Roger Clemens was found not guilty in a verdict rendered by a jury in his trial in Washington, D.C. It still remains to be seen, if the verdict will change the opinions of those, who think he was using steroids.
It is difficult for me to believe that he did nothing wrong. The jury apparently didn’t take much stock, in the testimony of Andy Pettitte, who said Clemens told him about using steroids. However, the defense raised enough questions about Pettitte’s testimony, to punch holes in the prosecution’s case. It appears now that Clemens may have been correct, when he said Pettitte misremembered their conversation.
Brian McNamee’s testimony along with the evidence, that he said would prove Clemens’s use of steroids, apparently failed to sway the jury to convict Clemens.
The failure by the prosecution to prove that Clemens was injected by McNamee and Pettitte being unsure, of what Clemens had told him had to play a large part in the not guilty verdict.
Expecting Guilty Verdict
I think most of those following the trial from outside the courtroom assumed that Clemens would be found not guilty. For twelve jurors to return a not guilty verdict tells me, that the government’s case was not as strong, as it seemed to be before the prosecution and defense rested their cases.
The Mitchell Report had this to say about Clemens use of steroids:
Interviews with José Canseco and trainer Brian McNamee stated that Clemens used human growth hormone, Deca-Durabolin, Winstrol,Sustanon, and possibly Anadrol, during the 1998, 2000, and 2001 MLB seasons, some of which he obtained through McNamee from Radomski. Radomski corroborated these allegations as far as to say that he sold performance-enhancing drugs to McNamee in amounts that were clearly for redistribution. Clemens declined interview.
Now that the not guilty verdict has been rendered, there are questions regarding the allegations by Canseco and McNamee and if they were based on facts or they were lying to the Mitchell Report investigators.
Mitchell Report Names Clemens
Clemens was first identified as a steroids user, when the Mitchell Report was released on December 13, 2007. Two months later Clemens testifies on February 13, 2008, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Clemens denies using steroids in his testimony.
It would be two and a half years later on August 19,2010 when Clemens is indicted by a grand jury in Washington, on one count of obstruction of justice.
The first Clemens trial opened on July 6, 2011, but ended on July 14 when U.S. District Judge declared a mistrial, when the prosecution used as evidence a video, which had been ruled inadmissible by Judge Walton.
It would be on May 12, 2012 when the retrial began and it ended today (June 18) with the not guilty verdict. Clemens has to be relieved after being indicted, on August 19, 2010 and finally receiving a not guilty verdict 22 months later.
There is no doubt that the stigma associated with being accused of perjury, before a House committee and the cloud of steroids charges will never restore Clemen’s reputation.
His chances of being voted into the Hall of Fame, probably won’t be helped, by the not guilty verdict rendered today. There is still circumstantial evidence, that remains like his actions against Mike Piazza, which resembles someone in a steroids rage. I think Clemens hit Clemens in the head, when he was in a steroids rage and again when he threw the bat at Piazza in the World Series.
Only eight pitchers have recorded more wins than Clemens with 354 wins. Greg Maddux with 355 wins and Clemens are the only pitchers, who started their career after 1950 ranked in the Top 9 pitchers.
Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson are the only pitchers with more strikeouts, than the 4,672 recorded by Clemens.
Clemens clearly has the credentials to be voted into the Hall of Fame, but the steroids allegations will hurt his chances of entering the Hall of Fame. His name will be on the ballot for the first time in 2013 and his percentage of votes will be watched closely. I have a feeling that he will be snubbed by the Hall of Fame voters, like the other players identified as having used steroids have in the past.
Baseball-reference. com compares his stats to those of ten other pitchers. Seven of them are already in the Hall of Fame and Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are waiting to be eligible to be placed on the ballot.
Clemens should be financially set now, having earned over $150 million during his career, but I doubt that he will truly be happy until the day he is enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Whether that ever happens remains to be seen.