Monday, February 4, 2008

The fine line between bold and stupid

I've been on record commenting that I applaud Clemens' approach on defending his innocence, if indeed he IS innocent. He's done all the things we, the fans, have wanted our heroes to do if wrongly accused. He didn't crawl in a hole, he didn't blame anyone else, he didn't use the word "unknowingly", etc. He fought back with all the power and aggression he could have.

Except now, we've seen Pettitte and Knoblauch come forward and corroborate McNamee's story. And now we hear from Clemens' agent, good ole Rusty Hardin, that Clemens is not worried about whatever Pettitte might say when he testifies, well, I think that's just false bravado. There's a fine line between being bold/aggressive and stupid. I think Clemens & Co. are crossing the line. Why even make the statements. Just keep quiet until required to talk. They've talked enough. No need to say any more.

Clemens’s lawyer said Pettitte would help, not hurt, his former teammate.

“We have nothing to fear about what Andy may testify to,” Rusty Hardin, Clemens’s lawyer in Houston, said in a telephone interview. “Everyone says Andy is honest; we have no reason to believe he will lie.”

Anyone who lies here will risk prosecution. The committee chairman, Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, could refer to the Department of Justice for investigation and possible criminal charges against witnesses he thinks did not tell the truth, as he did with Miguel Tejada. The possible penalty for lying to the committee or its lawyers is five years in prison.

I think Rusty should just keep quiet and stop trying to win the battle for the court of public opinion. That will be determined on February 13th.

What if 1) Everyone universally agrees that Pettitte IS honest and 2) He tells the truth and that contradicts everything Clemens has said? Then what, Rusty? An indictment, I guess. Or, are you going to accuse Pettitte of lying under oath?

I still think Clemens has the "unknowingly" phrase packed away, but ready to use when testifying. "I THOUGHT McNamee was giving me only B-12 and Lidocaine; if he gave me anything else, he did it without my knowledge or permission." Yes, that's how I see Clemens playing this out in 10 days.

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