Clemens & Congress: opening act promises high comedy for Rocket and his scientist Print
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Saturday, 09 February 2008 11:15
MLB Headline News

 As opening acts go, this one belonged center stage in the theater of the absurd.
There was Roger Clemens making the rounds like a veteran pro, tossing autographed baseballs to secretaries, putting congressmen into playful headlocks and inviting everybody down to his place in for some real Texas barbeque.
Not far away, Brian McNamee stood nervously in a darkened hallway, opening his raincoat to show scandalous pictures to anyone who might come by.
And everywhere on Capitol Hill, lawyers were sharpening both their talking points and their fangs for the real fun just ahead.
They couldn't have set up Wednesday's showdown before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee any better if television writers had used their down time during the strike to script it. Then again, a ``Desperate Housewives'' plot would pale alongside the twists this saga has taken since Clemens was cast as the unwilling star of the Mitchell Report on steroids.
rs that Roger Clemens wasn't the only Clemens family member he injected. McNamee said he shot up Debbie Clemens with human growth hormone five years ago so she would look better in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
That presumably sent a lot of baseball fans into their basements, fishing for their stack of swimsuit editions to see just how HGH might have enhanced Debbie Clemens. Basements are good places to store lots of different things, as McNamee would likely attest after filling his with discarded Miller Lite cans, empty steroid syringes and bloody gauze.
Or they could have gone to DebbieClemens.com, where they not only could see the pictures but order such items as a baseball-stitched purse and pitcher-and-catcher wine glasses and hear her philosophy on fitness and life.
``Remember you always feel good after a great workout and are so happy you did it!'' she writes.
There aren't any new entries on Debbie's site, probably because she has been busy working out and doing other things. Her husband doesn't have a job right now but he seems awfully busy, too, in his new role as a congressional lobbyist in charge of lobbying congressmen about himself.
ek when he and McNamee testify with seven Cy Youngs and a spot in the Hall of Fame possibly at stake.
If there seemed something slightly unseemly about going behind closed doors to have a few laughs with people who could be your judge and jury, it was lost on Team Clemens. They understood, after all, that one sure way to make sure the questions coming his way are lobbed softballs is to pose for souvenir pictures with awed politicians, slap a few backs and show them what a good ol' boy he really is.
Don't forget, though, that these are also the same people who secretly tape conversations, hire investigators to find out what McNamee might have done in the parking lot at his senior prom and refuse to conclude a sentence about McNamee unless the words ``troubled'' and ``liar'' have already been used twice.
The scorched earth policy of Team Clemens knows no bounds, particularly now that they've set aside any thoughts of caution and decided to risk everything on Clemens' portrayal of himself as a wounded hero who would never do anything to harm either himself or the game he loves.
y time he opens his mouth he looks like he is lying.
Clemens' only hope is that McNamee is either caught on video sticking pins into a voodoo doll of the pitcher or is so thoroughly discredited that the only conclusion anyone can draw is that he was a bitter former employee out to get even.
It this was a one-on-one matchup, Clemens' star power might prevail in the same room where Mark McGwire forgot the past and Sammy Sosa forgot how to speak English a few years ago. But Andy Pettitte will be there, and he has already confirmed what McNamee said about him. Chuck Knoblauch will likely do the same thing, presumably with his 3-year-old son sitting on his lap to learn a lesson about what daddy might have done wrong.
Maybe Team Clemens can bring in Debbie Clemens to even things up. Nothing quite like an outraged mother of four to make this theater even more absurd than it already shapes up to be.
Clemens no doubt would like to see her there. Because unlike the others, you can be sure she would stand by her man.
---
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlbergap.org
 

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