(ROGER CLEMENS is implicated in the Mitchell Report when his former trainer BRIAN MCNAMEE claims that he personally injected CLEMENS with steroids several times over the course of the pitcher’s career. In his house in Texas, ROGER CLEMENS flies into a rage and overturns a heavy table.)
I rose so high.
I will not fall.
I’ll punch a hole
In this goddamned wall.
I hotly deny
What McNamee said.
I’ll clear my name
In the weeks ahead.
(ROGER CLEMENS appears on 60 Minutes, where he declares that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. He holds a press conference and plays a tape recording of a conversation with BRIAN MCNAMEE in which he reiterates his innocence. In mid-February, both men appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to the hearings, staffers and congressmen ask ROGER CLEMENS for his autograph.)
The matter at hand is very grave,
And so, sirs, you are very brave
To sit with this committee. Oh,
Now let’s play the video.
(An assistant starts a video. On screen, BRIAN MCNAMEE gives his testimony.)
This started back in ’98,
Up there in Toronto.
I got a call from Roger
And went to see him pronto.
When I arrived, the Rocket
Said that he felt old and tired,
So I reached into my pocket
And did what was required.
After that came more injections.
Those are my true recollections.
(The machine is switched off. ROGER CLEMENS speaks.)
Well, a needle was jabbed in my ass.
That much I will not deny.
But I was sure it was B-12.
I cannot tell a lie.
We consulted experts in academia
Who told us B-12 is used for anemia.
After that, congressional reference librarians
Said it’s valid for vegans and vegetarians,
Not so much athletes preserving past glories.
Do you fall into one of these categories?
Vegan? Sorry. There must be some mistake.
I’m not even sure I know the word.
Is it someone who eats a smaller steak
Or who hunts for a whole weekend but only kills one bird?
You knew what the shots were. You didn’t sweat it.
And what about what Andy Pettitte
Has admitted under oath?
He said that you used Human Growth
Hormone to shore up your arm.
Roger, I promise I meant you no harm.
I thought I was acting in your service.
Oh, man, I feel so sick and nervous.
(ROGER CLEMENS turns his back on BRIAN MCNAMEE and addresses the committee.)
I set records—I won Cy Youngs.
I got better as I got older.
I know there have always been wagging tongues.
For a while, it was something I was willing to shoulder,
But when a hero is libeled, a hero responds.
I’m not Mark McGwire. I’m not Barry Bonds.
As a Red Sock, a Blue Jay, an Astro, a Yankee,
I have not been involved in any hanky-panky.
Congressman, if I might reply— What motive would I have to lie?
We have so much more left to learn
About this matter. Let’s adjourn.
We will digest this information
And then make a determination.
(The session ends. ROGER CLEMENS and BRIAN MCNAMEE go to the parking lot.)
Roger, I swear,
I’m in such despair.
I never meant to cause you any pain,
But, Roger, see,
They ordered me
To tell them what your shots really contained.
If I had a baseball right here in my hand,
I’d hurl it hard at the spot where you stand.
Maybe I’d miss but maybe I’d hit.
Maybe, you numskull, your dumb skull would split.
I’ll flatten you out like a Passover matzo.
Don’t think that I’ll do it? Ask Mike Piazza.
Only an idiot angers an ace.
I’ll unretire my fist from your face.
(ROGER’s wife, DEBBIE CLEMENS, arrives, to pick ROGER up. She notices that the two men are squabbling and comes to her husband’s side.)
Don’t get upset, dear.
Your stellar career
Can’t ever be ruined
By a lying buffoon.
Debbie, please. You must understand.
It was the feds. They forced my hand.
We are the victims of what we created.
Remember how you looked in Sports Illustrated?
You were ripped. You were hot. You wore a bikini.
Who got you that way? A wizard? A genie?
(A growl rises in DEBBIE CLEMENS’s throat.)
Roger throw strike!
Brian tell lie!
Debbie no like!
Why, Brian, why?
(DEBBIE CLEMENS overturns BRIAN MCNAMEE’s car and walks away. ROGER CLEMENS follows. BRIAN calls a tow truck to right his car and drives home. He sits in his living room, sniffling.)
I thought I was doing my job.
I thought I was being a pro.
I thought it was what Roger wanted.
He needed my help to be able to throw.
(BRIAN goes into his basement, where he has stored his sports memorabilia and other keepsakes from his time as a trainer.)
A plaque, a pennant, a ball, a glove—
All reminders of the game I love.
My valuables are kept in here.
