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Monday, April 30, 2012

In Roger Clemens Trial, Congressional Investigator Defends 2008 Hearing

More tax dollars at work.

Clemens’ attorneys today filed court papers attacking the credibility of McNamee, calling him a habitual liar. At issue is whether, and to what extent, the defense lawyers and prosecutors can discuss so-called “bad acts” that involve McNamee.

“Brian McNamee is the only person in the entire world who has ever said that he witnessed Mr. Clemens use steroids or human growth hormone at any time in his storied career,” Hardin said in the court papers. “But Mr. McNamee’s past also contains more dirt than a pitcher’s mound.”

You probably already know about the rape allegations in Florida, but Clemens’ lawyers also want to bring up “police misconduct at the NYPD, purported substance abuse and addiction, a conviction for driving while intoxicated, indebtedness and collection actions, tax fraud, prescription drug fraud and distribution, loan fraud, and breaking and entering.”  Clemens’ court papers are a fun read… especially since Rusty Hardin doesn’t know how to use Adobe Acrobat to redact secret information.

David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 30, 2012 at 08:33 PM | 174 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: legal, steroids

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   101. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4122423)
The lawyers can better handle the legal question, but from a reputational standpoint, Clemens is better off now than he was before he proclaimed his innocence.


Do you really think this is true? I don't. I think it is a wash at best and he'd be better off if he either confessed or simply stayed silent. If he confessed at least he could have the Andy Pettitte thing going for him and if he had stayed silent at least he could have faded away.
   102. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4122427)
Actually, he hasn't been "vindicated" at all. It's just that people are now realizing that the case against him isn't as strong as they had thought.

He hasn't been "vindicated" because a criminal trial for perjury doesn't have much if anything to do with the ultimate baseball question of whether Clemens used. We're privy to things the rules of evidence don't permit to be presented to a jury, and the judge has been good for the Clemens defense team. We know, for example, that Pettitte has admitted that he got HGH from McNamee, but Judge Walton didn't permit the jury to be told that.

As for the government's legal case -- it sucks.(*) You know they're desperate when part of their case and evidence package is that Clemens didn't tell the truth about being at a barbecue 14 years ago. Perjury is, always has been, and always will be tough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In actuality, it's been the people who don't hold steroids use against a player who have been most informed on this issue.

Informing yourself to this degree belies the notion that you don't care about players' steroid use. At the very least, you care what others think about players' steroid use, otherwise there'd be no point to familiarizing yourself so intimately with the minutae of the Congressional hearings and the criminal trials. You do care that other people hold steroid use against players, and you want the results of these criminal trials to make them not do that so much.

(*) Not only does it suck, it's made worse by the fact that the government got on the wrong side of the judge in the first trial.
   103. Morty Causa Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4122430)
I remember seeing an interview with Alan Dershowitz where he said he would have advised Clemens to take the 5th. He said he knew it was a lousy thing to do from a PR perspective but from the legal perspective letting him testify was a huge mistake.


I'm sure that was all Clemens's idea, and if a lawyer has a rich, headstrong client--well, what are you going to do, except allow him to do what he wants and try to clean up afterwards. That’s what he’s paying you for, he’ll tell you. As an attorney, when I read that transcript quoted above, I want to shout at Clemens, "STFU! You are volunteering entirely too much information, and you are going to pay for it if you don't shut up." Hardin at the beginning obviously had little control of his client. He either had to allow Clemens to have his way or Clemens was going to get another lawyer, I bet.

Clemens lives on the emotional edge. OTOH, he doesn't come across as someone who's sneaky and hedging his bets, so it reflects well on his character wrt truthfulness. When he was asked about his HOF chances early on, he replied with passion to the effect, #### the HOF. This is more important--it's about my reputation. That came across as genuine. Hopefully, though, Clemens has learned something, will listen to Hardin more, and will be a little more calculating wrt to his own interests.

   104. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4122443)
Do you really think this is true? I don't. I think it is a wash at best and he'd be better off if he either confessed or simply stayed silent. If he confessed at least he could have the Andy Pettitte thing going for him and if he had stayed silent at least he could have faded away.


Nobody wants a "day in court." Nobody wants to be in court at all, let alone to be on the business end of a criminal trial. Andy's "well, shrug, he's better off now" doesn't make a lot of sense (especially not without a verdict in his favor). People should be able to say "I didn't do it" without being indicted for saying that. It is not a legitimate function of Congress to call people before it who are having private disputes and force them to go under oath to deny it. That is where the people involved as part of the crusade on this issue have taken us. Oh, sure, not all of them "wanted this." They were just concerned about the Hall of Fame! Well, sometimes when a a lynch mob gets going, they just might find it within their business to order some lynchings.

