OK, this is huge. So huge that it should make last week's T.O. suicide story look small in comparison.
The report: Roger Clemens used PEDs.
Not just Clemens, but a Who's Who of MLB stars:
Clemens teammate (and ex-Yankees playoffs poster boy) Andy Pettitte, plus ex-MVP Miguel Tejada and 2005 O's Cinderella story Brian Roberts, along with others.
This according to a report in the LA Times, based on claims from Jason Grimsley -- remember those blacked-out names? -- via a federal agent's affidavit.
This is huge on an order no less explosive than any of the claims made against Barry Bonds.
I mean, Roger Clemens is arguably the greatest pitcher of all time – certainly the greatest pitcher of this generation.
Tejada is one of the most complete players, an ex-MVP. Pettitte is held up as the Yankees' model of playoff clutch. Roberts' story carried baseball through the steroid-plagued first half of the 2005 season.
The Clemens thing is a rumor that had been floating around for years, but there had never been anything people could point to on paper.
The agent whose affidavit is cited, Jeff Novitzky, also investigated BALCO. His claims are already being dismissed by Clemens and Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks:
"It's an agent's recollection about a conversation he had about conjecture."
The paper said that Grimsley claims the feds attributed claims to him he didn't make.
There's no word whether those questionable claims included the naming of names.
I have a hard time believing that the federal agent signed a sworn affidavit that blatantly makes things up.
I have a hard time believing that Grimsley had any reason to lie (but now might feel the pressure to close ranks with his ex-colleagues).
But I have an easy time believing that all of them used steroids.
Maybe this will blow over. Why?
Because fans really don't care about the MLB steroid story as much as the media does.
Because enough doubt will be in fans' minds to dismiss the story.
Because fans are willing to give Clemens et al the benefit of the doubt where they wouldn't for someone like Barry Bonds.
Because the playoffs are 48 hours away. (MLB execs say: Welcome!)
Because stories that break on a Sunday – particularly during NFL season – have little traction.
(Because more people care about an arbitrary week in the NFL -- and its Monday analysis -- than they do about baseball... and certainly more than they do about steroids.)
But it would/could/should be big. Should be HUGE.
It's Clemens. It's PEDs.
Enjoy the day!
Commenters: What do you think about this story? Do you care? What will the fall-out be, if any? What's your take?