Episode II: Congress Strikes Back

It is a dark time for the
Rocket. Although he thought
his critics had been destroyed,
Imperial Congressional troops
have driven the Rocket’s forces
from their hidden base and
pursued them across
the galaxy and into a
federal court.

The Rocket now faces
a group of Truth Fighters,
led by Andy Pettitte,
who are destined to expose
the secrets held by this
once mighty pitcher.

Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Chuck Knoblauch, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Stanton, Sammy Sosa, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. No, it’s not part of the opening line-up for the up-coming All-Star game; it’s a list of potential witnesses who may, in fact, be called by federal prosecutors to testify against Roger Clemens.

For the defense: Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and former Yankees pitcher David Cone.

The charges, as described last Tuesday by the New York Times:

COUNT ONE: Obstruction of Congress
Clemens is charged with trying to influence, obstruct and impede Congress’s investigation of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. If convicted on this count, Clemens could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.

COUNT TWO: False Statements — Human Growth Hormone
He is charged with lying to Congress when he denied ever using H.G.H. Maximum sentence: five years.

COUNT THREE: False Statements — Steroids
He is charged with lying to Congress when he denied ever using anabolic steroids. Maximum sentence: five years.

COUNT FOUR: False Statements — Vitamin B12
Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he said that his former trainer Brian McNamee… injected him with vitamin B12. Maximum sentence: five years.

COUNT FIVE: Perjury — H.G.H.
He is charged with lying under oath when he said McNamee never gave him H.G.H. when he was a player, which was a fact relevant to Congress’s investigation of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. Maximum sentence: five years.

COUNT SIX: Perjury — Steroids
Clemens is charged with lying under oath when he said he never took steroids when he was a player, which was a fact relevant to Congress’s investigation of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. Maximum sentence: five years.

Opening gambit by Team Clemens: The Tape Defense.

On the first day, jury selection is delayed due to Clemens’s lead lawyer Rusty Hardin’s discussion with the judge regarding the defense request to use an audio tape of his client’s deposition.

“The sound of his voice becomes critical,” Hardin said. “This man has a right to hear how he sounded when he answered these questions that were supposed to obstruct Congress.”

Clemens needs to be guided by the sound of his own voice in preference to his own words used in his statement?

While federal prosecutors enjoy a conviction rate of approximately 90 percent, as in all criminal cases, the burden of proof remains on the prosecution to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Roger Clemens knowingly lied to Congress.

However, unlike Clemens’s appearance before Congress in 2008, former teammate and friend Andy Pettitte is due to testify that Roger specifically told him that he was using Human Growth Hormone.

Yes, but Clemens has his own “Dream Team” of attorneys prepared for a long (spend-whatever-it-takes) battle.

How will the jury react to the prosecution’s evidence?  How will they react to testimony from friend Andy Pettitte, as well as the “scientific evidence” that former trainer Brian McNamee has in a collection of syringes that he used on Clemens?

Will “The Rocket” ultimately be convicted or acquitted?  That’s the question I asked baseball fan (and semi-expert) “Loopy” Ellison.

“Yeah, Clemens’ll be convicted,” Ellison said as he polished off a bag of Cheetos, “… the day Chewbacca becomes a starter for the Yankees!”

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