A Case Against the Case of Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens mugshot.

So how good a case does the government have against Roger Clemens? If one goes by outward appearances of the former seven-time Cy Young Award winner on Monday...not so much.

In federal court in Washington, D.C., Clemens took on the relaxed air of a man without a care in the world. From his dress (stylish) to his obligatory mug shot (smiling) to his cafeteria lunch (breezy) to the only four words he uttered in court ("Not guilty, your honor"), Clemens came across once again as almost immune to charges he lied to Congress about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

  For those scoring for the visiting team, there's the testimony of former teammate Andy Pettitte, which evidently carried a lot of weight with the government, and the lengthy - if a wee bit woozy on the details - word of former personal trainer Brian McNamee to contend with. What McNamee has going in his favor, if you're of that mind, is a collection of certain vials and syringes he claims support Clemens' use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. The government made reference to that cache in a veiled way on Monday stating "significant scientific testing" had been done before handing over the results to the defense.

The defense will surely conduct its own tests backed by the argument - and this is where things really get lovely - that McNamee evidently stored "the evidence" in a soda can in his basement. Good thinking. My guess is someone with a degree from the Last Shot School of Law could point out potential contamination or chain of custody issues. But that's just me.

The U.S. government is making a statement here - making clear to John Q. Public lying under oath to Congress (whose popularity hovers just above colonoscopies) is a very big No-No. Clemens being the designated poster boy of said argument - like the Barry Bonds trial before it, at taxpayer's expense. Seems to me no matter the actual evidence there's no longer a need for a trial. We get the point.