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Roger Clemens Suits Up


Shifty? Or just curveball-y?Photo: Courtesy of CBS

Roger Clemens is following up on his defensive moves last night on 60 Minutes by filing a lawsuit against the former trainer who said he injected the pitching legend with performance-enhancing drugs, it was reported this morning. The trainer, Brian McNamee, was previously said by lawyers to be considering a suit against Clemens because the former Yankee had defamed him by aggressively claiming that McNamee was a liar. McNamee was an informant for the Mitchell Report which uncovered widespread juicing throughout Major League Baseball. The suit claims to know that McNamee buckled to pressure from the feds. “According to McNamee,” reads one portion of the suit, “he originally made his allegations to federal authorities after being threatened with criminal prosecution if he did not implicate Clemens.” “After this exchange, and for the first time in his life, McNamee stated that he had injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001,” said the suit, which was filed late last night. “Following his recantation, McNamee has relayed that he magically went from a ‘target’ in a federal criminal drug investigation to a mere ‘witness,’ so long as he continued to ‘toe the line.”’ (BTW, excellent use of the word “magically” in an official court document, Rog.) “Clemens’ good reputation has been severely injured,” the suit also said. “McNamee’s false allegations have also caused Clemens to suffer mental anguish, shame, public humiliation and embarrassment.”

The suit comes on the heels of a Newsday report that Clemens and McNamee had an “emotional” hour-long phone conversation with each other on Friday. It’s pretty clear that the two of them hate one another these days, what with all of the talk of lawsuits and defamation, so it’s a safe bet that the two weren’t just magically reunited as buddies. Rather, many suspect they were discussing the fact that they were both notified that day that they were to be summoned before a congressional committee to discuss the doping matter. This “smacks of a kind of attempted influencing of what is supposed to be honest testimony,” Richard Emery, a lawyer for McNamee, told the Times. It also many help explain where Clemens gets off claiming in his suit that he “knows” that McNamee caved to pressure from the feds.

But we’re guessing anybody who watched Clemens on last night’s episode of 60 Minutes is mostly just wondering this: Was he lying? Thankfully, while the Times and Newsday were focusing on trivial details like legal filings and witness tampering, the Post and the Daily News were out hiring lie-detecting experts and body-language analysts! “If he’s honest and he is indeed telling the truth, then he needs to be coached — because he’s looking for all the world that he’s not being forthcoming,” a former military interrogator [Ed: What?] told the Post. Ooh, so he’s a liar! Except, wait, the News, classically, completely disagrees. “When you shift around a lot, when you look left to right, when you look up, you’re basically trying to avoid a situation,” said a media consultant. “He rarely did that.” So, maybe not a liar. Great. Can someone please just strap a lie detector on this baby? Because if there’s one thing we get tired of quickly, it’s hearing baseball players talk.

Clemens Sues His Former Trainer [Newsday]
The Lawsuit [PDF]
Clemens, McNamee Have ‘Emotional’ Phone Talk [Newsday]
On 60 Minutes, Clemens Says Steroid Use ‘Never Happened’ [NYDN]
Clemens Calls Drug Accusations ‘Totally Fake’ [NYT]
Earlier: MLB Steroid Report Fingers 29 New York Players

Roger Clemens Suits Up