hyp·o·crite: a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements. (source: Dictionary.com)
I love this word. I love how the majority of our sports heroes are staggeringly hypocritical. Heck, not just our sports heroes (see also: most elected officials and corporate leaders). If not for the fact that my work schedule precludes me from writing all day about this, we could have a great debate about the greatest hypocrites of the last X number of years. Maybe that's an idea for future blogs: a 64 "team" tourney bracket.
Anyways, I want to believe Clemens. Why? I'm not really a huge fan of his but I rooted like mad for him when he pitched for my team. He materially helped my team win a World Series. He might be the lastest in a long line of over-paid mercenaries, willing to fight for the highest paycheck, but for a few years, he was MY mercenary and I rooted like crazy for him. [and yes, that indeed makes me a hypocrite, I guess. I root for the laundry and sometimes I really can't stand the people inside them!]
But, once Robin (to his Batman) admitted that McNamee was indeed telling the truth, I am finding it hard to believe Clemens. So, now Clemens is taking his story to the press, namely the esteemed "60 Minutes" in a face-to-face interview with devout Yanks fan and Clemens'-admirer Mike Wallace this coming Sunday night (the interview was actually done this past Friday in Clemens' living room). Here's why I am still skeptical about Clemens: why didn't he take the chance to speak on the record to the Mitchell Crew? Why now? Did he need to make sure his name was in the Mitchell Report? This smacks of hypocrisy in every way.
Gene Wojo (see link below) at ESPN.com does a great job setting Wallace's agenda so it doesn't look like a fluff-job. I agree, wholeheartedly. Worth reading as a preview.
It came out today that McNamee will sue Clemens for defamation if Clemens calls him a liar during the interview. You can bet that every utterance will be dissected like a State of the Union address. So what happens if McNamee actually gets Clemens to court? Will Pettitte (er, Robin) testify? Will others get called? Torre? Jeter? ARod?
I applaud Clemens for taking this step. It's better than hiding under a rock like Palmiero or McGwire. If he truly is innocent, he HAS to do this. However, if he's lying in an effort to "clean" his name and reputation and it eventually comes back to bite him, he'll never live it down. (see also: Rose, Peter).
I can see these possible outcomes:
1) Interview goes off, fairly and balanced. Clemens denies everything. McNamee doesn't sue, effectively exonerating Clemens. He said/he said. No certain winners or losers. Just pointing fingers, though Clemens' reputation gets a slight boost for aggressively attacking his accusers without a rebuttal.
2) Interview goes off, fairly and balanced. Clemens denies everything. McNamee sues. Drags Clemens and others into court (subpeona power, folks). Circus ensues. If McNamee truly doesn't have evidence (as his attorney has stated prior), who will emerge from this scrum? Will it even get to court if there is no evidence other than McNamee's statements? (any attorney care to weigh in?)
3) Interview goes off, a fluff job of the highest order. Clemens doesn't help himself since it would look like a joke. No change in public opinion.
I'm looking forward to watching Sunday night.
For other well-written prose on this subject: