Questioning Roger

Gordon Edes’ has some suggestions for questions that Mike Wallace might want to ask Roger Clemens:


1. You have described Brian McNamee as someone at the “top of the list” of trainers with whom you have worked for the better part of a decade. What possible motive would he have to link you with steroids and human growth hormone?

2. If you were in McNamee’s position, would you lie to federal investigators, knowing that you were risking jail time if you did?

3. Why would McNamee have told the truth about another of his clients, Andy Pettitte, and lied about you?

4. How widespread do you believe the use of performance-enhancing substances to be in major league baseball, and why didn’t you, as one of the elite stars of the game, lobby your union to do more to create a level playing field, if you weren’t among the cheaters?

5. Given your one-time regard for McNamee as a trainer and friend, do you approve of the efforts of your lawyer, Rusty Hardin, to do whatever he can to discredit McNamee, even if it means impugning his reputation?

6. In a 2005 interview with the Houston Chronicle, you said: “I’m going to find anything I can that’ll make me stronger and allow me to keep up with the 20-year-olds, but I’m going to depend on physicians to tell me what’s OK.” If you were willing to try “anything” to give you an edge, why should we believe that didn’t include performance-enhancing substances?

7. Your sons are athletic; your oldest son is a professional ballplayer. What do you say to your sons about the charges in the Mitchell Report and what they have done to your reputation?

8. Let’s assume that you are totally clean, as you claim to be. How can you possibly salvage your reputation in the aftermath of the Mitchell Report? And if you or other top stars are not clean, did you ever entertain the thought that full disclosure might actually be in the best interests of baseball, and help the industry to put behind it some of the excesses of the steroid era?

9. Do you believe it compromises the credibility of this interview that I, Mike Wallace, became friends with you after an earlier “60 Minutes” profile and am a frequent guest in George Steinbrenner’s box?

10. In retrospect, do you wish you’d never met Jose Canseco?

14 comments… add one

  • 11. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?
    Is it too much to ask Edes to mention that Clemens has an open session with the media the following day. Shoot, let’s see if he takes time off vacation to go to Texas himself.

    Mike YF December 30, 2007, 10:52 pm
  • 1 – 4 are perfectly fine, but the rest border on and cross the line of ‘combative’ journalism. Gordon Edes would get a net total of zero interviews if he ever asked those questions.
    While it’s nice to poke at the Mike Wallace friendship, it’s pretty stupid to ask ANY person to ask those beat-reporter, one-word response questions. “Have you talked to your sons about your damaged reputation”? “Do you wish you never met Jose Canseco?” Seriously? How about “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

    AndrewYF December 30, 2007, 11:14 pm
  • I have to agree with Andrew here, the first four questions are the questions I want him to answer. The rest are just a waste, not intended to get an actual response, just intended to help sell papers.
    I would like to see question seven worded a little differently, I don’t support the “think of the children” mentality, but this is different because his kids are actually part of the culture, if not playing, grew up in it.

    LocklandSF December 30, 2007, 11:29 pm
  • I agree with Andrew also. Great start to the interview with those questions, then someone huffed some jenkum. How does Edes get interviews with this approach to questions?

    Rob SF December 31, 2007, 12:05 am
  • Even question 2 is stupid. Roger Clemens is not a personal trainer. He is Roger Clemens, pitcher. How in the heck could he imagine himself being in McNamee’s position, and why should he?

    AndrewYF December 31, 2007, 1:27 am
  • WALLACE: Mr. Clemens, are the allegations true that you love puppies, are faithful to your wife, and won’t even take aspirin for a headache?
    CLEMENS: I cannot tell a lie, Mike, those allegations are all 100% true. Can we go have a beer with Hank now?

    Hudson December 31, 2007, 9:02 am
  • // and cross the line of ‘combative’ journalism. //
    Omigod, not combative journalism! On 60 Minutes? Can’t we just stick to puff profiles of Tiger Woods?

    Anonymous December 31, 2007, 9:04 am
  • Question 6 kind of answers itself, doesn’t it? I assume 99% of physicians would not prescribe or recommend steroids or HGH or any illegal drugs.
    There are a couple of decent questions in there I think, and I think it’s actually refreshing these days for a reporter to take a combative tact when questioning a star athlete. Unfortunately, Edes, along with his journalist brethren, were rather late in doing such a thing. Edes and others have had access to clubhouses for the last decade. Why weren’t these questions being asked then? Maybe Edes should do an interview with himself in the mirror?

    Nick-YF December 31, 2007, 9:22 am
  • Unfortunately, Edes, along with his journalist brethren, were rather late in doing such a thing. Edes and others have had access to clubhouses for the last decade. Why weren’t these questions being asked then? Maybe Edes should do an interview with himself in the mirror?
    This is a reasonable point, but also a bit irrelevant. Wallace has the interview, so he ought to be asking difficult questions. Asking Roger how this has impacted his family, how he discusses the issue of steroids with his baseball-playing sons (remember, one of them is a professional ballplayer) is a pertinent topic.
    On the other hand, I expect Roger to be as forthcoming as a houseplant, to utter all the predictable platitudes and denials. I, for one, won’t be watching; the interview will be an exercise in evasion or denial, narcissism, or some combination of all of those. It will be an utter waste of time, since we won’t learn anything new.

