Why the Hate for Roger Clemens?

As apparently the last person in America who still loves Roger Clemens, I feel compelled to go off-topic today and address Maureen Dowd’s op-ed piece from Sunday addressing the recent mistrial in the U.S. Government’s case against the Rocket charging him with lying to Congress about his use of steroids and human growth hormones.  The ostensible purpose of Dowd’s piece appeared to be an examination of the case against Clemens in the context of a series of recent high-profile prosecutorial failures (and, to her credit, Dowd takes a minute to give props to Judge Reggie Walton, who is an indisputable judicial badass — and the fact that he overcame some troubled teenage years to become so only serves to make him all the more praiseworthy).

But Dowd just couldn’t help but pile on to the endless public excoriation of Clemens (a phenomenon that reminds me in no small way of the blistering Lebron James has taken at the hands of the public since making what I consider to be the wise and obvious choice of Miami over Cleveland).  Dowd even goes so far as to compare Clemens to accused murderer Casey Anthony and accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Give me a break.  Even if you think Clemens is an arrogant jerk because he was/is unapologetically hyper-competitive about the game of baseball (and probably beat the crap out of your favorite team time and time again during his 23-year career), it doesn’t make him guilty of the perjury/obstruction charges for which he was being tried, let alone comparable to a killer or rapist.  As I understand the evidence (an understanding which, admittedly, is based upon nothing more than media reports), the entire case rests on the oft-changing and highly questionable testimony of Brian McNamee and the less-than-compelling testimony of Andy Pettitte (testimony which apparently was so non-compelling that federal prosecutors felt the need to try and buttress it with inadmissible video-taped hearsay from Pettitte’s wife, resulting in the mistrial).  That’s hardly the “legal slam dunk” that Dowd suggests that it is.

Clemens may not be the world’s greatest person.  For one thing, he’s an avowed Republican, for which I deduct an immediate ten points.  He is also alleged to have cheated on his wife a number of times, threw a broken bat at Mike Piazza during game 2 of the 2000 World Series, and made some anti-Asian remarks, among other reprehensible behavior.  But those misdeeds don’t justify convicting a man of offenses for which he has yet to be tried and for which there appears to be little evidence (and, by the way, given the high-stakes federal budget showdown currently underway, I wonder whether prosecuting Roger Clemens is really worth the tax dollars necessary to do it, especially now that the prosecutors’ mistakes have caused a mistrial).  And it certainly doesn’t warrant relegating Clemens to the same league as alleged murderers and rapists.

Did Clemens lie to Congress?  I honestly do not know.  I certainly hope he didn’t, and I hope he didn’t take steroids or human growth hormones — for his sake and for the sake of baseball and its fans.  But until he is convicted of the crimes he is accused of committing, I will continue to think that, while he may not have lived every minute of his life in a manner that can be held up to public scrutiny, the guy was a fierce competitor and a heck of a baseball player.

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    July 19, 2011 · admin · 6 Comments ·  Tags:  · Posted in: let's hear it for the boys, make a decision

    6 responses

    1. anne fischer - 07 Wed 2011

      I’m with Maureen on this.

      Dowd wasn’t comparing him to a murderer or repist, she was talking about the incompetence of the judicial system i.e. prosecution blunders.

      As for Clemmens, I’d be, and I’ll bet alot of people feel the same, more apt to give him the benefit of the doubt….but he is sooooo arrogant!

    2. Dee Dee - 07 Wed 2011

      I’m being heckled by my own mom. Mom, Dowd said, and I quote: “Clemens may benefit from the double jeopardy rule, and the case could disappear. But like Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, he will not be seen as an innocent.” I think that constitutes comparing him to them.

    3. Mike - 08 Tue 2011

      Shouldn’t you guys be focused on Women’s soccer? ooooh! that one’s gotta sting! I loathe Maureen Dowd by the way… since we are talkinga about arrogance and a just plain annoying personality.

    4. anne fischer - 08 Wed 2011

      …as always, you’re right.

    5. Calli - 08 Thu 2011

      Don’t argue with your Mother. Ever.

    6. anne fischer - 09 Wed 2011

      to prolong the argument, according to WHO should Lebron James have gone to Miami….obvious? I don’t think so.

      He should have stayed with Cleveland,…..it’s called loyalty. He owed alot to Cleveland.
      Course, as you may or may not know, Cleveland is my hometown ….which of course too is beside the point.

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