Palmeiro, Clemens and the hearings
The two most interesting moments at the Congressional hearings on the Mitchell report so far (and so far, Sen. George Mitchell, the first witness, is still speaking):
* Some 20 minutes ago - nearly two hours into the hearing - D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton finally addressed the elephant in the room, Roger Clemens. She asked, basically, a two-part question: what was the process of assuring the accuracy of the testimony Mitchell got before naming names, and why did he feel comfortable believing trainer/accuser Brian McNamee? From here, it appeared Mitchell gave a good answer, and the most clear, concise one we've heard from him so far. He explained the whole agreement McNamee had with the feds and broke down how many times they talked to him, who was present, the penalties for him lying to them, and how, just before releasing the report, they went back to him to run everything by him one more time and remind him again of the punishment for lying. He had no "incentive'' to lie, Mitchell said. That, of course, doesn't mean McNamee didn't lie and run the risk of going to jail for a long, long time - but it sure supports his claim to credibility.
* Earlier - and, full disclosure, during a time I was only listening and not watching - a Congressman grilled Mitchell on an interesting absence in the report: the timing of Rafael Palmeiro's 2005 positive drug test as it related to his 3,000th hit. The Congressman did keep referring to him as "Palmeri,'' but he also kept pressing on a critical but long-forgotten question: did baseball cover up the test result until after the historic hit? Very significantly, Mitchell did not know, acknowledging that it wasn't covered in the report - but also that, yes, the positive test came before the hit. Which raises this question: wasn't that part of the reason the report was done in the first place, for information exactly like that, to see how and when Major League Baseball was complicit in enabling the steroid problem for its own benefit? Unfortunately, the questioner's time ran out before Mitchell could hem and haw some more. And, not being highly-qualified journalists, none of the questioners since has asked a follow-up, sticking to their own issues (or making their own speeches, or their own lame jokes, like the one by the Congressman from Kentucky calling the Louisville Slugger a "performance-enhancer'') instead.