Liar, Liar – A Roger Clemens Trial Reaction
In a not too surprising decision Monday, a grand jury acquitted former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens of all charges that he used using performance-enhancing drugs during his lengthy baseball career. Though he is one of the faces of baseball’s steroid era, the jury believed that The Rocket never used them, and trainer Brian McNamee, teammate Andy Pettitte, and other witnesses were proven wrong.
Although he posted ridiculous stats well into his 40s and did things no other athlete his age ever did (posting a 1.87 ERA at age 42 and having his lowest H/9 rating since 1986!), we’re now supposed to believe that it was simply a true testament of Clemens’ natural talent and skill.
As I’m sure you all can tell, this decision means absolutely nothing – Clemens is still the lying, cheating, steroid using slob he was when he hobbled off the field in the 2007 playoffs.
It’s not shocking, but rather disgusting that Clemens now gets to walk away from this with no consequences. The trial had gone on far too long, but if they already wasted so much tax dollars and time on this case, at least make the right and obvious decision. No matter how people try to defend him, you’d be a fool to think steroids didn’t contribute to at least the later years of his 24-season run in the bigs. The fact that he is now going to be on the Hall of Fame ballot this year literally makes me cringe.
Yet, there’s always been the belief that certain players already in Cooperstown cheated their way to fame and success. And that is probably the case, but Clemens’ PED use is as clear as day. Not that he will even get elected to the Hall, but he doesn’t even deserve a chance.
This was a terrific opportunity for MLB to send a message to the sports world and to other PED users that they will be caught and brought to justice. But now the poster boy of this whole mess is apparently not guilty, and Roger Clemens will continue living off the money and fame he got from a needle, and not from his actual talent and skills that he once naturally honed.
One argument people make is that his numbers before he started taking steroids are enough to get him into the Hall of Fame. Granted, they certainly were amazing, but that is just 13 out of the 24 seasons he pitched in baseball. So we now are going to induct every PED user based off of half, or maybe a quarter of their careers? At the end of the day, people aren’t inducted for what they did for a period in their careers, but for what they did consistently and diligently for the longevity of their baseball lives. Chew on this too – if the great Pete Rose is banned from the Hall of Fame for gambling off the field, how could Roger Clemens be let in for doing something that directly changed the course of each game on the field? That would be horrible.
To me, Clemens would have been a HOFer had he stayed off the ‘roids and played a normal and honorable baseball career. But the fact that he took performance enhancers that allowed him to stay at a high level and pitch much longer than any other pitchers did is simply unfair, unnatural, and an injustice to players everywhere. Baseball is a timeless game, but everyone eventually hangs up the spikes because they simply aren’t good anymore. Clemens delayed that inevitability far too long, just to rack up more wins, more Cy Youngs, and further establish himself as a legendary figure in MLB. From what our generation has seen, he will certainly be legendary, but for the wrong reason – as a liar.
I am no political analyst and I only remember Clemens’ second stint with the Yankees in 2007. But there’s no doubt in my mind Roger Clemens is a cheater and this ruling was just a way to get out of a mess of a case. The country needs to focus on much more important things than one sports figure, and I am glad that we can move on from this. But it’s an absolute failure by everyone involved with this joke of a trial that they couldn’t convict a clear steroid user who has lied to everyone just to protect his image.
Rot in Texas Roger.