What a Shame

What goes around comes around. Stupidity is what got Roger Clemens into this mess and, for now; stupidity has gotten him out of the mess.

Roger Clemens didn’t have to testify in front of Congress. His Roger Goodell sized ego and James Harrison like stupidity told him to lie in front of congress. Sorry, allegedly lie.

Steroids in baseball aren’t a big issue in the grand scheme of the world. Aids, murders, poverty should probably be put ahead of cheating in a game. However, lying under oath isn’t something to be taken lightly.

It’s a shame that two guys could get off scot-free for perjuring.

Regular readers of mine know that I hate steroids with a passion. The fact that everyone was doing it is no excuse. What if everyone was jumping off a cliff? That’s what Mom teaches you when you’re 10. I hated to see Barry Bonds get off without even a slap on the wrist.

This is not about steroids though.

Related: Musings on the 2011 Hall of Fame Class

Baseball is a game. However, when the government gets involved the game becomes life. The consequences of your actions are no longer within the game. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens supposedly understood what was happening and proceeded accordingly.

Bonds’ trial has been called a waste of the taxpayer’s money by many. The Roger Clemens trial is facing the same criticism on top of the potential for a second trial costing more money. Nevertheless, just because the issue involved is about a game doesn’t mean that the law shouldn’t be enforced. There are bigger issues in the world but perjuring under these circumstances is hardly different from lying under oath at a murder trial.

It’s a sham that Roger Clemens could get off scot-free because of an inexcusable mishap. Maybe the prosecution misremembered that the evidence they presented was deemed inadmissible?

Clemens’ situation is far different from Bonds’. He wasn’t subject to an investigation. Clemens wanted to throw the middle finger to the world by testifying. He wanted prove to the haters that he wasn’t on steroids. He thought he could make a mockery out of the system to repair his image. He flat out lied to a panel of Congressmen and got caught in a web of misremembers.

He ought to be punished for it.

At this point it isn’t personal. Roger Clemens disgusts me but that isn’t why he should be punished or why the prosecution should continue pushing for a re-trial. The law is the law. Perjury is a felony.

He didn’t simply lie to the media about steroids like so many have. Lying publicly about the issue is child’s play. Roger Clemens’ mind was on the school grounds playing cops and robbers. He didn’t realize what he had gotten himself into.

Marion Jones was sent to prison after insurmountable evidence finally forced her admission of guilt. She lied to a federal grand jury and spent 6 months in prison for it.

That didn’t happen to Barry Bonds.

It will be a shame if Roger Clemens also finds his way off the hook.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

21 Responses to What a Shame

  1. tophatal says:

    Clemens was subpoenad so he had to make an appearance but what p##ses me off is the sheer stupidity of the attorneys within the US Justice Dept ! Where did these as_holes get their degrees and legal knowledge from ? How the ##ck can you be seen discussing a case with a federal legislator and then at the time it’s there for the potential jurors to see ?

    The league hierarchy , the owners haven’t a backbone and the union are so powerful that if they pis_ed into the mouths of Selig and the owners they’d tell you that they’d been drinking lemonade .

  2. John Russo says:

    I applaud you. So many angles to cover on this topic and you hit the perfect one. It is such a shame that Clemens flat out made a joke out of the court system and got away… for now. I don’t think this is done yet.

  3. Ob Populus says:

    Only the naive would believe the prosecutors’ actions were by accident. Probably had a weak case as the main accuser is a liar and a drug pusher. Needed to push the envelope but got smacked down by the judge.

  4. jacktheblogger says:

    Good post Chris – I think it was really a waste of taxpayer money for Congress to hold hearings (a circus) about this and it’s even more of a waste for them to prosecute Clemens, Bonds, etc., over it.

    Millions of dollars have been wasted already and all we got is a mistrial. Clemens is tarnished forever – innocent or guilty – so he’s never actually going to get off the hook.

    There are many more important issues facing this country than a pro ballplayer getting a shot in the butt.

    -Jack

  5. chappy81 says:

    To make things fair shouldn’t they be hitting Palmeiro up for a perjury trial? He even waggled his finger! As far as Clemens goes, I wish he got sentenced to some community service. If he went to jail, he’d be wasting even more of our tax dollars!

  6. AJ says:

    I think your critique is well-written, but the real question is why are we still harping on this issue. Roger Clemens would have been one of the best pitchers in baseball from 1990 – 2000 even without steroids. But, when your competitors are using performance enhancers (Pettitte, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Giambi, Ortiz, Ramirez, Canseco, Sheffield, Mo Vaughn… and on and on) in a sport that pays you millions of dollars to be the best, of course you’re going to do steroids.

    Professional sports players are fiercely competitive. If guys they went to college with and smoked are suddenly better then them because they started taking steroids, what would be the answer to that problem? Take steroids. (Look what happened to Griffey because he didn’t use performance enhancers during that era. He might as well have fallen off a cliff)

    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens just happened to be the best players on steroids and are now paying for it. They’re reputations are being dragged through the mud by the U.S. Government for taking drugs that weren’t banned in baseball. (Yes, some of them were illegal in the U.S., but other performance enhancers like HGH, the cream and the clear were unknown by federal regulators.)

    These performance enhancers were developed specifically for athletes in the ’90s. The rise in steroid use in baseball coincided with the rise of its use in the Olympics (Marion Jones), the NFL (Bill Romanowski, Dana Stubblefield, Shawne Merriman, Rodney Harrison) and Cycling (the whole sport).