   105. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4122448)
We're privy to things the rules of evidence don't permit to be presented to a jury, and the judge has been good for the Clemens defense team. We know, for example, that Pettitte has admitted that he got HGH from McNamee, but Judge Walton didn't permit the jury to be told that.
I'm sorry, but it seems to me the judge is 100% correct here. Why does it matter that Pettitte got HGH from McNamee? We already know that (1) Pettitte used, (2) McNamee was a supplier, and (3) McNamee can't be trusted; how would Pettitte's connection to McNamee prove anything concerning Clemens?
   106. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4122458)
The lawyers can better handle the legal question, but from a reputational standpoint, Clemens is better off now than he was before he proclaimed his innocence. Obviously there are writers / fans who have their minds made up irrevocably and will refuse to consider what we've seen in the past few days, and perhaps nothing will ever bring Clemens back to where he was before the government and McNamee came along. But for those of us who aren't in the camp of "accusation = certain guilt" or "no legal conviction = innocence", the way this trial has proceeded so far has gone a long way to move the narrative in the direction of Clemens' version of the story.
And by "those of us...," you mean "Andy."

(By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "the way this trial has proceeded so far.") We know exactly as much now as we did before the trial started, so I can't fathom how it could have changed your mind. (Pettitte's testimony, as noted repeatedly above in this thread, is exactly the same as the testimony he previously gave, under oath. So it's not a case where there was gossip about what he thought but nothing definitive.))

EDIT: Coke to several people.
   107. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4122460)
I'm sorry, but it seems to me the judge is 100% correct here. Why does it matter that Pettitte got HGH from McNamee? We already know that (1) Pettitte used, (2) McNamee was a supplier, and (3) McNamee can't be trusted; how would Pettitte's connection to McNamee prove anything concerning Clemens?

Because McNamee named Pettite, Knoblauch, and Clemens and was proven accurate about Pettitte and Knoblauch. Since it goes to McNamee's credibility as a witness, that information should have been admitted into evidence.

The fact that it wasn't doesn't change the answer to the ultimate baseball question. McNamee didn't lie about Pettitte, Knoblauch and HGH even though Pettitte and Knoblauch said he did. With that backdrop, there's really no reason to think he lied about Clemens.

Regardless of the outcome of this trial, it's quite a bit more likely than not that Clemens used HGH and/or steroids. He should still go into the Hall of Fame.
   108. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4122467)
Because McNamee named Pettite, Knoblauch, and Clemens and was proven accurate about Pettitte and Knoblauch. Since it goes to McNamee's credibility as a witness, that information should have been admitted into evidence.
But again, McNamee is pretty short in the credibility dept. with regards to other things. If he's done the things alleged in the linked court papers, why would a reasonable person (the jury) believe anything he says? Heck, if he said the sky is blue I'd double check.
   109. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4122469)
Ray, forgetting all the personal stuff in #100, I still want to compare Clemens' reputation in three stages:

Stage # 1: Before he was tied to steroid use by McNamee, and before Pettitte gave his original testimony.

Stage # 2: Between the end of Stage # 1 and yesterday.

Stage # 3: Where we are now.

Obviously his reputation now is going to vary from person to person.

If you don't care about steroids, then nothing changes. That's people like you.

If you think that nothing can vindicate Clemens' claim of innocence, then nothing changes there, either. That's an indeterminate number of people, hard to say at this point just how many.

But if you DO care about steroids, and if you wanted to wait to see how the charges played out before making an absolutely final decision, then what's transpired so far has only helped Clemens.

You can rightfully say that anyone should have been able to know how this was going to play out, if you'd previously gone over the testimony and realized that the defense was going to be able to discredit McNamee. Not everyone read that testimony all that carefully, and not everyone realized that without Pettitte to lend credibility to the prosecution's case, McNamee and his syringes didn't add up to all that much. It's been a two-pronged attack all along, and both were necessary to "convict" Clemens for some of us.

You want to tie all this together into some sort of grand theory that incorporates everything from legal strategies to amphetamines, but that's really a whole separate discussion. I'm simply trying to deal with the specific question of Roger Clemens, and whether or not he juiced. And at this point I think the balance of evidence and testimony indicates that he didn't. I probably should have realized that this was how it was going to play out, but then again that's why I've always said I was reserving final judgment until it did. And barring further unforeseen developments, I honestly think he's better off today by having been as forceful in his denials as he was, at least from a long run reputational standpoint and possible HoF induction. By "confessing", he might have avoided a lot of legal and financial hassle, but by doing that, his baseball reputation would have been permanently marred, or at best would have to await a sea change in public opinion about steroids.
   110. JJ1986 Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4122475)
Not everyone read that testimony all that carefully, and not everyone realized that without Pettitte to lend credibility to the prosecution's case, McNamee and his syringes didn't add up to all that much. It's been a two-pronged attack all along, and both were necessary to "convict" Clemens for some of us.


But this all means that you trusted Pettitte (a known liar, specifically about HGH) and McNamee (a known liar, rapist and disgraced cop) in the first place. If you're really not going in with assumptions (that anyone accused of using probably used), Clemens is much more trustworthy.
   111. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4122477)
(By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "the way this trial has proceeded so far.") We know exactly as much now as we did before the trial started, so I can't fathom how it could have changed your mind. (Pettitte's testimony, as noted repeatedly above in this thread, is exactly the same as the testimony he previously gave, under oath. So it's not a case where there was gossip about what he thought but nothing definitive.))

