(the father of supply-side economics, taking considerable pride at being mentioned in the same breath as Mrs. Rocket’s rear end)
“A TV network, like ESPN, is more apt to go live when the possibility exists a politician might ask McNamee if he stuck a needle in Debbie Clemens’ butt than it would if an economist was being questioned about the history of the Laffer Curve” writes the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, who figures there’s some of us will find something else to do tomorrow morning than watch what may or may not be the public crucifixion of Roger Clemens.
There is an element comprised of fans and media who will not find Wednesday’s proceedings the least bit riveting. For them, pitchers and catchers can’t get here soon enough. They also couldn’t care less who was testifying.
They also could be tired of the story and indifferent to the huge ramifications it contains. The personas of the protagonists – Clemens and McNamee, the only ones left, basically – may have left some fans apathetic. They will say what comes out of the hearing makes no difference because it has no impact on their team.
Sunday, Bob DuPuy, MLB’s president/chief operating officer, appeared on WFAN. After responding to host Ed Randall’s questions concerning tomorrow’s hearing and baseball’s drug problems with non-answers and spin, DuPuy’s spirits were uplifted when the talk shifted to on-the-field stuff. Interestingly, DuPuy was careful to tout – a few times – baseball’s “young new stars.”
This is smart marketing. Subtleties are effective. Painting a bright picture of baseball’s future – even with a few choice words – when its present is so sleazy, is where MLB’s establishment wants to go. The suits clearly have a captive constituency already tired of this Clemens story.
Sorry, it’s not going away. Even those who would rather talk second-string catchers will be sneaking a peek (maybe just the highlights) tomorrow. Others will be glued to the television looking to see a “gotcha” moment. They will be tuning in to see someone take a fall – live.
Richard Griffin will probably manage to tune in, sneering in Tuesday’s Star, “Clemens probably gets what he deserves for hiring a lawyer named Rusty. It’s like trusting a mortician named Skip.”
If Clemens is lying and Brian McNamee is telling the truth and if it is proven in Congress in what amounts to a legally binding decision, then Clemens owes a huge apology to many people.
One of these to whom he would owe an apology is former Jays manager Tim Johnson. When Clemens finagled his way out of a Blue Jays uniform and into Yankee pinstripes in the off-season of 1998-99, to justify it he needed reasons, because he said he still loved Toronto and the fans and his two years there. Was that a lie?
After the escape-from-T.O. fact, after Clemens had used his illegal side-agreement with the Jays to force his way to the Bronx, there were carefully leaked rumours that one of the reasons he wanted out was because of Johnson’s lies about fighting in Vietnam. Clemens could not stomach playing for a liar. Isn’t it ironic?
The only difference between the two (if guilty) is that Johnson’s lie, which many legit veterans of that unpopular conflict claim is a fairly common syndrome for those that lost friends while avoiding action themselves, is that Johnson’s lie cost him his livelihood. Clemens lie, if it turns out to be, may cost him the Hall of Fame. But, in the meantime, he was able to earn over $120 million (U.S.) since leaving the Jays. The repercussions of the two lies don’t seem quite equal.