Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Cheater Is Not Guilty

. . . in the courtroom, that is. He is in every other way. Roger Clemens, former major league star pitcher, was found not guilty in what appears to be the last in a string of trials that arose out of the steroid scandal in baseball. The government had even less luck with Clemens than it did with the other marquee cheater Barry Bonds. This trial was about lying to Congress during testimony in 2005, but everybody knows the trial was really about steroid use in baseball. And looks like we're at the end of that road.

There are a billion news stories out there about the verdict. This one makes the points I would underscore. "Count Roger Clemens lucky for many reasons. First, he can afford a good attorney or attorneys. Second, the star witness was a clown. Third, Andy Pettitte’s recent amnesia. [First time around he heard his buddy Clemens say he used HGH; this time he said "he might have misunderstood" that. Yeah, right.] Lastly, the Government, or more specifically Attorney General Eric Holder, had inept lawyers." Surely all of this is true. The main witness against Clemens was a low-life character who claimed to have shot Clemens up numerous times. He was doubtless telling the truth, but he was easy to destroy in the hands of Clemens' smart, expensive lawyers.

I don't for one microsecond believe that Clemens didn't juice up like half of baseball was doing during the steroid era (roughly 1990 to 2005). The numbers he put up between the ages of 35-44 (1998-2007) defy belief, unless a guy is on the juice. But he walks, and now the papers are full of all these testimonials from other players about how somehow after this Clemens has a clean slate and calling for "moving on" and --a lot of them Yankees, which was the team Clemens pitched for during most of those last years in the game.

Anyway. There's no doubt Clemens is a cheater, and I trust the baseball writers who vote for the Hall of
Fame members keep his cheating butt out. He doesn't deserve the honor.

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