    With the latest allegations coming out about Lance Armstrong, how hypocritical does it make President George W. Bush and in extension the entire U.S. Justice Department look that they’re still trying to prosecute these guys. In 2005, Bush was riding around his Crawford ranch with the alleged juice-head, blood-doping, 7-time Tour De France Champion and cancer philanthropist Lance Armstrong.

    To punish Bonds and Clemens for trying to maintain some semblance of their reputation on an issue that didn’t harm anyone financially or physically other than themselves is unacceptable. Give it up.

    Read my original post on the subject here:

    http://andrewmetcalf.com/2011/07/14/roger-clemens-and-the-steroid-question-does-anyone-care-anymore/

    • Chris Ross says:

      They took drugs that weren’t banned in baseball but when asked under oath by the US government they lied. They haven’t been put on trial for what they did in baseball. It’s what they did during the investigation outside of the game. Last time I checked, it is illegal to lie under oath. The investigation had to do with steroids but the charges really have nothing to do with it. The action, no matter which way you spin it, is perjury and I don’t think you can just let that slide. But that’s how I feel and I realize tons of people don’t agree with it and that’s fine.

      @Chappy: I’m not sure about Palmeiro but I think they probably don’t have enough evidence against him. At least that’s what I would assume because I don’t really know. They have Pettite and the Yankee’s trainer word against Roger Clemens but I don’t think they have anything like that against Rafael. Please, correct me if I’m wrong though.

      • AJ says:

        It comes down to competitiveness. That was always Clemens’ defining feature. He was Tiger Woods competitive. The U.S. Government is just one more competitor to him and he wants to win. It’s the Justice Department that shouldn’t be playing this game at the taxpayers’ expense. Especially with how poorly they’re going about it. (Mistrial on the second day, come on…)

      • Jeff Kallman says:

        It’s a shame we can’t put the House Committee on Government Oversight (which George F. Will has called, appropriately, the House Committee on Sending Swell Messages to Kids) on trial. They were far less interested in solving an actual or alleged problem than they were in making baseball players make the perp walk, while saying and doing nothing about the NFL, which has had a steroid issue for years enough and one that makes baseball’s resemble a minor aberration.

        That said, Rafael Palmeiro actually might have told the truth. Murray Chass has written about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/13/sports/baseball/13chass.ready.html.

      • chappy81 says:

        Good point, plus Palmeiro probably already skipped the country!

        It sounded like Pettite’s testimony was congresses “smoking gun”… They probably didn’t have that for Palmeiro…

  7. keithstone33 says:

    You’re right. He didn’t have to testify and his arrogance might be his biggest crime. Enjoy the blog.

  8. williamnyy23 says:

    Well written, but disagree with the premise. Congress had no business grandstanding on this issue. If they would hav focused on important matters, Clemens would not have been in the position to lie. It’s not really entrapment, but kind of a symbolic version.

    Whether or not Clemens lied (and I don’t think it’s fair to conclude that without direct evidence), the bottom line if the government had no business holding the hearings, no business wasting millions on fruitless prosecutions, and now no business continually bending the rules of the legal system. The intent may have been to prosecute purjors, but the effect has been to make the federal prosecutors look like fools.

  9. mdegeorge says:

    I think the general consensus among baseball fans is that Clemens and many others used performance enhancing drugs and lied when questioned about it in any capacity. The efforts to tease truth out of the lies in this entire era is just impossible. It’s getting to the time at which the sport needs to move on and stop spending time and energy on chasing the ghosts of the steroid era. I’d love to see these guys do their time, but enough is enough.

  10. Mike Rook says:

    Clemens has been tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. Thats the one that will keep him from ever clearing his name

  11. rj1 says:

    The issues of your commentary are the issues at hand. Those issues would be values and laws. The accusation is perjury; lying under oath. Perjury is a felony. What confuses me are postings that attempt to excuse away values, laws and due process (for whatever reason) and suggest to just let him walk. No, let Roger have his day in court. Let him have his opportunity to present his testimony and his truth.

  12. mattjw24 says:

    I couldn’t believe the idiocy of the attorney when I heard about it. As for your piece on it Chris, I loved the lead paragraph and overall insight, great stuff man.

  13. unclemonkey says:

    I think steroids are wrong, but I have a problem with the fact that baseball willingly turned a blind eye for so long because they wanted to enjoy the fruits and increased popularity. MLB needed to take a stance long before. I do fully agree with you that lying under oath is wrong and they should not get away with that. That is a total disgrace – if you or I were to do that, we would be prosecuted to the full extent.

  14. I find it disturbing how one day he was headed to trial and then the next day it was all over as if it was no big deal.

    This was probably one of the more “glazed over” issues in recent sports history.

    Meehan

  15. And my eyes are getting more and more “glazed over” the more I have to drink to put up with this

    Meehan

  16. Bobby Charts says:

    nice post Mr. Ross, lol. these guys will never be remembered for how the played on the field. its to bad and a joke, I grew up in Rogers prime and jose canseco and so on. its a shame as your title says!

  17. Great piece Chris. It’s ridiculous that Clemens got off the hook so easily. It seems to me this day in age that well known athletes get off the hook much easier than others. It just seems they have a get out of trouble free card.

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