I plead guilty to not having read Pettitte's original testimony with the same fine eye as you did, but except for a few brief comments previously, I haven't really been following this thread. Beyond that, I stand by what I just wrote in #109 above.
   112. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4122481)
Not everyone read that testimony all that carefully, and not everyone realized that without Pettitte to lend credibility to the prosecution's case, McNamee and his syringes didn't add up to all that much. It's been a two-pronged attack all along, and both were necessary to "convict" Clemens for some of us.

But this all means that you trusted Pettitte (a known liar, specifically about HGH) and McNamee (a known liar, rapist and disgraced cop) in the first place. If you're really not going in with assumptions (that anyone accused of using probably used), Clemens is much more trustworthy.


Pettitte's shiftiness about his own HGH use aside, he's not what you'd generally call a prevaricator. And while McNamee is a dirtball, that in itself doesn't mean he couldn't have been telling the truth. The sainted Whittaker Chambers wasn't exactly a Norman Rockwell figure himself, but look how that turned out. And there's a difference between how testimony "plays out" on paper, and how it plays out in a live courtroom.
   113. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4122486)
Heck, if he said the sky is blue I'd double check.

I might, too.

But his record of accuracy when he says "I supplied HGH to Player X" is, at least to date, unsullied.
   114. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4122488)
But his record of accuracy when he says "I supplied HGH to Player X" is, at least to date, unspoiled.


Huh? Clemens spoiled it. So at best you're left with a sample of three, one of whom who put his liberty on the line to declare that McNamee is a goddamned liar.

And McNamee has admitted to lying over and over again in this very case, e.g., whether he had physical evidence on Clemens; the number of injections to Knoblauch; etc.

It is a strange mindset indeed that holds up as a truth teller someone who has lied about everything under the sun except in the most narrowest of bands that you're focusing on.

   115. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4122489)
Regardless of the outcome of this trial, it's quite a bit more likely than not that Clemens used HGH and/or steroids. He should still go into the Hall of Fame.

Concur, but I'm happy to see him wait 10 years or so to get in. It frames the right historical context so that in 50 years, people will see Bonds and Clemens getting in or the 10th ballot, or VC, and ask WTF?, and remember the scandal.
   116. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4122493)
I plead guilty to not having read Pettitte's original testimony with the same fine eye as you did, but except for a few brief comments previously, I haven't really been following this thread. Beyond that, I stand by what I just wrote in #109 above.

Clemens bullied Pettitte into Pettitte thinking he might not have heard what he clearly belives he heard. Everything about their personalities -- and Pettitte's recollection of the "No, it was Debbie" conversation -- screams that conclusion.

And when a lawyer asks a guy like Pettitte -- slow, dumb, eager to please -- something like "Is it possible you misremembered," guys like Pettitte aren't wired to stand up for themselves, and they don't.
   117. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4122494)
It is a strange mindset indeed that holds up as a truth teller someone who has lied about everything under the sun except in the most narrowest of bands that you're focusing on.

Ray, there's no such thing as a "liar" and a "honest man". The vast majority of people tell the truth most of the time, and lie some of the time. You have to look at the context of the statement in question, and what the motives are, before taking a reasonable guess as to who's being truthful.

What it comes down to for me, is that we know McNamee supplied plenty of guys. When "naming names" what incentive did he have to name Clemens if Clemens wasn't one of them? I'm sure he had 20 guys to choose from. The fact that he has proven accurate about two others he named, supports his honesty on this narrow point.
   118. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4122498)
Huh? Clemens spoiled it.

So did Pettitte and Knoblauch, then, after which McNamee's reputation became unsullied again.

It is a strange mindset indeed that holds up as a truth teller someone who has lied about everything under the sun except in the most narrowest of bands that you're focusing on.

I've not opined, nor do I care, about McNamee's general propensity to tell the truth.(*) Nor is it relevant that he's less "trustworthy" or "truthful" than Roger Clemens. The only important thing is whether McNamee's telling the truth about his Clemens/HGH story. The "narrowest of bands" are the only "bands" that matter.

(*) Or whether he's a "rapist" or scoundrel.

   119. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4122501)
Ray, there's no such thing as a "liar" and a "honest man". The vast majority of people tell the truth most of the time, and lie some of the time. You have to look at the context of the statement in question, and what the motives are, before taking a reasonable guess as to who's being truthful.


I fully agree. And in this very case McNamee has shown to be a liar over and over again. And admits to some of it. Oh, he always has "reasons" for why he, the noble do-gooder, told the lies. But he told them all the same.

What it comes down to for me, is that we know McNamee supplied plenty of guys. When "naming names" what incentive did he have to name Clemens if Clemens wasn't one of them?


The feds leaned on him.
   120. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4122504)
The feds leaned on him.

