Friday, December 14, 2007

Where can I go to get my reputation back?

What if Brian McNamee is a liar? It's not far-fetched -- the only source in the Mitchell Report who claims to have seen baseball players getting injected with illegal substances is under Federal investigation and a low-end person. So if he's full of it, then the reputations of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte have been tossed in the trash heap by a nobody. Jayson Stark's reaction:

Who among us will ever be able to forget what it felt like to read eyeball-rattling phrases like, "McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone," in this report?

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Is there any doubt the Mitchell report will wreak havoc on Clemens' legacy, reputation and Hall of Fame vote totals? Is there any doubt that 99 percent of all Americans already regard George Mitchell's conclusions about the Rocket as immutable fact, without even examining them closely? None. Right?

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You probably don't even care that the evidence is more tenuous than you'd think. You probably don't even care that two attorneys who were surveyed Thursday, both of whom now work in the sports world, say they're extremely dubious that the allegations against Clemens would hold up in court. Not even in a civil case.

You might find that surprising, considering that Clemens is one of the few players in this report whose alleged use of illegal substances was actually witnessed by a living, breathing human being (trainer Brian McNamee) who then spoke with the Mitchell crew. But one attorney -- a man who doesn't represent players, by the way -- said the entire case is "all based on one guy [McNamee], and there's no documentation."

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Now nobody disputes that the circumstantial evidence here is still the most powerful content in this whole report. And nobody believes that the American public will give a flying forkball about those reasonable doubts.

Heck, the jury of public opinion had rendered its verdict 15 seconds after this report hit the nearest TV screen.

So Clemens' reputation has already gurgled down the drain. But if there's anyone out there who still believes in that old-fashioned innocent-until-proven-guilty stuff, you might want to read that Clemens section over one more time.

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