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Is Clemens Telling the Truth?

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Who is mis-remembering and who is lying?

That's the question raised by Roger Clemens testimony before a congressional committee today.

Clemens invented the Bo Dietl-ish word — mis-remembering — describing what he says is a misconception evidently left with fellow pitcher and close friend Andy Pettitte about what Clemens said to him about taking human growth hormone.

Members of the committee made a big deal about what an honest and credible guy Pettitte is and if he said something it was true. I'm not sure that persuaded me, but on the other hand....

Frankly, I thought Clemens didn't come out of this looking so good. I thought there were some on the committee who seemed to be out to avenge the stain on the reputation of Barry Bonds by dumping some stain on Clemens. But Clemens looked to me like a guy trying to wiggle out of a question by providing a canned answer to a question he wasn't asked.

What if there was no issue of the baseball Hall of Fame hanging over this testimony and over Roger Clemens? Do you think we might have gotten fuller and more frank answers? Sure.

What Clemens is worried about is the baseball writers who vote on the Hall of Fame. He's got money and the committee can't take away that. He's got a long career behind him, not in front of him and the committee can't take away that, but what the committee might have done was create enough of a doubt about Clemens in the minds of baseball writers, that Clemens doesn't get the votes for the Hall.

It will take a while to see how that works out, but first impressions mean a lot, and while I can't say I know Clemens was lying, if he was telling the truth it was winning ugly. He didn't look too good when he really needed to, well, look like a Hall of Famer.

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