Roger Clemens: Not Guilty!
Roger Clemens was acquitted today of all charges against him stemming from obstruction and perjury charges against him for lying to the US Congress about his use of performance enhancing drugs. The day may have been a victory for Clemens, but it has a left an ugly stain on a controversial issue surrounding not only Major League Baseball, but all sports.
Clemens was at the forefront of Steroid-Gate when it broke. Outed by former trainer Brian McNamee, and several past coaches and teammates, Clemens looked destined to be on the same path as Pete Rose. In 2008 Clemens went before a congressional hearing and swore under oath that he had never used steroids, and was never a party to performance enhancing drugs. After contradictory testimony to Clemens statements was given by former teammates and coaches, charges were brought against the baseball great.
This brings us today, where after a ten-week trial, Clemens was found “not guilty” of all charges laid against him.
Clemens accomplishments in the MLB will no doubt go down as being the stuff of legend. Many could argue that Clemens is one of the greatest to ever pitch in the game. If his 354 wins, 4,672 strike-outs, and career ERA of 3.12 aren’t enough, you can never take away his record seven Cy Young Awards, his 1986 MVP (an award rarely doled out to pitchers), 11 all-star appearences and 2 world series rings. It’s this level of accomplishment that makes it so hard to see the star of one of sports’ greatest athletes tarnished. The question is whether or not his reputation can ever truly recover. People have a funny way of seeing you as guilty, even when found innocent.
To be honest, there was a lot of compelling evidence against Clemens; and in my opinion the trial was a sham. I don’t think the prosecutors would have ever convinced a jury to find Clemens guilty. The whole process was put into place as a well-choreographed show for the public to show us all that the United States Government doesn’t show preference toward celebrities. Unfortuantely, after the Barry Bonds trial, I think the masses have become wise to this ruse.
I’ve always been a Clemens fan – especially of the fine work he did in Toronto – but, I will never look at him with the same admiration. Deep down there will always be lingering doubt in my heart.
The reality is that even though Clemens has been found not guilty, he still has a long way to go to clear his name in the eyes of the fans, and in the eyes of the baseball writers who must vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame
… and that is the last word