Monday, June 18, 2012

Roger Clemens "Dodges A Bullet"!

AP Photo
The good news for "The Rocket" Roger Clemens is that he was found not guilty on all 6 counts of perjury by a jury of his peers. After spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million taxpayer dollars, the feds could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemens lied to Congress about his use (or alleged use) of performance enhancing drugs. Today, Clemens walked out of the courtroom a free man, escaping a FAT fine and potentially 30 years in the slammer. Again, that's the good news.

The bad news for the Rocket Man is that his name will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot this coming winter for the first time and the "beyond a reasonable doubt" component doesn't mean squat to the BBWAA voters. In the court of public opinion it doesn't mean squat either. No matter what went down today in that Washington D.C. courtroom, Clemens is still looked at (by many) with a suspicious eye.

So my gut feeling is Clemens is in for a rude awakening when the results are announced next January. As the last 6 elections have shown, the BBWAA have adopted a take-no-prisoners stance when it comes to any players who have even a shred of suspicion hanging over their heads when it comes to steroid use. Just ask Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, two players who "on paper" have Hall of Fame numbers, and are 0-6 and 0-2, respectively, in terms of consecutive years on the ballot and not elected.

Along with Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa will also appear on the ballot for the first time in 2013. Like Clemens, they too, are in the "shady characters club" when it comes to steroid use. Heck, I'm willing to bet the family farm that Clemens, Bonds and Sosa don't see the "light of day" when it comes to the Hall of Fame. My belief is that if one suspect gets in then all of them should get in. So based on the McGwire and Palmeiro results, things look mighty bleak for the 2013 trio.

But hey, Hall of Fame induction shouldn't matter to The Rocket anyway because in 2008 he basically said--  to hell with the Hall of Fame!! In his own words: "I got another [expletive] question the other day about the Hall of Fame. You think I played my career because I'm worried about the damn Hall of Fame? I could give a rat's ass about that also. If you have a vote . . . you keep your vote. I don't need the Hall of Fame to justify that I put my butt on the line and I worked my tail off."


Drew Litton/Rocky Mountain News

Let's see if he changes his mind when the votes are made public and reality sets in.

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