Dear Roger

Published: March 7, 2008

By Jim Lichtman
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February 8, 2008

Mr. Roger Clemens
c/o The Washington Hilton Hotel and Towers
Washington, DC

Re: Testifying before Congress

Dear Roger,

In the past week you’ve been seen going from door to door visiting members of congress trying to drum up support to counter the negative statements about your alleged steroid use in the Mitchell Report. Don’t do it.

You’ve been seen sparring with the Washington press in the same manner that you have with sports reporters after games when you’ve been criticized for throwing too close to batters.Don’t do it.

I’ve heard that the real purpose for your visit to Washington is to ask to be invited to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chaired by the very adept Henry Waxman. Don’t do it.

Roger, he’s no Mike Wallace. You won’t get the comfortable sit-down with the bottle of Perrier. Waxman is tough as are the rest of the members of the committee. I urge you to rethink this testifying business!

However, I realize that once you get an idea in your head it’s difficult to change your mind. So, if you do decide to go forward and testify let me offer a couple of advice points.

Point 1: Prepare. Prepare. Prepare!

These people on the committee, Roger, they’re not dummies. They may not know much about you personally or baseball in general, but the kind of “heat” they throw Roger, well… it’s nuclear. You’ve got to be more than on your game, you have to do your homework and that means sitting down and going through ALL of your previous statements and preparing to answer any and all discrepancies. Trust me on this Roger, these people don’t miss a trick. They will find your weakness and they will tear into it.

Point 2: Tell the truth!

Unless you’ve come up with a certified, bullet-proof defense supported by an affidavit from the Pope… just tell the truth.

When faced with the inevitable question as to why your former trainer, Brian McNamee, would tell the truth to the Mitchell people about steroid use by Chuck Knobloch and Andy Pettitte then lie about your steroid use… just tell the truth.

Don’t try to deny Andy’s testimony, along with that of his wife, which states that you, Roger Clemens, have had personal conversations with him about human growth hormone… just tell the truth.

Don’t say anything that might cast doubt on the validity of the Mitchell Report. Roger, these people have spent some 20 months interviewing a lot of people. They come to the game very prepared. Whatever you do, don’t say something like, “I believe the Mitchell report is accurate except for the part about me.” Just tell the truth.

And whatever you do, Roger, no matter how angry you might get during the course of the hearing, don’t even think about interrupting Waxman. He’ll cut you off faster than your best 85-mile-an-hour brush-back pitch.

Please, Roger… just tell the truth.

Sincerely,

Jim Lichtman
Ethics Advisor

Note: Unfortunately, the above letter was never sent to Roger Clemens. It’s offered here as an object lesson to any athlete, CEO, politician or anyone else who’s ethically challenged that intends to use the Hubris Defense.

 

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