The great pitcher Roger Clemens testified before a Congressional hearing that he had not used steroids. But then came evidence that he had. So he was brought to trial for perjury. The prosecution used hearsay evidence that the judge told them not to use, resulting in a mistrial. So do you think Clemons should be retried?
Notice that steroid use was not illegal, nor was it then a violation of the rules of baseball. I don’t see why steroid use back then should keep a Mark McGwire, a Sammy Sosa, or a Barry Bonds out of the record books, even with an asterisk. It wasn’t cheating, since it didn’t violate any rules. Now it does, so it’s a different story. As my cousin Mark observed, there have been different eras in baseball–such as the dead ball era and the juiced ball era–so we just need to realize there was a steroid era. Perhaps we should ban all of the vitamins players take these days. Other sports such as cycling are outlawing “doping,” including practices such as injecting one’s own blood, so as to increase stamina by increasing the number of red blood cells. And yet our whole Olympic team trains in Mark’s home of Colorado Springs at an altitude that increases red blood cells. Yet one is OK, because labeled “natural,” and the other is banned because labeled artificial, even though the effect is the same.
Clemens was hauled before a court for lying to Congress, not for using steroids. He was speaking out against steroids, probably also trying to protect his reputation so he could get into the Hall of Fame. Once again, it isn’t the action but the lying, or, better yet, the hypocrisy, that gets people into trouble.
Is it worth the expense and the time of our court system to once again try to convict a baseball player?