Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rethinking that lawsuit?

Roger Clemens has carefully crafted a public image as a devoted husband and father, and he has categorically denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs. The ex-pitcher (unless he pulls another midseason reappearance) put his reputation at center stage when he filed a defamation suit against his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who contends Clemens did use performance-enhancing substances during his stellar career. Now comes a report from the New York Daily News alleging that Clemens, shown above during his testimony before Congress, carried on a decade-long relationship with country singer Mindy McCready that started when she was 15. The newspaper says the relationship became intimate after McCready became a singing star in Nashville. Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, denies that there was an "inappropriate or improper relationship," but McCready, who has a history of drug problems and is shown above left after a scuffle with her mother and police last year that landed her in jail, told the newspaper, "I cannot refute anything in the story." Hardin also described McCready as a "longtime friend of Roger Clemens." Sure, that makes sense. They're just pals, and what guy doesn't enjoy sitting around talking ball with a hot little blonde? You'll have to trust me that McCready once looked a lot better than she does in the police booking photo. I caught an interview on ESPN yesterday with McNamee's lawyer, who guaranteed that McCready will be called to testify if Clemens' suit comes to trial. He also suggested that the McCready allegations might be joined with other unsavory stories from Clemens' past in an effort to show Clemens is not the clean-living family man he claims to be. What Clemens should have known, or his attorneys should have told him, is that when you accuse someone of sullying your good name, you'd better be damn sure you have a good name to protect, because the person you're suing is going to dig up anything he can to make you look like a bad guy and a liar. Maybe Clemens didn't think things through. I always thought he was a great pitcher, even when he bolted from my beloved Red Sox, but I never thought he was much smarter than the average house cat. Maybe I was right.



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