    SF December 31, 2007, 9:28 am
  • Edes’s point is that these are the issues that Clemens will need to address, if he wants to clear his reputation. While some of Edes’s questions are clearly meant to be confrontational, isn’t the point that fans want some more definitive answers? For Clemens, it is focused on why McNamee would lie.
    Or, is the need to protect “Pinstripe Pride” such that we don’t even want to hear the questions?

    Brad (SF) December 31, 2007, 9:37 am
  • “Or, is the need to protect “Pinstripe Pride” such that we don’t even want to hear the questions?”
    Not sure how this pertains to the above discussion.

    Nick-YF December 31, 2007, 11:39 am
  • Nick —
    This might have sounded snarky, so mea culpa. It just seemed like a few posters were very quick to criticize Edes and his “questions” (as if he really thought Wallace would ask exactly these questions). Personally, I would like to know whether Clemens took PEDs or not. The question of whether a question is stupid, confrontational, or unnecessary seem to not be all that important.

    Brad (SF) December 31, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • Actually, I thought they were such good questions that I forwarded them to Roger myself. His answers are below. As you can see, the questions really worked well to get to the truth…
    To questions 1-3: “In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, ‘I haven’t got a clue. I’m an educated man but I’m afraid I can’t speak to the travel habits of William Santiago'”. In other words, why don’t you ask McNamee – I can’t answer for him.
    To Q4: “To the first part of the question, I say ‘very’. On the second part, for the same reason no other player did. It’s is the job of the MLB to do such things and for the players union to represent our best interests in the matter. Besides, since I wasn’t doing them, I figured I’d mind my own business.”
    To Q5: “If someone lied about you and tried to destroy your reputation, would you not fight back by exposing their lack of credibility?”
    To Q6: “Any player worth his salt would have said the same thing I did in that article. Let’s not pretend that it implies I broke rules to compete because that’s not what I intended.”
    To Q7: “Same thing I said to him before that report – ‘steroids are bad – don’t do them. I don’t, and look how good I am.'”
    To Q8: “To the first part of the question, I do it by fighting back, as I am doing now. And since the premise of the second part of the question doesn’t apply to me, I needn’t answer it.”
    To Q9: “No more than the report itself is compromised by having been led by a part owner of the one team more thanany other that would like to see me discredited.”
    To Q10: “Doesn’t everyone?”
    Thanks and happy new year.

    IronHorse (yf) December 31, 2007, 9:15 pm
  • Better questions for Mike Wallace to ask Roger Clemens:
    ————————-
    1. Your lawyer has as much as called Brian McNamee a liar, yet you and Andy Pettitte came to McNamee’s defense after the LA Times’ leak of the Grimsley affidavit in October 2006. McNamee has been closely associated with you since you pitched for the Blue Jays in 1998, and you’ve had him on your payroll up to 2006. Why the sudden change of heart?
    2. Your lawyer has referred to the 2001 so-called “date rape” case involving Brian McNamee, for which he was never charged and in fact was exonerated. Would you object to McNamee’s lawyer bringing up YOUR arrest for a 3rd degree felony charge of aggravated assault in 2001, since you also were eventually charged with only a misdemeanor and later acquitted?
    2. Explain why you refused to meet with George Mitchell when he first invited you to speak with him, if you have nothing to hide.
    2. Can we call your wife Debbie in to sit with you during this interview, and in her capacity as a fitness expert (one of the features at her website) can I ask her questions about PEDs?
    ——————————-
    I got a kick out of these quotes from an article March 4, 2001 in the NY Times: “Brian McNamee, an assistant strength-and-conditioning coach for the Yankees and Clemens’s personal trainer, joins us for dinner. As we get settled at our table, Clemens picks up the menu. ‘Give me direction — can I have a steak?’ he says. McNamee nods. ‘And potatoes?’ ‘Dry,’ McNamee says. He is a sour, taciturn man with a long jaw and narrow eyes and a thin, sinister-looking beard. McNamee’s life seems to revolve around the conditioning of Roger Clemens.”….”McNamee mentions an actor, Clemens’s age, he met recently who was in great shape. ‘He was really buff,’ he says. Clemens’s face gets red. He is thin-skinned about his beefy-looking body. A reporter for The Boston Globe used to call him the Pillsbury Doughboy. He has a spiky crew cut from the 50’s over a jowly face, a double chin and a thick neck. He has the body of a body builder who has gone off his diet.”….”[Clemens] tells a story about their run the day before, when he and McNamee came upon a man having a heart attack. ‘We were doing intervals,’ Clemens says, ‘walking 50 yards, then sprinting. We had to stop for this guy who was turning blue. Mac gave him CPR and got his pulse back.’ He shakes his head. ‘It makes you think. We were having a good run, too, under our usual time.’ ”
    Yeah, it’s all about you, Rog…

    WebmistressEMC December 31, 2007, 9:49 pm

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