But they leaned on him w/r/t Pettitte and Knoblauch, too. The feds' leaning didn't make him lie about those guys; why would it make him lie about Clemens?
   121. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4122515)

The feds leaned on him.


Why Clemens though? You have to assume he supplied a lot of other guys beyond just Pettitte and Knoblauch. Are you thinking there was specific Federal pressure to "get" Clemens, rather than some other big-name player?
   122. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4122522)
Absolutely not. Federal prosecutors have no incentive or history for doubling down on persons who ostentatiously contradict them in public.
   123. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4122539)
An uninformed column by Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports. Did the journalists writing about this case just not bother to read Pettitte's deposition? Pettitte did not "backpedal on the witness stand." He testified exactly as expected. Attanasio did well to get Pettitte to agree to a number on how sure he was of the conversation (50-50), but Pettitte did not change his testimony at all. He didn't put a number on it when he testified the first time, because he wasn't asked to. His testimony was always more complex than Elijah Cummings and everyone else pretended it was.

This is fascinating - a rare case when I have some third hand inside knowledge and I can see who is full of ####. Ray, you're 100% full of #### wrong here.

   124. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4122542)
Absolutely not. Federal prosecutors have no incentive or history for doubling down on persons who ostentatiously contradict them in public.

I'm not saying that's not true, I'm just asking if that's Ray's theory.
   125. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4122550)
Ray, you're 100% full of #### wrong here.

Can you explain why he's wrong?
   126. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4122559)
Because McNamee named Pettite, Knoblauch, and Clemens and was proven accurate about Pettitte and Knoblauch. Since it goes to McNamee's credibility as a witness, that information should have been admitted into evidence.

The fact that it wasn't doesn't change the answer to the ultimate baseball question. McNamee didn't lie about Pettitte, Knoblauch and HGH even though Pettitte and Knoblauch said he did. With that backdrop, there's really no reason to think he lied about Clemens.
That is incorrect. He did, in fact, lie about Knoblauch. He told the truth about the fact that he gave Knoblauch hGH, but lied drastically about the details. Specifically, he claimed to prosecutors (and Mitchell) that he had injected him seven to nine times, and then later admitted to federal investigators that he lied and that he had injected Knoblauch about 50 times.
   127. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4122567)
Specifically, he claimed to prosecutors (and Mitchell) that he had injected him seven to nine times, and then later admitted to federal investigators that he lied and that he had injected Knoblauch about 50 times.

Is that really a material lie?
   128. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4122569)
This is fascinating - a rare case when I have some third hand inside knowledge and I can see who is full of ####. Ray, you're 100% full of #### wrong here.


????
Unless you wanna spill some of that "3rd hand" inside knowledge, you, not Ray, are the one who is full of it- Ray is quite accurate in stating that Petitte's testimony is consistent with his deposition testimony.

Moreover, if Petitte did indeed tell someone, like prosecutors, that he was going to say something different- then how would Ray or anyone else without "inside information" know?
   129. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4122573)
OK, he understated Knoblauch's involvement with HGH. He probably did the same with Clemens, i.e., he probably supplied Clemens with a lot more HGH (and probably a lot more drugs generally) than he's copped to.

McNamee's a criminal. Cases are often made with criminals as primary witnesses (not that I particularly care about the government's case beyond the fact that it's a waste of time and money).

   130. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4122574)
But they leaned on him w/r/t Pettitte and Knoblauch, too. The feds' leaning didn't make him lie about those guys; why would it make him lie about Clemens?


---

Why Clemens though? You have to assume he supplied a lot of other guys beyond just Pettitte and Knoblauch. Are you thinking there was specific Federal pressure to "get" Clemens, rather than some other big-name player?


---

Clemens is different from Knoblauch and even Pettitte and basically anyone McNamee was working with. Clemens is basically the big fish.

I was asked above: "What it comes down to for me, is that we know McNamee supplied plenty of guys. When "naming names" what incentive did he have to name Clemens if Clemens wasn't one of them?"

And: I'm not saying that's not true, I'm just asking if that's Ray's theory.

Well, first, I was asked for "a" theory. It doesn't have to be "my" theory -- I have no idea what's in McNamee's head -- but one of the theories floated by Clemens's lawyers -- and it's a reasonable theory, backed by evidence -- is that the feds pressured McNamee to give up Clemens specifically, and that the feds would not let off McNamee until he fingered Clemens. McNamee initially told him that he hadn't supplied Clemens with anything. In pressuring McNamee, the feds claimed to McNamee (we now know it's a lie) that they had other evidence on Clemens.

Essentially, according to the complaint Clemens's lawyers filed in the civil suit -- and you need a good faith basis to make your allegations -- this is what happened:

1. The feds approached McNamee in the summer of 2007 and claimed they had linked him to Radomski. They interviewed him at length on the first day. Throughout that first day, McNamee repeatedly denied to the feds that Clemens had used steroids or HGH.

