I want to believe Roger Clemens when he says he didn’t take steroids. Not because I was his biggest fan, but because I want to believe that the best pitcher I’ve watched during my lifetime was that much better than everyone else, not just taking better drugs than everyone else.
Clemens was extremely emotional at his press conference yesterday, during which he played a phone conversation with his accuser, Brian McNamee. The call appeared to strengthen Clemens’ case. At one point during recording, the voice identified as McNamee’s tells Clemens, “I’ll go to jail if you want me to” after repeatedly reaffirming his admiration for the man he has accused.
It begs the question: if McNamee is as devoted to Clemens as he claims to be, why would he concoct a story to frame a friend he appears to idolize?
The logical conclusions are either he was pressured to fabricate this testimony fearing the consequences should he not comply or he is telling the truth. Only Brian McNamee has the answer; let’s hope we get it.
• Former Canucks goaltender Garth Snow returns to Vancouver tonight for the first time since being named GM of the New York Islanders in 2006. At the time of Snow’s hiring, there were plenty of snickers around the hockey world since Snow had been the Islanders’ backup goalie just months earlier.
Since assuming the job, Snow has made major signings (Rick Dipietro’s well-publicized 15-year deal), pulled off significant trades (like getting Ryan Smyth out of Edmonton to push the Isles into the playoffs), and chopped substantial salary off the Isles’ payroll (Alexei Yashin).
He’s also had to put together a roster that looks nothing like the one he inherited, yet the Islanders are hovering around the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. He might not win the NHL’s Executive of the Year, but he hasn’t shied away from making big decisions when they’ve arisen. At this point, it seems to me that he doesn’t look out of place in the GM fraternity.
•B.C. Lions’ tailback Joe Smith looks as though he’ll try his hand at the NFL. Smith’s agent has said his client will be signing somewhere south of the border; it’s just a matter of which opportunity is the best one.
Should that happen, we’ll find out how well the Lions cope without former player personnel guru Bob O’Billovich, who always seemed to find more than capable replacements for departed starters. While Ian Smart has run the ball sporadically during his time in B.C., he appears more valuable as a fulltime returner than a starting running back.
Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at thetoulbox.blogspot.com