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Clemens: You're damn right I did

Woefully deficient is the writer who must await the actual occurrence of events before he/she is able to effectively recap them for the reader. In that spirit ...


Good afternoon, Rep. Waxman, Rep. Burton and the members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. My name is Roger Clemens and I have been a Major League Baseball pitcher since 1984. I will read this brief statement before taking questions from the Committee.

Rep. Waxman, we live in a world that has magnificent, multimillion-dollar baseball stadiums, and those stadiums have to be patrolled by men with baseballs and bats and gloves. Who is gonna do it? You? You, Rep. Kucinich? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep about all the folderol surrounding human growth hormones and steroids, and you curse the valiant ballplayers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the use of such potions, while ostensibly a transgression outside the accepted rules of the game, probably helped to save the grand old game from the malaise that enveloped it following the strike and the cancellation of the World Series in 1994. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, helped in that rescue. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at Foggy Bottom cocktail parties, you want me on HGH, you need me on HGH. We use words like Cy Young, MVP and Hall of Fame. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent earning staggering salaries to play a game that is nothing less than a secular religion to millions. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to an assemblage of politicians that gleefully accepts perks and free passes from MLB owners who have been mystifyingly exempted from the normal rules of interstate commerce and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and then questions the manner in which those perks and passes are provided. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a VIP pass at the Will Call window, and head to the buffet in the owner’s box on the mezzanine level. The pate de foie gras is to die for. Either way, I don't give a rat's ass what you think you are entitled to.

Rep. Waxman: Did you take steroids and human growth hormone?

Clemens: You’re damn right I did.