2. According to McNamee's own words (they have a taped conversation of him speaking about this), the next day Matthew Parrella told him he had "two strikes" against him and that if he lied to federal authorities he would go to jail. "You have one more strike." And then after a recap of the prior day, the feds said, "So what about Clemens?" McNamee: "Well, what do you mean?" Jeff Novitzky then started screaming and telling McNamee, "How can I tell him that I don't know anything about steroids and Clemens with, first of all, what they know and then also I must not be good at what I do because I stretch him and I train him; so if I put my hands on his body, how can I not know that his body's changing by taking the steroids. And then he threw a piece of paper at me and he goes, "Do you know how many people we've talked to? Parrella jumped in. He goes, "We know about [sic] more about you than you know about yourself." He goes, "You're going to jail." My attorney just sat there. And they said, "Let's go back to when you first met Clemens in '98."

Quoting from the complaint: "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."

3. Two days later, according to McNamee, they wanted him to repeat his story to Mitchell, and when he initially refused, he was told by the feds that he would be moved from 'witness' status back to 'target' status and fully prosecuted. McNamee stated that when faced again with the threat of federal prosecution, he agreed to speak to Mitchell. During the Mitchell interrogation, which McNamee said was "conducted like a cold war era interrogation," a federal agent merely read to Mitchell's people McNamee's statement and then asked McNamee to confirm it.

----

Note: I'm not saying that this means McNamee is lying about Clemens. You guys asked for a theory. That's a theory. And it's a reasonable one.

Here's a link to the complaint I quote from above. See pages 10 and 11 in particular.
   131. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4122575)
This is fascinating - a rare case when I have some third hand inside knowledge and I can see who is full of ####. Ray, you're 100% full of #### wrong here.


How so?

(And what is "third hand inside knowledge"? How can third hand knowledge be "inside"? And why do we need "inside knowledge" to read the 2008 deposition and compare it to what Pettitte testified to yesterday? Whose "inside knowledge" do you have, and why is it relevant?)
   132. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4122577)
Specifically, he claimed to prosecutors (and Mitchell) that he had injected him seven to nine times, and then later admitted to federal investigators that he lied and that he had injected Knoblauch about 50 times.

Is that really a material lie?


Priceless. Now when confronted about the fact that he lied even within the narrow band that was rigged to make him look honest, the response is "Well, was the lie material?"

   133. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4122578)
Note: I'm not saying that this means McNamee is lying about Clemens. You guys asked for a theory. That's a theory. And it's a reasonable one.

It is.

Which, I think, puts us right back with the alleged Clemens steroid syringes. The whole case rests on what cases the two sides can make about the reliability of that evidence.
   134. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4122583)
Priceless. Now when confronted about the fact that he lied even within the narrow band that was rigged to make him look honest, the response is "Well, was the lie material?"

I fully stipulate that McNamee is a lying-sack-of-####, and his uncorroborated testimony is worthless. He's not honest.

But, that "lie" is not a meaningful lie. I mean, if your friend claimed he slept with your girlfriend 5 times, and you confronted asking "Is that true", and she comes back, "No, he's lying". Later you find out she slept with him 12 times, would you say she told the truth and your friend lied, or vice versa?

   135. Darren Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4122591)
More like your friend admitting that it happened once and then him later saying it was an affair that lasted for a year.
   136. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4122594)
More like your friend admitting that it happened once and then him later saying it was an affair that lasted for a year.

In either case, he was the one being more truthful.
   137. Guapo Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4122600)
But, that "lie" is not a meaningful lie. I mean, if your friend claimed he slept with your girlfriend 5 times, and you confronted asking "Is that true", and she comes back, "No, he's lying". Later you find out she slept with him 12 times, would you say she told the truth and your friend lied, or vice versa?


If you're focused on the narrow question of whether your friend slept with your girlfriend, it's not a material lie. If you're trying to determine the scope of their affair, it is a material lie.

Similarly, McNamee's "lie" is not material if you're focused on the narrow question of whether he injected Knoblauch. It is a material lie if you're trying to ascertain his role generally as a supplier of drugs to athletes.
   138. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4122642)
Similarly, McNamee's "lie" is not material if you're focused on the narrow question of whether he injected Knoblauch. It is a material lie if you're trying to ascertain his role generally as a supplier of drugs to athletes.

Right. We already knew he was a huge drug supplier, so that's not at issue. What we care about is his accuracy in identifying his clients.

If he had falsely accused someone before, that would be a big piece of evidence on Clemens side. The fact that he understated his drug involvement with Knoblauch doesn't help Clemens.

His credibility is bad enough generally, that his unsupported testimony is pretty worthless, but with corroboration (i.e. the syringes) it might be enough. If Clemens could actually show he had a pattern of false accusations, even with the syringes, it's probably not sufficient.
   139. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4122658)
I fully stipulate that McNamee is a lying-sack-of-####, and his uncorroborated testimony is worthless. He's not honest.

But, that "lie" is not a meaningful lie.


He was off by an order of magnitude. It wasn't 8 vs. 10, but 8 vs. 50.

