Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When did baseball become partisan?

Remember that terrible hearing that Roger Clemens demanded in front of the House Oversight Committee? It was terrible because Republicans were attacking Brian McNamee while Democrats were attacking Roger Clemens.
The top Republican on the congressional committee investigating whether Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs released a report Tuesday questioning whether Clemens lied in his testimony before the panel last month.
The 109-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, contains details Rep. Tom Davis believes could challenge the credibility of Brian McNamee, the personal trainer who testified under oath he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.
Republican staff from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform say they will pass along additional information to the Justice Department. The FBI is investigating whether Clemens lied to Congress.
''It's a far more complicated picture than some may want to believe," Davis said.
But the reason Democrats attacked Clemens was not because they thought McNamee was an alter boy, but because Clemens' own friend and teammate, Andy Petitte gave a sworn deposition [warning PDF] that confirmed the main thrust of McNamee's allegations--that Clemens used HGH.

A sports columnist asked the same question I am, and came to this conclusion:
When did this thing get so partisan?

There are plenty of folks who would agree that Congress should stop meddling with baseball (and now, the NFL) and really do the work of the people. On its surface, [Rep. Patrick] McHenry [(R-NC)]'s point certainly has merit.

But here’s what McHenry told The Gazette in 2005 on the afternoon after he’d just grilled Mark McGwire [...]
What happened between then and now to change his mind? Plenty.
For starters, his party was in the majority in 2005 and was actually the body that called for the hearings in the first place. Now that the Dems are calling the plays, McHenry wants to stay on the sidelines.
Another, perhaps more conspiratorial view, is that Clemens was embraced by the Republicans at the behest of George H.W. Bush, who served one term as president beginning in January 1989 and is the father of current president George W. Bush. Like Clemens, Bush is a longtime resident of the Houston area. The elder Bush routinely attends Astros games every season, and during Clemens’ three years with the team (2004-06) the two forged a reportedly strong relationship and attended social functions and fundraisers together.

Their friendship goes all the way back to 1991...
An even more cynical fan might take the view that the Republicans simply despise the Mitchell Report itself, the investigation by former Sen. George Mitchell into baseball’s steroids problem.

Mitchell is a prominent figure within the Democratic Party, after all.
Clemens is pathetic. To defend him is a losing proposition.
But then again, Republicans are going down with plenty of sinking ships these days.
So is the Bush family really going to bat, so to speak, for Roger Clemens, and lobbying Republican Congressmen? Who knows, but either way, it doesn't make sense for these Congressmen to go along with Bush on this one.

I mean, in retrospect, doesn't it seem obvious that a guy this old couldn't suddenly step up his game to untold hights (and be able to play on the same rest schedule as he did in the 1980s) without the assistance of illegal injections?

Of course, I am partisan too....I am a Boston Red Sox fan.

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