember that one of his friends and teammates told him that he had taken the drug.

If I was having a beer with a buddy of mine and he confessed that he was taking HGH, had cheated on his girlfriend, had stabbed a panda, had stolen a car or whatever, I would remember the pertinent details. It’s not like that kind of information would go in one ear and out the other, you know?

Clemens is going to get his in the end, because McNamee has cooperated with investigators this entire time. Whether or not Clemens eventually gets busted for lying depends on the evidence, however.

If Manny was juicing in Boston, are Red Sox championships tainted?

When you put aside the notion that he cheated the game of baseball for his own personal gain, what most people are generally upset about in regards to Barry Bonds and steroids is that he broke Hank Aaron’s home run record. Not only was he allegedly juicing, but in doing so, he also broke one of the most sacred records in all of baseball and most are calling for his name to be scratched from the record books.

In the wake of Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension, there’s another topic that should be broached, similar to Bonds’ home run record. Considering Manny hit cleanup for the Red Sox’ two championship teams this decade and also won MVP of Boston’s World Series sweep of the Cardinals in 2004, should the BoSox’ titles be considered tainted if Ramirez was on steroids?

To get the semantics out of the way first, no, Manny didn’t test positive for steroids. He only tested positive for a women’s fertility drug that is often used by athletes and bodybuilders to restore testosterone levels after steroid cycles. To be fair, Ramirez has never tested positive for steroids and therefore anything linking him to PEDs should be considered speculation.

However, if we’re truly being fair, Bonds never tested positive for steroids either. Yet, because his head grew to the size of a small watermelon and his physique went from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk over the course of only a couple of years, it’s safe to say that Bonds was on some kind of human growth hormone and therefore his accomplishments should be questioned and criticized.

And so should the Red Sox’s two World Series titles.

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