His credibility is bad enough generally, that his unsupported testimony is pretty worthless, but with corroboration (i.e. the syringes) it might be enough. If Clemens could actually show he had a pattern of false accusations, even with the syringes, it's probably not sufficient.


He has a pattern of lying, and then lying again, and then lying some more before telling more lies.

Clemens, meanwhile, still hasn't had to change his story. He's not had to admit to lying, hasn't had to walk back lies that he told and the reasons why he told them. Clemens asserts that McNamee is lying, and even people have come to realize that Pettitte agrees he may have misunderstood the conversation -- which was a central point people were using to mock Clemens with.

How anyone could believe McNamee enough to be sure Clemens is lying is bizarre. You're looking at Clemens, the one who to this point has proven to be the far more honest one, and demanding that he show, amongst all McNamee's lies, a specific type of lie that McNamee has told.
   140. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4122666)
What it comes down to for me, is that we know McNamee supplied plenty of guys.
We do? I thought we knew he supplied two guys. And no guys with steroids.
When "naming names" what incentive did he have to name Clemens if Clemens wasn't one of them? I'm sure he had 20 guys to choose from.
If so, then he lied about that, too. That having been said, I've already explained what incentive he might have had to name Clemens: prosecutors wanted a big name. They didn't want Knoblauch. If they thought he was lying about Clemens being innocent, he'd get in trouble. So he implicated Clemens. Now, I don't know that this is true -- although McNamee actually said that he only named Clemens because prosecutors forced him to -- but it's possible. I'm not going to play the "Why would he lie" about a serial liar.
The fact that he has proven accurate about two others he named, supports his honesty on this narrow point.
Again, he was not, in fact, accurate. He lied. He also lied about Debbie Clemens -- or Pettitte misremembers; one or the other. He lied about Clemens -- he concealed the supposed physical evidence, or he invented it after the fact, one or the other.
   141. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4122669)
How anyone could believe McNamee enough to be sure Clemens is lying is bizarre. You're looking at Clemens, the one who to this point has proven to be the far more honest one, and demanding that he show, amongst all McNamee's lies, a specific type of lie that McNamee has told.

I don't believe McNamee. I also don't believe Clemens.

Without some other evidence, it's a jump-ball and Clemens should be acquitted.

I do think it's more-likely-than-not that Clemens used steroids and other PEDs.
   142. marko Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4122678)
I'm of the opinion that Clemens used steroids. I still find it interesting how Mcnamee did in fact inject Pettitte and Knoblauch, but apparently lied in detail about Clemens. Yeah, maybe he was pressured to name Clemens, but I'm not buying it.

He still should get into the HOF though.
   143. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4122685)
Specifically, he claimed to prosecutors (and Mitchell) that he had injected him seven to nine times, and then later admitted to federal investigators that he lied and that he had injected Knoblauch about 50 times.

Is that really a material lie?
Absolutely. (I like how we're getting finer and finer. McNamee lied about 8 million things? Yeah, but he didn't lie about giving PEDs to people, so it doesn't count. He lied about giving PEDs to people? Yeah, but it was only about how he gave PEDs to someone rather than who he gave them to, so it doesn't count.)


By the way, people delving into this might note that Pettitte's testimony -- even if it were not misunderstood -- did not corroborate McNamee's claims. The timeline is off. The conversation that Pettitte (mis?)remembers happened before McNamee claims to have started giving hGH to Clemens.
   144. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4122700)
How anyone could believe McNamee enough to be sure Clemens is lying is bizarre.

It's not just McNamee's claims that would lead someone to think Clemens took HGH. There's also his personality, the rampant use of roids in baseball during his era, his competitiveness, and other factors.

   145. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4122735)
It's not just McNamee's claims that would lead someone to think Clemens took HGH. There's also his personality, the rampant use of roids in baseball during his era, his competitiveness, and other factors.
Well, obviously "other factors" prove it. Who can argue with them?
   146. SM Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4122744)
It's true though - I have third-hand inside evidence that Roger Clemens was competitive.
   147. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4122750)
The smoking gun! He was competitive!
   148. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4122769)
Point being McNamee and Clemens aren't arguing about who said they'd pick up the bar tab; Clemens is insisting he didn't do something most or all of his peers did.

Clemens probably 'roided but you guys don't care if players 'roided; the government's legal perjury case sucks and he's not going to get convicted ... so what's the ultimate point of teh rage? What perspective or position are you advocating that people adopt? If it's that MLBers should be free to 'roid, of what moment is the identity of the Clemens/McNamee liar? Pretty much everyone agrees that Congress grandstanded and that the legal cases against Bonds and Clemens were jokes.
   149. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4122794)
Clemens probably 'roided but you guys don't care if players 'roided; the government's legal perjury case sucks and he's not going to get convicted ... so what's the ultimate point of teh rage?


