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Brian McNamee’s defamation suit against Clemens moves forward

Feb 3, 2011, 5:52 PM EST

Roger Clemens

As we focus our attention on the prosecution of Roger Clemens down in Washington, we’re reminded that there is a defamation suit against him chugging along up in New York.  That one was filed by his former trainer Brian McNamee, and arises out of Clemens’ statements on “60 Minutes” and elsewhere as he engaged in his P.R. assault on McNamee following the release of the Mitchell Report.  Today there was a decision: Clemens’ motion to dismiss the claim in its entirety was denied.  Two individual counts, however — intentional infliction of emotional distress and malicious prosecution — were tossed out.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress claims are almost always tossed. It’s a claim dating back to an era when everyone had fainting couches and doctors prescribed medicinal bleedings in order to cure bouts with the vapors.  I may be wrong, but the last time one of those was successful, the case involved some scoundrel causing a woman in a whalebone corset to suffer a terrible fright by falsely telling her that her husband was run down by Phaeton carriage.  At any rate, people are expected to have thicker skin these days, and unless you’re, I dunno, clicking the trigger of a gun next to the temple of someone that kind of claim tends to not have any legs.

I have no idea about the malicious prosecution claim. I think I researched that claim once about a decade ago. My vague memory of it is that those are often throw-in claims too and tend not to be successful very often, but if you have more recent experience with it, by all means, chime in below.  The upshot is that McNamee’s defamation claim against Clemens is still rolling.

And I think the most important thing to remember in all of this is that Roger Clemens would not be subject to this lawsuit or to the prosecution he’s facing if he hadn’t acted like a total nut case in the couple of months following the release of the Mitchell Report. And in light of that, this is all highly entertaining.

  1. stankfinger - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Man, how much easier would it have been for Clemens to just have admitted to what is clearly the truth by now?

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    …you mean that he’s a complete and utter tool?!

    Nah…I’m sure drawing this out another couple years will be a good way to fight off any bad stigma anyone might have about ole Rog!

  3. seeingwhatsticks - Feb 3, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Not to be a Bonds apologist, because I think it’s pretty clear that he used and that he’s not the greatest guy in the world, but why has he been vilified so much more than Clemens? Seems like they both cheated, they’re both a-holes, they both have issues involving former trainers. What am I missing? Why is Bonds the anti-Christ while it seems like Clemens is just incredibly misguided?

    • stankfinger - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:58 AM

      I think Clemens is worse than Bonds because he’s been so holier-than-thou/doth-protest-too-much, flat out lying to everyone and anyone’s in the face of an embarrassingly large mountain of evidence against him. And in the process performing character assassination on McNamee.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:29 AM

        I’m not trying to get into who is worse or who is better between the two. I just find it odd that Bonds is treated as pure evil whereas Clemens seems to be treated like a guy who just isn’t that bright, or that his situation is almost more like a “boys will be boys” type of deal. It’s like Bonds created this whole era and Clemens is just a guy who got caught up in it. It also feels like there’s a lot more “I will never vote for him for the HOF” sentiment about Bonds than Clemens. I don’t have any answers as to why the difference in the treatment between the two and I’m very curious if anyone has any ideas. They both seem like pretty despicable human beings so I really don’t get it.

      • paperlions - Feb 4, 2011 at 7:10 AM

        It isn’t that complicated…..because, by all accounts, and I mean ALL, Bonds is a historically giant asshole that treats everyone with contempt. People tend to take every opportunity to get back at you when you comport as Bonds did through is college and pro careers.

  4. noneofyourbusiness95 - Feb 4, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Bonds has always treated the press like an uninvited guest and since we seem him through that lens………..

  5. cur68 - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    You know, I think you got it mostly. He, Bonds, always seemed like a real douche in interviews. But, I believe, how the media reports something can magnify or shrink the impact it has on society’s perception (like playing the same Bond’s interviews over and over; I remember I got sick of seeing the same damn interview 20 times a month). So, up until the Mitchell report, I really can’t recall an unfavorable Clemens article or hostile interview (but maybe I’m just sheltered). I think he, Clemens, was always pretty good to the media because they were always good to him, no matter how he treated people. But the guy must have been as big a douche then as now (Cito Gaston felt he was at any rate). No more so than Bonds lets say, for arguments sake. As for Bonds, that guy’s been getting craptastick reviews of his personality his whole public life (but I think he’s an easy guy to dislike). Hence he always viewed them as out to get him and reacted accordingly. The funny thing is that I think Bonds has actually behaved slightly less nutty than Clemens, in so far as PEDs go and the allegations thereof. So you are right, I believe (I seem to have talked myself into this belief, to tell you the truth); the lens they are viewed through makes their image but it influences how they treat the lens; so there is this feedback loop of negativity rolling along for one guy and a positive one for the other guy (up until the Mitchell Report that is; then it evened out a bit).

