Just exactly what do you plan to do about THIS?
You just KNOW Roger Clemens took steroids, don't you? You're sure of it. Well, ok, you are at least MOSTLY sure of it. It sure seems that way. How else do you explain a pitcher throwing just as hard, if not harder, at age 42 than he did at age 24? It's got to be the juice, right?
I mean, all the evidence pointed toward it. Personal trainers, former teammates, heck, even the prosecutor was pretty darn sure they had actual proof that some needles not only contained traces of performance-enhancing drugs, but microsopic bits of Clemens' butt as well.
Yeah, we already had one mistrial, but this was supposed to be the slam-dunk case of the century, and just what the doctor ordered for you. Clemens would be found guilty of lying to the government while under oath, and in essence found guilty of taking those steroids and PED's that you are 99.9 percent sure he took. He would go to jail and you could leave him off your Hall of Fame ballot this December and not have to feel bad about it.
Ten weeks of trial was deciphered in just 10 hours of jury deliberations. It must have been TOO easy for them.
Then the verdict came down...not guilty.
Now Clemens doesn't go to jail, and your own special little "get out of jail free" card has gone up in flames.
The jury, it seems, didn't agree with the testimony of one Mr. Brian McNamee, who served as Clemens personal trainer for a number of years. McNamee claimed he had a needle and other materials used in a steroid injection into Clemens' system, and that he had it all stored in a beer can inside a FedEx box for the last six years.
Well, if that doesn't scream "credibility", I don't know what does.
Look Mr. Writer, if you want facts, I'll give you some. How about 354 wins? Seven Cy Young Awards? 4,672 strikeouts? There is proof of those things. They have all been written down and verified. In fact, I'd be willing to bet most of that is available on videotape, if you wouldn't care to see it.
What there isn't proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, however, is that Roger Clemens used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
He claimed he never used them from the start, but you and apparently Congress didn't buy it. They put him on trial, claiming he lied, while you sat back with childlike anticipation and glee and waited for the guilty verdict you just knew was coming.
So much for innocent until proven guilty.
You see sir, it doesn't matter if you or I or anyone else believe that Clemens used PED's. Whether we buy Clemens' story or not is absolutely irrelevant. The cold hard facts are that a jury of his peers, in an American court of law, think he was telling the truth when he told the federal government he didn't use them.
And now, you've got your panties all in a wad because the one thing you were so sure of has been proven wrong by the American justice system.
I'm sure you don't appreciate the fact that the term "Steroid Era" is now associated with the game you love so much, but you need to come to the realization that it is now a part of baseball history, like it or not. The Steroid Era of baseball is in a way no different than the Dead Ball Era or the Whites Only Era in that it benefitted only one group of players and was anything but fair to the others.
We can't single out players just because we THINK they may have cheated - depending on what your version of cheating is - and it's unfair to lump all the players who played from around 1987 to 2003 in the same category. Did some players use PED's? Absolutely.
But unless we have concrete, undeniable proof, or personal admissions of guilt, we can't let our personal feelings about these players get in the way. We can only judge these players based on the only facts we actually know - what they did on the field between the lines.
So, Mr. Holier-Than-Thou Hall of Fame Voter, it's time. It's time to look Roger Clemens dead in the eye and give this man what he's had coming to him for over a quarter of a century.
His rightful place in Cooperstown.
Scott Herpst is the Sports Editor of the Walker County Messenger.