MLB: The Rites of Spring
Having watched just snatches of Thursday's hearings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I am confused about some things.
Hall-of-Famer slam-dunk hunk Roger Clemens was testifying one seat away from his ex-trainer, Brian McNamee. McNamee claims he injected Clemens with steroids.
In the first place, as a baseball purist, I could care less about the use of steroids. What I don't like about Major League Baseball are two things: designated hitters and asterisks. So, the use of steroids bothers me only because high school kids will emulate the 'Bigs' if they were made legal.
Two other things - not about MLB - bother me, though. They're not very sophisticated, complicated or subtle. Basically they are two fundamental legal concepts that we live under the rule of laws and not of men, and It's against our laws to lie under oath.
This testimony between Clemens and McNamee is a 'he-said & he-said' situation? Well, if it's true that McNamee has the syringes to prove he juiced Clemens, I certainly think that justifies some kind of indictment. Secondly, if Clemens maintains he did get the right stuff, and he did, that's more serious, legally, than being denied his Hall-of-Fame seat.
But what gets me is how politically partisan these hearings became. Totally polarized, in fact, is my impression. The Republicans on the HCOGR lined up totally in Clemens' corner and the Democrats on McNamee's side.
Why was this?
- The Republicans are just naturally on the side of the defendants because they are respecting the presumption of innocent?
- Clemens is a personal friend of George W. Bush, has a standing and open invitation to the White House and is an even closer horseshoe-playing friend of George W. H. Bush?
- Republicans just have a knee-jerk reaction against Rep. Henry A. Waxman and feel than anything he schedules a hearing about is superfluous or wasteful witch-hunting?
- Roger Clemens is rich (arrogant and throws right) and the G.O.P. (Greedy Old Party) is genetically pre-disposed in favor of right wings and wealth; Brian McNamee is the underdog, a working stiff, drawing a paycheck from The Rocket, struggling to stay in the middle class?
- Republicans are Yankee fans and Democrats are for the rest of us?
Clearly, someone OK'd letting the dogs out of the kennel. There was a palpable difference in tone along party lines. I thought it was a disgraceful display.And, probably uneccessarily so:
It would be the easiest thing in the world for George W. Bush, given the corrupt proclivities of his administration, to say Roger Clemens is an American hero, Roger Clemens helped children.Get it? The standard ol' Alredo Gonzalez Defense!
It's my belief they have some reason to believe they can get a pardon.Quite so. It's called the Libby Maneuver.
One can argue, of course whether, with all of the burning and smoking issues lying around for governmental oversight, why pick on baseball? Well, let's not open that can of worms. At the very, very least we can say, in behalf of these pre-spring training hearings: Republican congressmen proved that that their vocabulary includes the L-word. You know, as in the usage,