Jockbeat: Clemens Won’t Budge


The more Roger Clemens’s story stays the same, the curiouser and curiouser the whole matter gets.

Clemens has engaged a firm, Washington-based outfit Levick Strategic Communications, that guides high-profile figures through public relations crises. That’s how he wound up on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning yesterday, the point being to fire a preemptive shot at American Icon: the Fall of Roger Clemens and The Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime, a book compiled by four Daily News reporters, which was released yesterday.

We’ll reserve comment on the book later. For the time being, let’s just say that Clemens’s story remains exactly the same as it was a year ago: “He’s never injected me with HGH or steroids,” Clemens said of the assertions made by his former trainer Brian McNamee.

We can expect that future legal action will probably hinge on two major points Clemens touched on in the interview. First, Clemens said he had given a DNA sample to federal investigators to compare to whatever is found on the syringes provided to the investigators by McNamee. “It’s impossible to find a match,” Clemens told Mike and Mike, “because he’s never given me any [injections].” McNamee either did or didn’t supply Clemens with syringes, and Clemens’s DNA either is or isn’t on them.  But if there isn’t a match, the whole case against Clemens falls apart.

Second, Clemens isn’t wasting time trying to tear down any other potential witnesses against him. (Andy Pettitte, for instance: “He’s still my
friend” was just about all Roger had to say of his former teammate.) The reason for that has become more obvious over the last few months:
the government has no other serious witnesses against Clemens. Pettitte’s testimony during last year’s hearings was so weak and confused that they decided not to even call him as a witness.

What it comes down to now is what it came down to in the very beginning:  it’s Clemens’s word vs. McNamee’s, or rather Clemens’s word vs. against whatever DNA is found on those syringes.  Stay tuned.