Roger Clemens Challenged Congress, Which Infuriated Those in Power

Harold FriendChief Writer IApril 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 14:  Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens leaves the U.S. District Court after the judge declared a mistrial, on July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The judge presiding over Clemens' perjury trial declared a mistrial over statements introduced to the jury by the prosecutor that were not suppose to be heard. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified about steroid use during a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Whether you admire Roger Clemens or you despise him doesn't matter. Clemens had the temerity to make statements to Congress that some members allege were false. Historically and recently, some of those individuals that legislate America's laws seem to have had some of their own problems.

Clemens refused to admit that he used performance-enhancing substances. When he adamantly stood his ground when testifying to Congress, the result was that he must now stand trial for perjury. If he had kept his mouth shut before Congress or possibly lied, he would not be on trial.

Let's say that Clemens really never used steroids. If he had admitted to Congress that he had used them, he would have been lying but he would never have been charged with perjury.

Baseball has a rich history of players that have done things right-thinking Americans (what is a "right-thinking American?) cannot condone. The list is longer than Clemens' page on Baseball-Reference.

Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker were involved in a betting scandal, Babe Ruth drank alcoholic beverages when such drinks were illegal, Whitey Ford scuffed up the baseball and Don Drysdale admitted that he deliberately threw at batters.  Everyone knew that Gaylord Perry used the illegal Vaseline ball.

Ferguson Jenkins was arrested for possession of cocaine, marijuana and hashish in Toronto in 1980. Jenkins had more audacity than fictional characters Bobby Donnell and Helen Gamble.

In 2008, Jenkins said that players should not use performance enhancing drugs. Users should be banned from the Hall of Fame.

"Cheating is not going to be held up in the game of baseball. I didn't cheat when I played," Jenkins said. "By far, going out there with natural ability and trying to win was something that every athlete in the era I played tried to do.'' (Reference at end)

All of the above-mentioned players are in the Hall of Fame.

Andy Pettitte, once one of Clemens' best friends, admitted using human growth hormone.. On Feb. 13, 2008, Pettitte admitted in an affidavit to the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform that he had received two injections of human growth hormone twice in one day in 2004.

The difference between Clemens and Pettitte is that Pettitte admitted using a steroid while Clemens claimed that he didn't. It is more than that.

Some members of Congress didn't like the fact that Clemens challenged them. To paraphrase George Orwell, some Americans are more equal than others.



"Hall of Fame pitcher shares views during I.C. appearance: Says he would be worth plenty today." Gazette [Cedar Rapids, IA] 23 Jan. 2008. General OneFile. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.