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Our Other Long National Setting of Money on Fire Is Over

[ 70 ] June 18, 2012 |

Roger Clemens not guilty on all counts. While normally I root against Clemens, as I’ve said in the case of steroid witch hunts I’ll make an exception. If only Clemens has tortured someone on behalf of the federal government or committed a massive bank fraud — he could have saved a lot of money in legal expenses…

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  1. Marek says:

    This is one that Yankee fans and Red Sox fans can agree on. I’ve never rooted harder for Clemens, as much as I dislike him.

  2. tucker says:

    Yeah, but they got that arrogant black dude. At least for now, anyways(snark)

  3. There’s still some wiggle-room for a drone strike isn’t there?

  4. david mizner says:

    I guess they didn’t have a smoking gun, a photo of Clemens at the CATO Institute. And no, I won’t let that post go — nevah!

  5. ploeg says:

    No worries, there’s always another athlete to pursue.

  6. Ross Douchehat says:

    As much as I think steroid hysteria is dumb and the use of perjury and obstruction charges by prosecutors when they can’t find a primary charge to go after a defendant with are outrageous, the main thing I notice here is the unjustifiable difference in the outcomes of Clemens’s trial with Barry Bonds’s trial. The system can let steroid use slide for an asshole redneck like Clemens but for a black man to exceed the accomplishments of white players in decades past is unforgivable, and he must be punished with some trumped-up charge or other.

    • Just Dropping By says:

      The system can let steroid use slide for an asshole redneck like Clemens but for a black man to exceed the accomplishments of white players in decades past is unforgivable, and he must be punished with some trumped-up charge or other.

      Yes, who can forget how Sammy Sosa has been pursued by Javert-like prosecutors!

    • JoyfulA says:

      It isn’t like Bonds wasn’t an amazing power hitter long before he was accused of dealing in steroids. Race may be a cause of his persecution; he also didn’t display a lovable personality.

      • rea says:

        Man you can’t blame it on personality, because Clemens was almost as big a notorious asshole as Bonds.

        • LosGatosCA says:

          Bonds definitely deserved to be convicted because:

          1. He was an asshole,
          2. He was arrogant,
          3. He cheated on his wife,
          4. He cheated on his mistress,
          5. He was very likely a poor tipper,
          6. He was an parsimonious, arrogant, asshole, adulterer.
          7. And he was black.

          Plus he did something that wasn’t against the rules of baseball at the time and was a poor interview so nobody liked him.

    • MosesZD says:

      The difference between Bonds and Clemens is Clemens was an outstanding power-pitcher for a very, very long time and the case against him for steroid abuse was very, very weak.

      Bonds, OTOH, couldn’t hit for power. Not like the steroid users could. So he joined the race. He then compounded this error by making denials to the wrong people. Bonds should have just taken the 5th like Mark McGwire.

      Other people, like ARod, Sosa and Palmeirio, haven’t been charged because their cases are too full of holes. Just like your racism-baiting claim.

      • tucker says:

        Huh? Bonds couldn’t hit for power?
        1990, 33HR
        1991, 25
        1992, 34
        1993, 46
        1994, 37
        1995, 33
        1996, 42
        1997, 40
        1998, 37
        All excellent power number for the pre-roid era. Yo also realize that Hank Aaron never hit 50 HRs in a season.

        • tucker says:

          Sorry didn’t read your qualifier. But I’m still sure that it is true. He would have made it to 500 easily and maybe 600 without the juice. He wasn’t so much a power hitter per se but was a contact hitter who hit the ball very very hard. The juice meant when he made contact… He was probably more upset that he wasn’t recognized as a great hitter but that is part of the problem of the “roid” era. Great hitter = home run hitter.

          • LosGatosCA says:

            If anything he was probably getting pissed that he was making other people MVPs (Kent) or getting them big contracts (Bonilla, Aurelia) far beyond their talents because Bonds made everybody better.

      • “He then compounded this error by making denials to the wrong people. Bonds should have just taken the 5th like Mark McGwire.”

        Maybe I’m misrembering the details here, but Bonds was acquitted of perjury while bing convicted for obstruction of justice. However, his “crime” was not answering a grand jury question by…answering the question he was asked. He gave some sort of long meandering answer and sort of took his time getting around to the point, however, and the prosecutor then expanded that to a count of obstruction, which is why basically every non-ESPN employed observer of the case expects the conviction to be overturned on appeal.

      • LosGatosCA says:

        How uninformed.

  7. joe from Lowell says:

    This was a dumb prosecution, but I don’t see how the jury could come back not guilty.

