Roger Clemens Verdict is In: Not Guilty

Roger Clemens found not guilty on all counts:

I must say, I am surprised. I thought they had a lot of damning evidence and testimony.

I have no doubt he juiced, but I’m not surprised. I figured their case was sunk when Pettitte said he might’ve misunderstood Clemens’ comments about HGH. On top of that McNamee was not a very credible witness (he’s a sleaze himself) and I’m sure it hurt when Clemens’ wife contradicted McNamee about the HGH stuff, although I have no idea which of them was telling the truth.

Since Congress should not have wasted their time with the hearings in the first place, I have a hard time caring if he lied.

I agree. And to take it a step or two further, I do not care if Roger Clemens took steroids, HGH or even heroin for that matter. What difference does it really make?

I was sure someone would start this thread before me, but here it goes. IMO, he was obviously using. Does the verdict mean anything for you?

Well, that’s what the jury said. I say he is guilty as sin.

Merged two threads on the topic (one in IMHO and one in The Game Room).

Congress certainly should have held the hearings. Baseball has special legal protections that extent to no other industry. These protections are, or at least should be, contingent on the clubs and their employees following applicable laws.

Moreover, Congress sticking its nose into baseball is why I have a baseball team to root for and a ballpark that’s just a 10 minutes Metro ride away, so I’m all for it, I say.


I would much rather the legal protections, such as they are, be taken away (really, in practice, the difference doesn’t amount to much) and the government spend its time on something worth its attention.

Lester Munson (ESPN’s legal expert) said the prosecution ought to be embarrassed with their performance. They had more than enough evidence, but did a poor job of prepping their witnesses and apparently selected young, inexperienced lawyers to give the final statements.

This will have nothing at all to do with whether Clemens gets in the HOF or not. He still won’t, although he might pick up a few more votes than McGwire.

ETA: Most people think the govt is done with these trials after a couple embarrassments now.

OTOH, it is a multi billion dollar inter-state industry that commands the attention of millions and millions of Americans. Having a brief review of their activity (especially around illegal drug use) once every few years doesn’t seem to be entirely out of hand.

He’s was juicin’ later in his career, IMHO.

I’m convinced.

I don’t know what I was hoping for though. Kind o’ suffering from indifference anymore with all the questions about cheating in various sports.

Just curious, because I’ve heard about this before but never had it explained, but what legal protections do MLB have? Wasn’t there something about monopolies and anti-trust? For that matter, do the other big sports have that too?

Clemens should be compared to Bonds not McGwire. Both Clemens and Bonds are obvious all-time greats. Both of them had Hall of Fame careers before the steroid era. What’s the earliest that people think Clemens might have started using steroids? I think no one suspects before 1997 (after leaving Boston) or 1998 (the McNamee allegation). He had already won three Cy Young awards by then in 1986, 1987, and 1991. He was on numerous All-Century teams and all-time great lists. Comparing him to Mark McGwire is a joke. Steroids or not, both Bonds and Clemens will eventually get in. McGwire likely never gets in.

They have anti-trust protection. But they have outlived the need. Any rival baseball league would quickly die. No other sports have it.

Clemens likely used and in the court of public opinion he is guilty. However, in this trial it was obvious he would be found not guilty. A 12 year old cotton swab stored in a beer can and the star witness being a lying scumbag with zero credibility isn’t really enough to go to trial with in my opinion.

Baseball is exempt from federal antitrust law on the basis of an asinine 1922 Supreme Court ruling which found that baseball wasn’t interstate commerce. This interpretation was never applied to any other sport.

In the past this exemption was hugely important. It allowed baseball to apply the “reserve clause” which bound players to a team for life, and allowed baseball to blacklist players who played for rival leagues, as in the case of the Mexican League in the 1950’s.

These considerations no longer apply. All aspects of player contracts, today, are negotiated between owners and the players union, and nobody is about to start a rival league.

And yet, the exemption lives. It may have consequences. Some aspects of the affiliation agreements MLB maintains with minor league franchises may be antitrust violations. Some aspects of the way in which MLB governs itself–such as requiring supermajorities for ownership changes and franchise relocations–may be antitrust violations. We’ll never know, unless and until (a) the antitrust exemption is overturned, either by Congress or a latter-day SCOTUS; and (b) someone sues and forces these matters to be litigated.

Businessmen don’t like uncertainty, so MLB would prefer to leave the exemption in place and not have to worry about these things.

Even absent the issue of when they started taking steroids, there is obviously a huge difference in omitting Clemens versus omitting McGwire. Clemens is unquestionably one of the ten greatest starting pitchers to ever play baseball, and there is a pretty strong argument he is the greatest, period. Clemens was twice the pitcher Nolan Ryan was, and I mean that completely literally; if I ran a baseball team I would just as much want half of Roger Clemens’s career as all of Nolan Ryan’s.

McGwire, while the totality of his career is one of greatness, is not seriously considered to be one of the ten best players in baseball history, and probably isn’t in the top 100. Leaving aside the issue of steroids he’s a Hall of Famer, but in the class of people like Willie Stargell or Billy Williams, not people like Willie Mays or Ty Cobb.

Omitting McGwire is, thus, not really a huge blot on the Hall of Fame just yet. There’s players who are just as good not in the Hall of Fame, like Darrell Evans, or Tim Raines, or Alam Trammell. But there is nobody even remotely close to Clemens, not even in the same universe, who isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

I have absolutely no doubt that Clemens is guilty as sin, but I can’t fault the jurors for rendering a Not Guilty verdict. The entire case rested on the testimony of two witnesses:

  1. Brian McNamee, who’s an utter sleazoid. Not surprising, really; in any steroids case, as in any Mafia case, the key witnesses are BOUND to be as scummy as the defendants. Though one wonders, if McNamee was as contemptible person as Clemens’ lawyers said, why did Roger Clemens spend so much time with him?

  2. A vacillating wuss, Andy Pettitte, who didn’t want to be seen as the rat who got his friend sent to jail.

This case had Reasonable Doubt written all over it from the start.

Clemens deserved to be acquitted. That said, absolutely NOBODY believes he was innocent. There are only people who think he’s guilty and should be punished, and there are people who think he’s guity but don’t care.

Baseball HOF voters are conservative to the extreme. I would put Clemens’ chances of getting as slim, with perhaps a ray of hope towards the end of his normal eligibility with some turnover in the voter ranks, or if he’s seen as serving some sort of “penance” by waiting for a while to get in. Same deal with Bonds. Both had prickly personalities that don’t do them any favors with the voters either.