My interest in this is:

1. People draw conclusions and spew venom based on narratives, without knowing the facts.

2. These people participated in needlessly whipping the public and our government into a frenzy over this issue, to the point where millions and millions of dollars have been and are being wasted on grandstanding, unfair criminal investigations, and show trials.

3. Everyone should be concerned that our government called a private citizen in to participate in a perjury trap in a sham hearing that served no legislative purpose, and then picked a winner and a loser of that hearing without foundation -- based actually on the fact that one was famous and accomplished and the other was not -- and then continued to waste resources by investigating their handpicked loser, and then brought their handpicked loser to trial based on a witness who is comically non-credible.

But it's good you're so sure, SugarBear, that Clemens won't be convicted. I'm sure your certainty is comforting to Clemens, his family, and his attorneys. And that makes the government's behavior a-ok! What's the problem?
   150. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4122829)
But it's good you're so sure, SugarBear, that Clemens won't be convicted. I'm sure your certainty is comforting to Clemens, his family, and his attorneys. And that makes the government's behavior a-ok! What's the problem?

I guess I still don't understand. If he's convicted by a jury, what's the problem -- other than the fact that a lot of resources were poured into the prosectution?

Are you suggesting that if the jury unanimously believes the government's evidence meets a beyond a reasonable doubt standard, that Clemens should still be deemed to be telling the truth? I'm genuinely confused.
   151. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4122835)
I'm saying they shouldn't bring these kinds of nonsense cases, especially with evidence that is so problematic.

I'm not commenting on whether "Clemens should still be deemed to be telling the truth." He may be lying. Who knows? To this point only he and McNamee know.

(And unfortunately, despite the near-certainty expressed by you and Snapper, neither of you know.)
   152. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4122845)
I'm saying they shouldn't bring these kinds of nonsense cases, especially with evidence that is so problematic.

Fully understanding that juries aren't perfect, my view is that a conviction on the high criminal standard of proof ratifies the evidence and vitiates the propriety of dubbing it "problematic." (*)

I'd agree that the government has poured far too many resources into these prosecutions. I'd disagree that the transport and distribution of illegal drugs in interstate (and foreign -- Canada) commerce is an illegitimate subject matter for congressional investigation.

(*) Embedded assumption that the government complied with its Brady obligations to turn over exculpatory evidence.
   153. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4122869)
And unfortunately, despite the near-certainty expressed by you and Snapper, neither of you know

Of course we don't know, and I'm saying he should be acquitted, unless they have very solid physical evidence linking him to McNamee and steroid use. What's the issue?
   154. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4122870)
.
   155. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4122872)
Fully understanding that juries aren't perfect, my view is that a conviction on the high criminal standard of proof ratifies the evidence and vitiates the propriety of dubbing it "problematic." (*)


Not at all. Contra-Andy, I don't need other people to decide for me what I can decide for myself.

I'd agree that the government has poured far too many resources into these prosecutions. I'd disagree that the transport and distribution of illegal drugs in interstate (and foreign -- Canada) commerce is an illegitimate subject matter for congressional investigation.


The problem is that it makes no sense to argue that hauling Clemens before a panel furthered any investigation into "the transport and distribution of illegal drugs in interstate (and foreign -- Canada) commerce."

In fact, he doesn't know anything about that, and his testimony had nothing to do with that.

   156. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4122884)
In fact, he doesn't know anything about that, and his testimony had nothing to do with that.

Sure he does. If McNamee's and Pettitte's testimony is credible, he knows about the illegal distribution of HGH and anabolic steroids. And that's what he was questioned about.
   157. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4122895)
No. If he's guilty, at most he knows he got it from McNamee. But they already know that, because that's what McNamee is saying. And they know that McNamee distributed it to Pettitte and Knoblauch. And they know where McNamee got it from (Radomski).

Even if one thinks Clemens is guilty, he adds nothing to that issue. What useful information does he provide? How is "I got it from McNamee" useful when that's exactly what McNamee is already telling them? Has Clemens studied the issue of illegal drug shipments in interstate and foreign commerce? At best he is a single data point who knows nothing that McNamee isn't already saying.
   158. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4122897)
Fully understanding that juries aren't perfect, my view is that a conviction on the high criminal standard of proof ratifies the evidence and vitiates the propriety of dubbing it "problematic." (*)


Not at all. Contra-Andy, I don't need other people to decide for me what I can decide for myself.

Ray, one of these years you're going to confine your comments to addressing what people have actually said or done, but I'm not holding my breath. You've got a pet little narrative that's as tightly held to as Bryant Gumbel's, and you're every bit as vested in defending it no matter what the facts might actually be. The idea that anyone could be against steroids and yet not want players to get railroaded is a concept that's entirely alien to you.

And BTW who exactly are these "other people" who are supposedly deciding for me what I think? Novitsky? McNamee? Lupica? Henry Waxman? Obama? You throw out this sort of smarmy bullshit in nearly every goddam thread, and it just never stops.
   159. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4122903)
And BTW who exactly are these "other people" who are supposedly deciding for me what I think?
Opinion polls.
   160. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4122915)
And BTW who exactly are these "other people" who are supposedly deciding for me what I think?

