For nearly five hours, Roger Clemens faced Congress. Granted, it was, to quote the late singer Charlie Rich, "Behind Closed Doors." Clemens made the apperance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tuesday. Clemens spoke plainly before the committee behind those doors and said that through his attorney Rusty Hardin, one of Clemens' lawyers, said before the deposition that Clemens wouldn't be taking the fifth, referring to the amendment that guards against self incrimination. For those of you familiar with Rusty Hardin, he was Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer in the suit she had against her late husband's family a few years ago in Houston.

Let's hope that the Rocket told the truth in that room and continues to do so next week. Congress is like your mom, when she asks "do you have any homework?" Your answer better be the truth. The punishment for lying to Congress comes with a prison term of up to five years, which would make grounding look like a trip to Disney World. 

Oh, did I foreget to mention that in the Federal Prison System there's no parole? Could the Rocket and Micheal Vick be neighbors?

"It was great to be able be to tell what I've been saying all along that I have never used steroids or human growth hormone," said Clemens, who has disputed claims made in December's Mitchell Report that he used performance-enhancing drugs. "I look forward to being here in this room next week."

The seven-time Cy Young Award Winner exited moments later, refusing to answer reporters' questions, although he did acknowledge a fan who yelled "Rocket" with a quick wave as he entered an elevator with his lawyers. Clemens returns here Feb. 13 as the Reform Committee probes steroid use in baseball, an inquiry spawned by former Sen. George Mitchell's investigation. New York Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch, personal trainer Brian McNamee and former New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski are also scheduled to testify.

In one of my favorite musicals, "Man of La Manacha," set during the Spanish Inquistion, Don Quixote has been summoned to appear before the Inquistion. Before he and Sancho Panza leave, he is told by one of the prisoners, "Plead as well there as you did here and you may not burn." Quixote responds, "My friend, I have no intention of burning." Let's hope that the same comes true for Roger.


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