[Update: Here is the interview]
This morning, Roger Clemens appeared on Mike and Mike in the Morning, to react to the book American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids In America's Pastime which was released today. And by "react to", I mean "hammer the same trite talking points that no one has bought since this information came out". Another amusing aspect of this is it only serves to raise awareness of the book well beyond its authors or publishers ever could have hoped to do themselves.
If he wasn't such a defiantly arrogant prick, you might almost feel bad for the guy. He comes on a nationally syndicated radio program and aside from Rusty Hardin, he might be the only person who actually believes what he is saying. For a more complete synopsis of the main points of questioning and Clemens' reactions to them, check out what Jason at IIATM,S posted.
Right out of the gate, he busts out with two painfully contrived stunts. First, he makes it clear that this is the only interview he is going to be able to do because he is supposedly going away for a week.
Clemens: I'm gettin' ready to go out of town, err, out of the country for a week...[...]RC (About a minute later): Deb and I are getting ready to go out of town, err, out of the country for a week.
The fact that he instantly corrects himself both times and makes a point to say that he is leaving the country, would indicate that it was a talking point fed to him by Hardin or one of his other advisers. Why would it be important where he is going (unless he wanted to make it look like he wasn't dodging other interviews)? He came on Mike and Mike because he know they weren't going to be overly aggressive with their questioning. They did a pretty good job, but let him off the hook repeatedly. Has Clemens ever even left the country (aside from playing in Toronto)?He doesn't really strike me as much of an international traveler. Where is he going? Obviously not Mexico...
However, it was the second one I found most egregious.
RC: [Talking lowly away from the phone]Mike Greenberg: Roger, are you still with us?RC: [Still talking away from the phone, but audibly now] Okay buddy, I'll get ready to take you to school in a minute.
Are... you... fucking... kidding... me? This is your first interview in over a year, and you couldn't get your wife or one of your fifteen advisers to watch your kids for 10 minutes? I'm calling bullshit. This just happened to occur withing the first minute of the interview? His youngest child is no less than TWELVE YEARS OLD. It's not like he's got some clueless kindergartner wandering around the house.
Clemens also provides another iron clad reason that he couldn't have possibly used steroids: People in his family have suffered from heart conditions. He lists off two people who have suffered heart attacks, one of which was his stepfather. Roger Clemens - Nobel Prize Winning Geneticist.
RC: Our family has a history of heart conditions. My brother had a heart attack in his late 40's, my stepdad died of a heart attack... Uh, I mean, it would be suicidal for me to, even think about taking any of these dangerous drugs.
No. No it would not. This is the worst defense you could possibly put forth. How could I have done this, it would have been inadvisable for me to do so?1?! Never mind the possibility that he could have resurrected his entire career, profited nine figure sums, won multiple World Series, and achieved international fame and athletic glory. But for him to potentially take a few years off of his life would have prevented him from doing steroids. Nice try, but I don't think so.
A few other notes:
- Throughout the interview, Clemens refereed to the book as "piling on". Does he want to us to feel sorry for him? "Piling on" doesn't imply that what is being said is false.
- He did later refer to McNamee's accusations as "totally false" and "impossible". Roger, your trainer, Brain McNamee injected your wife (not a professional athlete) with HGH. It is certainly not impossible, much less implausible that he did the same to you, considering that you had the world to gain by letting him so do.
- Still says that Andy Pettitte "misremembers" and they are still friends
- Danced around A-Rod and Manny questions, saying he didn't know the details about Manny's test and that he watched only a portion of A-Rod's interview with Peter Gammons and none of his second press conference.
- Constantly talked about "the kids" and how he has been throwing batting practice to them, how steroids are bad for them, etc.
- Claimed he has been getting "great responses" in all of the cities he has been traveling to.
- And finally, at the very end of the interview when Golic asked him whether he was finished playing, he compared himself to Brett Favre and said that if Favre comes back, he might have to start "pounding the pavement".
I hadn't thought of the comparison, but it's certainly interesting one, with the most glaring similarity being that I wish both of them would take the millions of dollars they have made from playing professional sports and fucking dissapear forever.