Jury selection for the perjury trial of Roger Clemens is underway; does anybody really care? As I see it, 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.
Oh sure, the prosecution will present what they believe is incontrovertible evidence that Clemens knowingly took steroids and that his trainer, Brian McNamee, administered them. Clemens, who all along has maintained that when McNamee injected him he thought he was getting a “shot of Vitamin B12”, will continue to proclaim his ignorance innocence. In other words, nothing we haven’t already heard is going to be revealed during this trial.
So, what will happen during this trial, and what will be the outcome? First, the Congress of the United States of America will again waste countless tax dollars and countless hours of the court’s time putting on a dog and pony show to protect the sanctity of the Congressional hearing process. You see, those Congressmen that questioned Clemens about steroids way back when, are worried about their image and are absolutely beside themselves because it appears that Clemens may have lied to them. They desperately want credit for helping to clean up Major League Baseball. Earlier attempts at gaining that credit turned out to be an embarrassing display of stooging by politicians looking to advance their own agendas.
Second, the trial will dredge up the muck that is the “Steroid Era” again, which can only reflect poorly on Major League Baseball, again. You can bet that Commissioner Bud Selig would love nothing more than to finally put the whole dark episode in the proverbial rear view mirror once and for all. However, every time it looks as though the issue has quieted and gone dormant, something else happens to jumpstart it back to life again. Poor Bud thought that the Mitchell Report would be the definitive end to that ugly chapter of baseball’s history. He probably grinds his dentures every time it rears its ugly head again.
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Finally, putting Clemens in prison for lying to Congress isn’t going to accomplish anything. It certainly won’t teach Clemens anything, because I sincerely doubt he is even capable of a little humility. Confining him to four walls and three square meals a day would be yet another massive waste of tax dollars, compounding the money already wasted on the investigation and trial process. MLB won’t get any cleaner than it already has if Clemens is convicted. The new testing policies seem to be working anyway, so there really is no need to make an example of him. Perhaps other celebrities and athletes will learn that it’s not a good idea to lie to Congress. But are there really that many people out there who are stupid enough to try it? I happen to think not. I think the “Texas con man” is probably the only idiot stupid enough to try and lie to Congress. However, that doesn’t mean I think we should waste tax dollars to prove it. Quite the contrary, I think we ought to let the court of public opinion try Roger Clemens. In many ways, that trial has already taken place, and he’s already lost. Funny thing is, the outcome of the perjury trial won’t change that either.
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