Along with other testimony on Wednesday,
"I cherish my Major League Baseball experience," Clemens said in his opening statement of a theatrical congressional hearing on steroids, "but I have always said that baseball is what I do; it is not who I am."
He was unbelievable - again. This is a father who named all four sons --
Clemens cannot escape baseball-to-life parallels when he chooses to remain a 40-something superstar whose Rosin bag attachment has turned every spring into a retirement board game of Clue: Will he do it in Houston, with the Astros; will he do it in New York, as a Yankee; will he do it in Boston, with the Red Sox?
"I'm not great at retirement," he mentioned as an aside to one Congressman.
Clemens cannot define himself as anything other than baseball's Evita when he is willing to stand on any stage -- or Yankee Stadium balcony -- to forever indulge his Rocket-ness.
If anything, Clemens stepped on Capitol Hill as if it were another mound, with confrontation in his delivery, as a man in the double-breasted suit indistinguishable from the pitcher last seen in Yankee pinstripes.
It was his wife who took the HGH from
Anything to win. Anything for an edge. No one has immunity from Roger's amazing feats of self-preservation. But Clemens wasn't trying to protect his name in the hearing; he was attempting to protect his relevance.
His great fear is vanishing from the public as a man beaten, the worst sin of all to Clemens. He couldn't stomach life as another
In the years since McGwire first told Congress he wasn't at the steroid hearings to talk about the past, he has lived small, noticeably diminished in physical size.
Clemens lives large - big Texas drawl, big Texas trucks -- to the point where he dabbles in tall tales of steroid denials and delusions of grandeur.
"I'm a public person. I am easy to find," Clemens told Congress before detailing, apropos of nothing, just how famous and fabulous he is. "When the commissioner asked me to get myself together to go out there, and the league asked me to put USA on my chest and represent my team, my country, I did everything I could do to get ready.
"When all (the steroid allegations) happened, the former president of the United States found me in a deer blind in south Texas and expressed his concerns that this was unbelievable and to stay strong and keep your head up high."
Would that be
It was a Vaudeville moment when
Some fawning pols couldn't separate Clemens the man from myth. Others were able to differentiate, as Representative Elijiah Cummings
The most trustworthy voices of the hearing were heard through read depositions that contradicted Clemens.
"During his deposition, (Pettitte) was asked how he approached this difficult situation," Chairman
The whole truth isn't part of Clemens' delivery. Instead, it's confront, challenge and dare. That's Clemens as the Rocket, and the Rocket as Clemens. There is no separation of identities. Just the way he likes it. Just the way he needs it.