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ESPN is reporting that seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens could be indicted for perjury following his testimony to congress on steroids. A grand jury is convening in Washington to determine whether there is enough evidence put forth by assistant U.S. attorney Daniel P. Butler to warrant perjury charges. Last February Clemens appeared before Congress to address allegations that he used HGH and performance enhancing drugs. Clemens denies any use of banned substances and has not made many public appearances or statements since that day in Washington.
My Take: I’m going to take an unpopular view here and defend Roger Clemens.
I think Roger Clemens is a scumbag and did use HGH during his career and should be punished for that, whether it be fines for salary or banning from baseball etc. What I do not like (and this goes for Barry Bonds too) is the government interfering with sports and thus entrapping athletes into committing federal crimes. Bud Selig and Major League Baseball completely dropped the ball during the steroids era for many different reasons, yet they cannot change the past and have limited options on what to do from here on out in the form of punishment for players. If anything, it should be the Major League Baseball executives who allowed this to go on who are scrutinized to the point of perjury.
I’ll make an allegation of my own: I think the hearings held by Congress, which force former players to perjure themselves to try to save their reputation, are a plot by Major League Baseball to save face and pass the blame to the players.
Congress should not be getting involved in the dealings of Major League Baseball, lord knows they have plenty of other issues to attend to. Yes, baseball enjoys an anti-trust exemption but Congress’ oversight of a private corporation is unnecessary and wrong. Players in the 1990s and early 2000s were able to use steroids and HGH because the big wigs were afraid the strike would lead to the death of America’s pastime; they turned a blind eye to out-and-out cheating and have not had to suffer any consequences. The players should be punished for their disgraceful practices which hurt the integrity of the game and the management of the league should be fired immediately. If any charges should be brought against anyone on this issue, it should be Bud Selig for perpetrating a fraud on the American public as he knowingly gave us a tainted product.
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are the fall guys for a larger problem. They should be severely punished for the damage they caused to the game if it is ever proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they cheated. However, they should be punished in the form of a banishment from baseball for life, not a jail cell for lying to save their skin.
If both Bonds and Clemens are convicted of perjury and sent to prison I hope Barack Obama will pardon them, plain and simple. Major League Baseball could not – or would not – keep steroids and HGH out of baseball and now have to rely on Congress to clean up the mess.
America’s pastime? Give me a break.
Tags: Roger Clemens