Needles and Pins

I collect baseball cards. Others collect signed baseballs. The memorabilia market is hot for uniforms, old programs, photographs, and just about any bric-a-brac even marginally connected to the national pastime. Brian McNamee collects used syringes, which is a new one, but, let’s face it: if there’s any way to exploit the great game of baseball for profit, trust that someone will figure out how. That’s just one of the many lessons raised by PED use. Those who wish to flame on about Clemens and the allegations against him can do so below. I’ll take a pass.

27 comments… add one

  • what i love about this is hearing all the laymen acting like experts on evidence law and such going on about chain of custody and so on.. its like the hearsay thing all over again!

    Ric February 7, 2008, 1:12 pm
  • true story: when I was in kindergarten I went to school in East Harlem. This was at the height of the crack epidemic. Used crack viles could be found everywhere in our school yard. The vile tops came mostly in red color, but a few were green, pink, yellow, purple. My friends and I would line them up in neat patterns on the cement according to color. It was applied mathematics!
    Then one of the adults caught us doing this, and that was the end of that.
    The 80′s were a different time.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 1:17 pm
  • Why do people keep this type of crap- spunk stained dresses and used gauze pads from 1999. Either take it to the dry cleaners or throw it out. Gross.

    no sleep til brooklyn SF February 7, 2008, 2:06 pm
  • Shit. My rookie Clemens needle is now way less valuable.

    SF February 7, 2008, 2:25 pm
  • I’m wondering why he wouldn’t have mentioned this needle when he talked to George Mitchel.

    Sean February 7, 2008, 2:28 pm
  • “Why do people keep this type of crap- spunk stained dresses and used gauze pads from 1999. Either take it to the dry cleaners or throw it out. Gross.”
    Honestly, you don’t know? I think this is the very reason McNamee kept it, as insurance, just in case. Remember, he was a police detective until the 1990 or around there. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    LocklandSF February 7, 2008, 2:28 pm
  • Sean, I’m pretty sure this was a last resort for McNamee, I’m sure he didn’t want it to come to this.

    LocklandSF February 7, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • 1. How does McNamee profit by turning over these syringes?
    2. The evidence appears pretty damning, and it explains why MLB felt so confident in going ahead with the Clemens portion of the report.
    3. In the absence of an allegation that McNamee’s evidence is fraudulent, will there be any outrage from YFs if it turns out Clemens blatantly and shamelessly lied to fans, the media and Congress?
    Or is the loyalty to Clemens so strong that lying your tuckus off can be excused?

    Hudson February 7, 2008, 5:59 pm
  • “2. The evidence appears pretty damning, and it explains why MLB felt so confident in going ahead with the Clemens portion of the report.”
    when you say MLB I assume you mean Mitchell and his report. But Mitchell wasn’t told about this evidence per McNamee’s lawyers (the press conference a half hour ago.) Nor did he tell federal investigators.. He ommitted this from the interview. Not sure what to make of that, but it might hurt his credibility that he claimed to tell Mitchell everything but excluded this.
    “3. In the absence of an allegation that McNamee’s evidence is fraudulent, will there be any outrage from YFs if it turns out Clemens blatantly and shamelessly lied to fans, the media and Congress?”
    again, I don’t know why this has to be reduced to a Yanksfan/Soxfan thing, but I’d guess that he’d be a pariah among most people if he so blatantly lied. Who knows? I’m just one Yanks fan. Sometimes, we drink different water.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 6:57 pm
  • “1. How does McNamee profit by turning over these syringes?”
    might as well get this out of the way as well. The idea is that this is a response to the libel suit against him. I’d imagine Clemens’ lawyers will paint the narrative that he kept Roger’s blood (Roger never denied injections) and when his case became desperate, he turned to doctoring the evidence for defensive reasons. It’s a pretty crazy theory, but Roger’s lawyers are going with the angle that this guy is a sad sociopath, a former rapist, someone who leached off of Clemens.
    One thing is clear: This is sordid stuff.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 7:00 pm
  • oh yeah, and don’t interpret those answers as what I actually believe. Just what I beleive the counter-arguments are.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 7:01 pm
  • I’m no expert, but is there anyway to test that blood for steroids? I’m not talking about the syringes or the gauze, but the actual blood. If it’s blood taken from the time frame that he’s suspected of using, that could be the most damning part. I don’t think it’s possible to doctor an old sample just by dripping some steroids on old dried blood. Does anyone know?

    LocklandSF February 7, 2008, 7:12 pm
  • from a NY Times article:
    “Scientific experts said there was no known method to date steroids or human growth hormone.
    The syringes, vials and gauze pads are said to date from 2000 and 2001, part of a four-year period in which McNamee contends he gave Clemens drug injections. But even if the physical evidence tests positive for Clemens’s DNA and, say, steroids, Clemens’s lawyers could argue that McNamee added steroid traces to the original evidence in a bid to incriminate Clemens, experts say.
    “You can test to figure out what the substance is, but you cannot figure out how old it is,” Dr. Don Catlin, the former director of the Olympic testing lab at U.C.L.A., said in a telephone interview.
    There is no way to date blood either, Catlin said, which means there may not be a conclusive way to establish that the syringes, vials and pads were from 2000 and 2001.”

