Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Well, I really didn't want to address this:

For some reason, this past week I have been getting a bunch of e-mails about the Roger Clemens steroids case. For those of you reading my blog outside the US, I imagine that you still have some familiarity with it. If not, Clemens is a star baseball pitcher who was cited in a steroid report for Major League Baseball to have illegally been injected with steroids and human growth hormone at least 16 times. The person who gave this information to George Mitchell, the investigating ex-US senator and author of the report bearing his name, is Brian McNamee, who was Clemens' personal athletic and strength trainer back in the late 90s and early 2000s. What has happened since the Mitchell report was released a few weeks ago is that Clemens has steadfastly denied the accusations, saying he never took steroids or human growth hormone in his life, and McNamee, who was under threat of prison for perjury if caught lying to Mitchell's investigators, is sticking to his guns that he injected Roger Clemens no less than 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone. Monday, Clemens sued McNamee for defamation and held a press conference in the furtherance of his denials. Meanwhile, the evidence and public opinion seem to sway in favor of his guilt, with most people on the street saying he is guilty as sin and did indeed take the banned substances.

So why are people e-mailing me with their questions about this? I am just an ex-casino cheater. Why ask me if Roger Clemens is lying or telling the truth? How could I know? One e-mailer wrote, "Seeing how you had to judge certain pit bosses and react to what you heard them say, you would probably know by watching Clemens' face and listening to his speech if he was lying or not."

Gimme a break! I said aloud to myself upon reading that.

True, I had to judge casino personnel in order to determine what the probability was that I would take heat doing a move or two, but that's a long way from trying to determine whether Roger Clemens, who was either telling the truth or lying in a very prepared and organized way with the assistance of his attorney, is guilty or not guilty. And, if you have to know, I wrote back that e-mailer, "Sometimes even I misjudged a pit boss's reaction that I had predicted by simply watching his speaking mannerisms and physical nuances."

So finally I wrote back to another e-mailer that "not only me but also the world's lie-detecting experts, the ones who make their decisions based on their own observations, not those by machine, are only right in about 50% of the cases." Big help I was, right? There are only two 50/50 cases: either he's lying or telling the truth.

What do I really think?

He's lying