Opinion polls.


You mean like the ones about illegal immigration? Or is it the polls about the relative merits of European vs. American health care? Or perhaps you're trying to imply that the only reason I'm against steroids in baseball is because of some poll that you couldn't cite on a bet. Anything to fit your chosen narrative.

OTOH every time one of the Koch Brothers stub their toe in the bathtub, you'll howl in agony somewhere in New Jersey. But I'm sure you're proudly independent of their influence, just as your views on steroids aren't driven by those attendance figures you love to quote.
   161. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4122916)
Ray, one of these years you're going to confine your comments to addressing what people have actually said or done, but I'm not holding my breath. You've got a pet little narrative


I think one problem Andy is that you respond and rise to the bait EVERY time...

   162. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4122922)
Opinion polls.


Right. He cites them so often one might think he'd remember.
   163. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4122924)
Or perhaps you're trying to imply that the only reason I'm against steroids in baseball is because of some poll that you couldn't cite on a bet.


The Hall of Fame voting, with regard to McGwire et. al.

Sheesh. You've cited that so many times as validation of your views that it's hard to believe you've forgotten.

Or is it just that you misremembered?
   164. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4122929)
Or perhaps you're trying to imply that the only reason I'm against steroids in baseball is because of some poll that you couldn't cite on a bet.

The Hall of Fame voting, with regard to McGwire et. al.


Of course since you can't possibly understand why anyone wouldn't want "McGwire et. al" in the Hall of Fame, I can understand your idea that I take my cues on this from Lupica and Mariotti. But then you're rather easily confused about a lot of things. And I'm sure you'll find a way to rationalize it if I wind up supporting Clemens for the Hall of Fame. "Boyhood heroes" may not work at this stage, but you can always try "Yankee fan" as a backup, and say that you'd known it all along.
   165. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4122949)
Andy, have you not said previously that if the time comes when the HOF voters change their mind and vote McGwire et al in, you'll change your mind?

Your views are hinged to these polls.
   166. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4123008)
Andy, have you not said previously that if the time comes when the HOF voters change their mind and vote McGwire et al in, you'll change your mind?

Your views are hinged to these polls.


Once again you're conflating agreement with respect. I've often said that if at some point known juicers were elected to the Hall of Fame, I'd respect the judgment of the voters. That does not mean that I'd agree with them. I've explained this distinction on repeated occasions, and it seems to go over your head every time, probably because you're constitutionally incapable of respecting opinions that aren't rooted in your own particular premises. It's not that you're intellectually incapable of grasping the distinction, it's just that your rigid ideological disposition** resists it.

Easy analogy: I respect the judgment of voters when they elect candidates I detest. It doesn't mean I agree with their choices, either. Is that really so hard to understand?

**so charmingly referred to as "principles" by you and your mentor
   167. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4123067)
Is that really so hard to understand?
Yes.
   168. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4123129)
Ray, one of these years you're going to confine your comments to addressing what people have actually said or done, but I'm not holding my breath. You've got a pet little narrative

I think one problem Andy is that you respond and rise to the bait EVERY time...


Hey, somebody's gotta keep Repoz in Big Macs while he's in between pinata posts.

------------------------------------------------------

Easy analogy: I respect the judgment of voters when they elect candidates I detest. It doesn't mean I agree with their choices, either. Is that really so hard to understand?

Yes.


Not surprising, since you don't understand anyone who doesn't buy into your simplistic reductionist premises.

   169. Lassus Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4123159)
THe most interesting thing about this thread is that Ray backed out of his username.
   170. pkb33 Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4123171)
Re: #94 Clemens was subpoenaed to testify, so he didn't have a lot of choice. Also, I'm not sure if you're saying it was a bad idea because of possible legal problems or because of what it did to his reputatio

No, he had plenty of choice actually. He had the choice to take the Fifth, and he most certainly had the choice not to have a press conference prior to the testimony!

Saying he lacked a choice here is spectacularly incorrect.
   171. Zipperholes Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4123190)
THe most interesting thing about this thread is that Ray backed out of his username.
And his obsession with Andy appears to have kicked up a notch lately. I don't like the sounds of this.
   172. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 04, 2012 at 07:47 AM (#4123242)
And the irony is that this is in a thread where I've pretty much come around to accepting his and David's view on the substance of the Clemens case, not to mention that I've always been against the idea of prosecuting him.

But with Ray it's gotta be 110% agreement or nothing, and if you don't play along with that, then you're nothing but a puppet of "opinion polls". It's somewhat annoying, but at the same time it's kind of amusing in a weird sort of way to see such a perfect example of how a rigid ideology can lead an otherwise pleasant and reasonably intelligent person into strange obsessions.
   173. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4123570)
That feigned outrage would be more compelling if you didn't admit you used opinion polls to taunt people who disagreed with them.
   174. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4123630)
Only 74.8% of BTF thinks Andy ever does this, so YOU LOSE.
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