Clemens Indicted for Perjury
The steroid saga of Roger Clemens has been one for the ages and it’s not over yet. After denying the use of steroids adamantly for years, including in front of Congress in 2008, Clemens will be indicted for perjury and making false statements during that trial in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Trainer Brian McNamee has testified Clemens used banned substances and was able to link him to the use, but the 2 parties have been constantly contradicting each other throughout the entire process. According to the New York Times, the maximum sentence for Clemens would be 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, but he would likely get just 15-21 months. (more after the jump)
"Americans have a right to expect that witnesses who testify under oath before Congress will tell the truth. Our government can not function if witnesses are not held accountable for false statements made before Congress. Today the message is clear: if a witness makes a choice to ignore his or her obligation to testify honestly, there will be consequences. -United States Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr."
Although the indictment has not been officially field, it comes as no surprise to most familiar with the case, but it does bring the Clemens vs. McNamee back into the public spotlight, after having been fairly quiet for several months. Most fans of baseball are sick of the steroid accusations and whether you like or have liked Roger Clemens in the past or not, he has placed himself at the fore front of this scandal, making people almost forgot about Barry Bond’s indictment in 2007. Hundreds of players have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs and many have admitted their mistake, but what has hardened most people’s hearts to Clemens is his denial of something that seems tough to believe.
Clemens is a Hall of Fame talent with with 11 All-Star nods, 7 Cy Young awards and an MVP to his name. He led the league in era 7 times throughout his career, having accomplished nearly everything there is to accomplish in the game of baseball, but his reputation has been forever ruined by steroids. The debate about whether Roger Clemens deserves the ultimate award, an induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, rages on, but without much support for the 350+ game winner. According to a recent NBCSports.com poll, of 770 voters, 85.3% believed Clemens will never be inducted in the Hall and I imagine writers with Hall of Fame votes are swayed in the negative direction as well. Based on Mark McGwire only receiving less than 25% of the votes these past few years (need 75%+ to be inducted), it is apparent the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) has made it clear that steroid use will keep a player out of the Hall.
The debate will rage on forever, but the longer Clemens denies using performance enhancing drugs, the likelihood of a permanent stay in Cooperstown diminishes. This recent indictment will only make things worse for Clemens, who is so deep in his own lies that there is no digging himself out, even with an admission of drug use. I was a fan of Clemens when he played for the Red Sox so many years ago, but it is near impossible to like The Rocket anymore…