Roger Walks Out Of Court and Should Head Into the Hall
So it appears that the jurors in the Roger Clemens case read my article last week when I called for the witch hunt of our athletes and their usage of performance enhancing drugs to cease. After ten weeks, which have truthfully been building up for over 5 years, a decision came down in the Roger Clemens perjury case this afternoon. The Rocket was found innocent on all 6 counts of perjury, and is free to walk. Clemens was facing up to 30 years in jail and over a million dollar in fines, so I can only imagine the stress that came with proving his innocence in the past few years. He seems relieved today after receiving the favorable decision, though that does not change the fact that he looks as if he has aged thirty years in the past five.
I am not writing to criticize Roger Clemens for what he may of may not have done during his playing career. If you objectively look at his numbers, the dips and peaks of his performance, the size of his body and head and random acts of anger, you can make your own conclusion based on what you think Roger may have done. Also, I want to attempt to not kill the United State government too much in this post, even though they wasted thousands and thousands of tax payer dollars to try to prove Clemens guilty, even after a mistrial occurred and they were notified that the evidence against Clemens would not stand up in the court of law. I also want to leave Brian McNamee alone, the trainer of Clemens who tried proving Roger was guilty of steroid use and was obviously less credible than anyone even knew in the eyes of the jury. McNamee has a plethora of personal and legal issues he will now have to face, because if Clemens was found innocent, his contradicting story must be further examined in the court of law. Instead, I would like to address the voters of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, who will face the tough task of deciding to place Roger Clemens in the Hall next spring or not.
Over the past decade, a precedent has been set that any players who have previously been associated with steroid usage have not garnered the necessary votes for entry into the hall. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire are the two most obvious cases to date, but there are many more players from the 90’s and early 2000’s who will also stand at the Hall of Fame crossroads. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez have always been singled out as players that the “experts” felt would have made the Hall of Fame without the help of PED’s, and therefore they should be inducted anyway. Well, if that was the case for the Rocket prior to today’s hearing, then it would be totally irresponsible for Roger Clemens to be denied entry into the Hall of Fame. If the United States legal system looked at the facts and decided that there is no indisputable proof that Roger Clemens took steroids, then the voters of the Hall of Fame committee need to show their respect to the ruling and let Clemens pass through the glorified doors of Cooperstown, NY.
Let me be clear in my opinion. I am not under the assumption the Roger Clemens was clean. In fact, I would be willing to bet any monetary amount possible that he was doing something illegal to help his growth. But the fact of the matter is it is now unproven. He has been dragged through the mud, denied any wrongdoing, even “misremembered” from time to time, but he came out clean. Though the court of public opinion does not necessarily support today’s decision, as an American, you’d like to believe that the judicial system got the decision right. With that in mind, you need to analyze his 354 wins, 3.12 lifetime ERA, 4,672 career strikeouts in just over 5,000 major league innings and come to the conclusion that like him or not, the man is one of the all-time great pitchers. He was 12-8 in the postseason, won 2 World Series titles and pitched for 7 pennant winning squads. He won the Cy Young 7 times, won an MVP award back in 1986 and won the pitching Triple Crown twice. He won 17 games in 12 different seasons and locked up 20 victories in 6 of them. Many of his numbers were posted before the “steroid era”, so the writers and analysts who say that Clemens would have been a Hall of Famer regardless of the steroids are absolutely correct.
I want to reiterate that I don’t like Clemens, nor do I believe that he didn’t dabble with PED’s. I think Clemens has carried himself like an asshole for years now, and though I rooted for him when he was a member of the Yankees, I was not saddened to see him go or excited to see him return. I know the legal system has many flaws, as OJ Simpson was allowed to play many rounds of golf after murdering his estranged wife. If you are a celebrity or athlete and can afford excellent lawyers in America, you can get away with basically anything. However, in the court of law, Clemens was not proven guilty and therefore I truly believe has earned a place in the hall of fame. If the Clemens decision was reversed and he would spend some time in jail, I would absolutely not lose an ounce of sleep over it. He is very smug, obviously not a good person and I believe karma will catch up to him at some point. But as far as this issue is concerned, if the U.S. judicial system found Clemens innocent, the Hall of Fame committee needs to follow suit and vote Roger in next spring. He fully deserves to get booed during the induction ceremony though.
I have reached my decision about Clemens after much thought and personal debate. If you agree with my take, let me know. If you think you can sway my opinion or just want to tell me why I am a jackass, let me have it also. I think I have a good grasp on this matter but I’ve been wrong before (very rarely though!)