There’s a jock strap from the year
That Clemens went 20 and 3.
Some of those wins belonged to me.
When the Sox showed him the door,
His ERA was over 4.
They said that he was in decline,
But then by 1999
He’d won two Cy Youngs for the Jays.
I helped bring back his glory days.
He respected my expertise.
Together, we made memories,
But also, since I know the laws,
I’ve held onto this bloody gauze.
These tiny telltale brown-red spots
Are the result of Roger’s shots.
(BRIAN MCNAMEE picks up a gauze pad that contains ROGER CLEMENS’s blood. All of a sudden, the immensity of the situation overcomes him and his sniffling gives way to sobbing. When he pauses to catch his breath, he can hear another, smaller voice. BRIAN stops, looks down, and is shocked to see a SYRINGE on his shelf crying.)
By the shriveled balls of Jose Canseco!
Did that hypodermic needle echo
My sorrow? I am in disbelief.
It’s as rare as Roger throwing relief.
You’re hardly mistaken.
You’re right on the money.
I was crying to mock you.
It was pretty damned funny.
Your weakness is sickening.
Your basement is dingy.
Your muscles are flabby.
Please call me Syringey.
(SYRINGEY starts to dance. With each step, a little liquid shoots from his neck.)
You or Roger,
Who is greater?
You’re a jerk and a simp,
A fool and a traitor.
How could you give
False friend! Phony!
I apologize. I feel confused.
I’m only sure that I’ve been used.
I’m not at all sure who’s the user.
Either way, though, I’m the loser.
Well, then, I need you to convince me
You won’t do this again, McNamee.
I told the truth and I feel some guilt,
But one man can’t bring down the House That Ruth Built.
Roger is great with a fastball or splitter,
But Congress may be the cleanup hitter.
(SYRINGEY hops toward BRIAN MCNAMEE. He stands on the edge of the shelf and speaks softly, so that BRIAN MCNAMEE has to lean in.)
I loaded myself up
With sodium pentothal.
Soon you’ll feel woozy.
Then you’ll tell me all
Your deepest, darkest secrets.
Then we will agree
That what I say is what you’ll do.
You’ll be controlled by me.
It’ll only hurt
For a second or two.
Just a little prick,
(SYRINGEY jabs BRIAN in the upper trapezius. BRIAN wobbles. His pupils dilate. Then he begins to talk.)
My name is Brian McNamee.
Grew up in Queens, beside the sea.
I keyed a car in second grade.
I was 7. We had played
Kickball in the schoolyard.
It was in plain sight. It wasn’t hard.
The very next year, I was 8,
And I hid my sister’s roller skate.
She cried for hours, but I played dumb.
When I was 9, I stole some gum.
When high school was about to end,
I knocked up my brother’s friend.
Played ball in college, became a policeman,
Spent a few years keeping the peace. Then
Left the force in ’93.
This is all true—that I decree.
My name is Brian McNamee.
It’s taking too long
For your stupid life story.
Let’s wrap it up, jabberjaw,
Or else you’ll be sorry.
I get what you’re saying.
I know what you mean,
But there’s so much more.
I want to come clean.
Like that time down in Florida
When I gave knockout drops
To a girl in a pool
And some guy called the cops.
Now I’m playing rough.
It’s out of your hands.
Here are my demands:
You will say no more about the Rocket
Or you’ll get a needle in your freakin’ eye socket.
(BRIAN MCNAMEE grits his teeth and makes one last attempt to state his case.)
It seems so self-destructive, no?
He had it all. He let it go.
The best athletes, by definition,
Are obsessed with competition.
But who concealed? Who betrayed?
When life gives you lemonade,
Turn it all back into lemons.
That’s what happened to Roger Clemens.
(SYRINGEY lunges for BRIAN MCNAMEE, but he has already collapsed from the drugs. SYRINGEY climbs into a FedEx envelope that he has previously marked for delivery to ROGER CLEMENS. He sleeps during the trip and arrives at ROGER CLEMENS’s home the next day.)
Good to see you, my old friend.
You know who missed you? My rear end.
(ROGER CLEMENS hugs SYRINGEY. DEBBIE CLEMENS emerges from the bedroom, wearing a sexy negligee that she tries to remove but cannot slip over her muscles. She rips it to shreds and stands in the middle of the room naked. She embraces both ROGER CLEMENS and SYRINGEY. The three of them go to the bedroom. A porn-movie version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” plays, followed by a porn-movie version of “Rocket Man.”)