    • David M. Nieporent says:

      Because there wasn’t the slightest shred of evidence of guilt? Seriously, did people pay any attention to the trial at all? Here’s what the prosecution put on, in terms of substantive evidence:

      1) Andy Pettitte, to say that he may have once heard, a dozen years ago, Clemens make a single statement in passing about using hGH — but, admittedly, maybe he didn’t hear correctly or didn’t remember correctly.

      2) Brian McNamee, an admitted liar-under-oath, who came up with a nonsensical story about how his wife wanted him to save evidence in her basement proving he was a drug dealer, which his wife herself completely contradicted.

      • John F says:

        Seriously, did people pay any attention to the trial at all?

        judging by many many blog and twitter comments? No.

        • CJColucci says:

          And this happened despite what seems like ill-advised cross-examinations by Rusty Hardin that opened the door to lots of evidence — admittedly not very impressive evidence — that would not have come in otherwise.

          I guess the big question now is how the acquittal affects his HOF chances. Although I would have voted to acquit, I think he probably did juice up. I suspect most HOF voters will think so too. I belong to the “it may have been bad but it wasn’t against a rule of baseball” school, though I’m willing to vote against an otherwise marginal candidate who juiced (Palmiero? Sosa?).

        • David M. Nieporent says:

          Good point. It seems that after the ritual two minutes of hate for Andy Pettitte for saying exactly the same thing about Clemens at trial that he had previously said under oath, the talking heads just switched to, “Well, of course he’s guilty. After all, he has been accused, and tHe government wouldn’t try to railroad an innocent person, so… what’s on the other channel?”

          • Moreso than Pettitte even (and what a shining example of journamalism that day was, eh?) I still can’t figure out why the hell prosecutors put Brian Cashman on the stand to talk about how everyone liked Clemens and thought MacNamee was a weasley slimeball who overstepped his boundaries and was ultimately fired.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        David is completely correct; “knowing” that Clemens did steroids isn’t actual evidence, and alas the prosecutors had no actual evidence except in the Troy McClure sense.

      • elm says:

        Yeah, David’s right on this one. Clemens probably used steroids and/or HGH, but the prosecution sure as hell didn’t prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, which they would need to do to prove that Clemens perjured himself. (Actually, I think they’d have to do more than that: they’d have to prove he knowingly used steroids.)

  8. sleepyirv says:

    1) I didn’t like Congress holding idiotic hearings on steroids.
    2) I don’t like people lying under oath to Congress and consider it a serious crime.

    While that creates contradicting emotions, I am glad Clemens got off for “the system worked” reasons but it’s hard to enjoy the moment when you see the DoJ acting like a bunch of incompetents.

    • njorl says:

      I’m with you. The original congrssional hearings were ridiculous. They should never have happened. On the other hand, lying under oath to congress is serious, and should be prosecuted if it is possible and there is a good chance of winning. The amount of money needed should not be a factor, otherwise, we wind up prosecuting only those who can’t afford to mount a strong defense.

      • Well, the relevant qualifier there is “if it’s possible to win,” and I think there’s a pretty strong case to be made that the prosecution never had a chance in hell of getting Clemens convicted on anything but a wink and a nod from the jury.

      • rea says:

        I for one think it ought to be a defense to a charge of lying to Congress that Congress was poking its collective nose into something that was no proper business of Congress

  9. Manju says:

    lying to congress is like the most amusing crime ever. not even burning a cross on robert byrd’s lawn can top it.

  10. Tehanu says:

    Can’t stand Clemens (and hate hate HATE that he’s actually related to Mark Twain!), but this was a grandstanding publicity grab by the prosecution, so good on the jury for swatting them down.

  11. Manju says:

    Roger Clemens is a libertarian hero. The star pitcher for the New York Yankees has woken up Major League Baseball, and watching it unfold has reminded me of nothing so much as the collapse of the old political paradigms and the inevitable and upcoming rebirth of libertarianism in November.

    This became clear to me during the 2000 World Series. The New York Yankees were playing the Bridge & Tunnel Mets, who are so poor that they can’t even afford decent bats. Some guy named Pizza sent one these bats flying toward our hero. Clemens picks it up and throws it back at Pizza guy.

    Pizza guy, like the socialist he is, complains to the authorites instead of taking matters into his own hands. But libertarianism won out. Clemens got to stay. There are no rules in libertarian land. And even if there are, they don’t apply to us, ie the $$ed.

  12. Joe says:

    Yes, this should be the end of stupid prosecutions.

  13. DrDick says:

    If they want to try someone for egregiously lying to Congress, might I suggest all of the Republican SC justices?

  14. Crissa says:

    I think this case shows pretty much exactly why we didn’t pursue cases against members of the prior administration.

    Because it’s pretty certain he lied, but it’s also pretty certain we couldn’t prove it.

  15. N__B says:

    If only it were possible to try Clemens for being a flaming asshole. Then we could all get along.

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