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 7:15 pm
  • Yeah, I saw that Nick, that’s not what I’m really saying.
    If it proves to be Roger’s blood, then that blood tests positive for steroids, it doesn’t really matter what time period it’s from, does it? It proves he used steroids?
    Again, I want to know if it’s possible to test if for steroid use, are those tests at the cellular level? Can it be faked? Does dripping some steroids on old dried blood create a positive test?

    LocklandSF February 7, 2008, 7:18 pm
  • Nick, I realize I wasn’t clear about that in my last comment.

    LocklandSF February 7, 2008, 7:19 pm
  • “Does dripping some steroids on old dried blood create a positive test?”
    I assume so. But what do I know? The question is can this be manufactured? Based on the Seinfeld lite Yogurt episode, I say yes!

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 7:21 pm
  • Nick, you posit the syringes as a defensive move to protect himself against a libel suit.
    But that’s not profit, which is what I asked about. That’s self-defense. If he is not sued for libel, or he wins and is acquitted. he does not profit.
    The original post said this was “way to exploit the great game of baseball for profit
    So again, how does McNamee profit? You didn’t get “that out of the way,” you misdirected the question.
    On #2, I am not fully buying that MLB was not at least given some assurance that if they went out on a limb, that McNamee would have some insurance to back them up. That is different from an overt “tell” or turning over the evidence. Not that I’d approve of it — but I have to think there was a nod and a wink here.
    And on #3, I singled out YFs because (a) a YF posted this dismissively-written item, and (b) it is overwhelmingly — though admittedly not 100% exclusively — YFs swatting away a serious matter as if it were just some boys-will-be-boys situation.

    Hudson February 7, 2008, 8:25 pm
  • And to summarize — I do think it is corrosive to the game to shrug at PED use, and even moreso to shrug at belligerent lies, if that’s what these prove to be.
    McNamee would have to be seriously reckless (which is possible, but highly improbable) to manufacture such evidence, knowing that Clemens has the resources to go after him if it’s junk.
    Because now there is no question: Either McNamee *is* guilty of maliciously tarnishing Clemens’ name — or Clemens *is* guilty of not just using, but flagrantly lying to investigators, Congress, and all of us.
    As far as I can see, the grey areas and middle grounds have dropped out of this matter now.

    Hudson February 7, 2008, 8:28 pm
  • Hudson, I didn’t understand that you were referencing YF’s post. You can ask him, but I think he was making a joke about collecting syringes being like collecitng baseball cards. So, yeah, I didn’t understand your question. I read it as, what would McNamee’s motive be to collect this and put out this evidence now. I guess I should have read it over before I responded. I didn’t focus on word “profit”.
    I’ll let YF answer your charges that he’s making light of PED use. It’s possible that he’s dismissing this current soap opera because it won’t being us to a greater understanding of the issue–just a way to appease people who are very angry about steroid use.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 8:36 pm
  • “As far as I can see, the grey areas and middle grounds have dropped out of this matter now.”
    completely agree. That’s what I meant when I wrote this was sordid stuff. Kind of depressing actually.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 8:36 pm
  • being=bring

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 8:37 pm
  • i can hear the defense now: a few “dirty” gauze pads and syringes prove nothing…period…hudson, a rookie whose only “training” is CSI reruns knows that this “evidence” can be easily tampered with…it’s meaningless, especially since clemens has already admitted to receiving injections administered by macnamee…who keeps crap like this for 7 years anyway?…creepy…remember, that his “profit” is that by delivering clemens his own penalty will be much lighter…he has a vested interest in clemens appearing to be guilty of something…except for an over-zealous member or 2 on the investigative committee [see Mass], this should be given little or no attention…

    dc February 7, 2008, 9:13 pm
  • Why do you even tolerate, much less listen to Hudson. The guys a troll on all the Yanks blogs.
    He just shreds and cuts what you say. Not worth the space he takes.

    Marc February 7, 2008, 9:56 pm
  • Would McNamee’s production of these supposedly dirty syringes and vials have any impact on a civil suit by Clemens against BM? If they are proven to be phony, would Clemens’ case be made stronger?
    Also, what if Clemens’ fingerprints are on a steroid/HGH vial? That doesn’t prove use, but it would be damaging nonetheless. How would McNamee get Clemens’ prints on the vials falsely? What would Clemens say if somehow McNamee still had vials with prints on them? I know, this is the nutcase in me typing, but I am at a loss on this one…
    (and I am still angry about my Clemens rookie needle being devalued…)

    SF February 7, 2008, 10:10 pm
  • “Would McNamee’s production of these supposedly dirty syringes and vials have any impact on a civil suit by Clemens against BM? If they are proven to be phony, would Clemens’ case be made stronger?”
    I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t imagine a court order for Roger’s DNA is ever going to come through based on chain of custody issues. But again, I’m not a lawyer. Why did I respond then? Good question.
    There is a PR war being fought here as well.

    Nick-YF February 7, 2008, 10:52 pm
  • There is a PR war being fought here as well.
    This is an important point, as it is extremely unlikely either side could win a court case. Basically, their attorneys both realize the court that truly matters is that of public opinion, and everyone’s pulling out the stops.

    Paul SF February 7, 2008, 11:05 pm
  • In other news, somebody please tell McNamee that David Letterman and ONLY David Letterman can pull off a double breasted jacket.

    LocklandSF February 8, 2008, 10:25 am

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