    • stankfinger - Feb 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      For me the whole Clemens dickhead thing started with the hissy fit towards Mike Piazza. Throwing the broken bat at him angrily and then, instead of manning up and saying ‘yeah i did it, i was angry’, cowardly said he was simply trying to throw the bat towards the sidelines, thus immediately insulting the intelligence of anyone with a set of eyes. He must have thought it was 1932 when instant replay was some sort of science fiction.

  6. mrznyc - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Simple answer: Bonds is a bright human being and should have known better – Roger is as dumb as a stump and to this day probalby couldn’t spell “Steroids” if his life depended on it.

    • cur68 - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Lets say brighter than Clemens, OK? That I can buy.

  7. Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Since I’m so terribly sick of talking about mr. Big head here, I’m going to point out some fun facts in regards to allegations against baseball players, and how silly they are when you hear nothing mentioned in terms of PED’s in football.

    This Sunday during the superbowl there will be 26 roster players who weigh in excess of 300 lbs, most of them can outrun me.

    In 1980 there were 3 players over 300 lbs. IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE.

    Today there are over 500 players in the NFL who weigh more than 300 lbs.

    Here’s a link, interesting to say the least.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/29/sports/football/29weight.html?_r=1

  8. cur68 - Feb 4, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Whoa. That’s a pretty powerful story. I work in healthcare and I didn’t know any of that (well, I am Canadian, and thus slimmer, but you’d think I’d know those figures). What’s interesting is that if weight means advantage then those chubbos should be 300+ pounds of muscle, right? Muscle is 18% denser than fat, so a 300lb muscly guy beats the snot out of a 300lb fat guy every time (see the link for a reference). With all the PED use why aren’t these guys all muscle? Most of them seem to be 280lbs of muscle & bone and the rest is adipose. In some cases what appears to be 70 or more lbs of it. What’s with all the fat?

    http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/full/56/5/B191#R23

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      My guess is “bulking up” includes the use of PED’s along with eating for four, which would result in a very strong, very fast, group of giants. Which is exactly what these lineman are. It’s more than likely impossible to be 300 or more lbs of muscle with no fat. Most seem to have around an extra 70 lbs of fat hanging on their bellies and legs. But when you weigh in at 350 lbs, you must have a huge amount of muscle to motor it around.

      I’m not saying they must be using. All I’m saying is, if a baseball player gains 10 to 15 lbs of muscle eyebrows begin to raise, as does the roar of the writers damning them with no evidence besides that much smaller amount of muscle gain.

      • cur68 - Feb 4, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        We seem to be having 2 slightly different discussions here. I take your point; WAY more needs to be said about PEDs in football. Frankly, I think baseball has never been cleaner what with all the scrutiny. But the statement about PEDs = fat bugs me. I know a couple of PED users. Both guys are over 290. They are both bodybuilders and neither one of them has an ounce of fat (they’ll proudly tell you that and bore you to DEATH with the details). According to musclehead #1, you don’t need to be fat when on PEDs; you choose to be fat. And getting fat is easy; eat for 4 (like you said) and work out for 3. But my point is being that size due to fat doesn’t make any sense unless, like the article says, the league encourages the ‘spectacle’ of a giant fat guy running around like a gazelle. If so then isn’t the league is in violation of rules prohibiting deliberately harmful practices? Because one thing is certain; massive growth after puberty can lead to deformation of heart valves which do not grow at the same rate as the heart enlarges. Just ask one A. Schwarzenegger and his repaired heart valves. I imagine being fat on top of this will surely bump you off twice as fast as your non-fat PED using compatriots. This would be a fascinating line of study I bet. Think the NFL will extend me a grant?

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        I’m not really saying PED’s = fat. More like moving all that fat as fast as it moves today more than likely involves the use of PED’s. More so than a guy gaining 10-15 lbs in baseball, which some people swear equals PED use. That and back acne. Football unlike bodybuilding requires weight if you’re to stop other lineman. Imagine your known PED users trying to weigh 350 lbs or more of nothing but muscle. It’s probably not going to happen. And the guy will be so obviously juiced, to put him on the field would be a blatant disregard to US law. And yes, these guys are killing themself for the game while they’re at it.

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