It is always exhilarating when events play out as foreseen.
Not even a week ago, on these same web pages I wrote, “There isn’t anything good that can possibly come from this trial. Never mind the question of whether or not Clemens took steroids; this trial isn’t going to provide anything resembling the truth about that.” Now I am not claiming to be clairvoyant or in possession of some kind of supernatural ability to see the future, but I knew that nothing good would come of this trial, and that is exactly what has happened in the wake of the mistrial declared Thursday by Judge Reggie Walton.
The fearless prosecutors (mis)handling this case made what can only be described as an embarrassing rookie mistake, when they played a video for the jury which contained testimony that had previously been banned by Judge Walton. Government prosecutors botched the Barry Bonds case before this, and once again exposed their incredible incompetence in blowing this case out of the water due to their mismanagement. So, after wasting countless dollars and precious court time they leave the courthouse with egg all over their long faces.
Roger Clemens leaves court without resolving the issue of his innocence or guilt, and he may never get to clear his name, as he so fervently hoped to do. The amazing thing is that American sports fans are, by and large, a forgiving lot. Every single one of the athletes implicated in the Mitchell Report that chose to come forward and admit to their use of performance enhancement drugs, was eventually forgiven by the general public. Andy Pettitte, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and even Mark McGwire all came forward and confessed to their use of PEDs, and all have gone on to continue in Major League Baseball in one capacity or another. If Clemens would only see that coming clean would help and not hurt his precious image, this whole mess could be put to rest for good. Of course, his insistence that he is innocent in front of the Congress, effectively shut off that route for Clemens. Although, perhaps now that the mistrial has happened that will change, though, I’m not sure that is possible.
MLB itself isn’t out of the woods either. Because of the Clemens mistrial there remains every possibility that the whole “Steroid Era” mess will once again get dragged out into the public eye for debate at some time in the not too distant future. Bud Selig must be just thrilled about that. No matter how hard baseball tries to make the issue disappear, it keeps rearing its ugly head for all to gawk at once more. Selig had hoped this trial would be the one that closed the books on the Steroid Era, and that the public would gradually forget how badly the players and owners nearly screwed the game of baseball over for all of us. Nope.
In the end, the government looks bad (no surprise there), MLB still has an image problem, Clemens didn’t clear his name, and we didn’t learn the truth about anything. I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one. Of course, you and I knew nothing good was going to come of this trial. Just remember to tell all your friends you heard it here first!
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