Don't let anyone tell you that Congress is holding this hearing to educate kids on the dangers of steroids. Or how it will decide the credibility of George Mitchell's landmark report on baseball's performance-enhancing era (if this were the case, why is Kirk Radomski, the main source for the Mitchell report, no longer going to testify?). This is Congress trying to settle a dispute between Clemens and his ex-trainer, Brian McNamee. Now that Radomski and two of Clemens' former teammates, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, will no longer appear before Congress, this is simply a showdown; if Roger weren't Roger, winner of 354 games and perhaps the greatest pitcher of all-time, we'd be discussing the hurlers at spring training, not the ones giving depositions on Capitol Hill. More than anyone else in this drama, Clemens has the most to lose, and it's not just his already shaky reputation. He's already declared his innocence under oath to Congressional investigators, so if evidence emerges that he used steroids, he could face the real possibility of a trip to court instead of Cooperstown. The fact that Pettitte, his long-time friend and workout partner, may have given potentially damaging testimony about Clemens out in a deposition could hurt him forever. Clemens also has a well-deserved reputation for his temper, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of a congressional inquiry in front of the cameras.
by Sean Gregory
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