Roger Clemens goes on trial today to testify that he did not lie to a congressional committee about taking PEDS, specifically HGH or steroids. His trainer, Brian McNamee told a different story, one of supplying Clemens with steroids for years. And since there's not much else to keep people's interest in sports right now (woman's WOrld Cup, anyone?) it's the dominating story in today's news cycle. Here are a few people to watch as this trial unfolds:
1. Brian McNamee
He's the key to this entire trial. Clemens' former trainer is the key witness to this entire process, and while he has a great deal of evidence on his side, he also has many problems. Despite having terrible hair, he was once accused of rape in 2001, but wasn't tried because the woman refused to go through with a forensic examination (she was given GHB, the date rape drug). He's also claimed to be a doctor in the past (which isn't true). He has a history of lying, so the prosecution will try to persuade the jury that this is another example of his untruths.
2. Andy Pettitte
The flipside to Brian McNamee. Andy Pettite, who is known as being a very moral person admitted to using HGH to help him come off an injury in 2002 and 2004. He has told investigators that he saw Clemens use steroids. While McNamee has a troubled past, Pettitte is squeaky clean. He has no reason to lie and throw his friend under the bus and will be the defense's hardest witness to poke holes in.
3. Kirk "Murdoch" Radomski
A former Mets clubhouse assistant who has admitted to supplying hundreds of major league baseball players with anabolic steroids. He turned his 25 year sentence into 5 years probation for his cooperation with the infamous Mitchell Report. His main evidence in this trial is that he has a receipt for sending HGH to Clemens home. Why someone would keep a receipt for HGH is anyone's guess.
4. Russell "Rusty" Hardin
Clemens' super slick lawyer. Watching this guy work a courtroom is like watching Manet paint lily pads. According to news reports, he once received a thank you note from a juror. He will do his best to make McNamee look like a liar, make Pettitte look like he has a bad memory, and make Radomski look like a degenerate looking to get out of a quarter century in prison. And since this man could sell ice water to eskimos, he just may be able to do it, despite the overwhelming evidence against Roger.
5. Derek Jeter
What does Derek Jeter have to do with this trial. More than you might think. Remember the pre-steroid era when athlete's aged and their numbers went down? That's exactly what is happening to Derek Jeter, a player who has never been linked to steroid use. As Jeter goes for his 3,000th hit, he is taking flack from fans and the media about his dwindling skills. It seems as though we're forgetting that this is exactly how the end of a player's career should look. If you look at Clemens numbers (as well as Barry Bonds' and many other players accused of steroids) his numbers actually improved as he got closer to 40. Kind of makes you think, doesn't it.
For more on the trial, click here.