Former Yankee Star Roger Clemens Fount Not Guilty in Lengthy Perjury Trial

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJune 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18:  Former all-star baseball pitcher Roger Clemens (C) becomes emotional while talking to the news media after he was found not guilty on 13 counts of perjury and obstruction outside the Prettyman U.S. Court House June 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. The former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees pitcher's original trial in 2011 was declared a mistrial after the judge said the prosecution presented inadmissible testimony that prejudiced the jury. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens is 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 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

For almost five years, the federal government had been after Roger Clemens.

On Monday, their pursuit of the former New York Yankees star pitcher came to an end as a jury found Clemens not guilty on all six counts of perjury charges.

It all started back in December of 2007 when Clemens was cited as one of the key names mentioned on the Mitchell Report, a list of baseball players who had taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens has denied ever taking anything, whether it be steroids or human growth hormone (HGH), and the federal government came after him as a result.

In February of 2008, Clemens testified on national television that he had never taken steroids or any sort of illegal drug to enhance his ability.

The government's case was built around Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, who had testified that he gave Clemens steroids and HGH from 1998-2001.

Clemens' team of lawyers did everything they could to bury McNamee and make him look like a "flawed person" with character issues, and they added that the government's star witnesses' story had changed several times.

McNamee had stated that he kept several of the syringes and other materials containing Clemens' DNA in a storage container, a Miller Lite can that was inside a FedEx box, for about six years.

Clemens and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, had always said Clemens was able to pitch at a high level because of a high work-ethic and training program that helped him stay in shape and perform into his mid-40's.

This trial was the second time that Clemens was tried for perjury; the first time ended in a mistrial because prosecutors played a portion of a video in court that had been deemed inadmissible.

What also might have helped Clemens in this case was the testimony of current Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte had testified that Clemens told him he had used HGH several years ago, but when he did, he also said that when Clemens told him of the alleged incident, it was in a passing moment and not in a direct conversation.

So, for the government, Pettitte really wasn't very helpful in their case because his testimony was based more on speculation and a potential misunderstanding.

So, now Clemens, who hasn't pitched in baseball since the end of the 2007 season, is a free man and will not do any jail time.

However, it will be very interesting to see how his bid for the Hall of Fame will go when he's up for election.

His current reputation is shattered, and honestly, nobody will really ever know if Clemens actually took steroids or HGH.

Everyone will be very curious to see how the writers will vote for Clemens, especially since now he was not been convicted of a crime.

NEW YORK - AUGUST 02:  Starting pitcher Roger Clemens #22 of the New York Yankees delivers against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 2, 2007 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The 49-year-old former ace was a career 354-184 through 24 years in baseball. Clemens spent six of those years with the Yankees (1999-2003, 2007) and won two World Series with the Bombers in 1999 and 2000.

Clemens was also a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, six in the A.L. and one in the N.L. His best season as a professional may have been in 2001 with the Yankees, when he went 20-3 with a 3.51 ERA, a season in which he was 38 years old.

Even with all of the accolades and the historic resume, there could be a chance that Clemens may not get into the Hall of Fame because of the steroid suspicions.

So, while Clemens is a free man now, it becomes a waiting game for him on his baseball future.

Either way, he's a very fortunate man who was blessed with a very high-priced and talented legal team that kept him out of federal prison.