I know it probably seems like a lifetime ago for Roger Clemens, but you’d think that in 1989, only four years into his prolific career, he would have taken some notes from Pete Rose’s mistakes.
In 1989, after Rose denied ever betting on baseball, then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth dropped the investigation but was replaced by Bart Giamatti. Just three days after taking the position, Giamatti assigned Washington, D.C. lawyer John Dowd to investigate the charges against Rose, which later led to placing him on baseball’s permanently ineligible list on August 24, 1989. To this day, Rose is still pleading to now-commissioner Bud Selig for reinstatement.
Now, almost 20 years later, Clemens is finding himself in a similar situation, though it will likely not end as unjust as Rose’s plight.
The first allegations came from admitted steroid user José Canseco, claiming that Clemens had expert knowledge about steroids and suggested he had used steroids.
He continued to face accusations when Jason Grimsley reportedly named him as user of performance-enhancing drugs. Grimsley stated in a signed affidavit that he received the drugs from a person referred to him by Clemens’ trainer, Brian McNamee.
Next came the Mitchell Report, an investigation into the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs, conducted by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, where Clemens’ name was mentioned 82 times. The report also mentioned former New York Mets’ employee Kirk Radomski and McNamee.
Clemens nonetheless continued to follow the textbook written by Rose and continued to deny all of the allegations, including via a segment on 60 Minutes. Clemens and McNamee, both under oath, later called each other a liar. The most recent episode of this daytime soap opera has Radomski finding a shipping receipt of human growth hormone to be sent to Clemens' Houston home during the 2002-03 season.
I'm not here to conduct a history lesson on how not to handle serious allegations, but I am here to ask if Clemens remains eligible for the Hall of Fame, managing, etc., why shouldn’t Rose?
Did Rose bet on baseball? Of course he did; he finally owned up to it and said it is one of his biggest regrets not doing so in the first place. Did Clemens use human growth hormone? All signs are pointing toward yes. McNamee was also Andy Pettitte’s personal trainer, and when Pettitte was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report, he admitted to using HGH two times in 2002, saying it was only under pressure to return from an injury.
There are too many things not going Clemens’ way, and, as baseball is on the verge of completely (as much as possible) cleaning up the game, I feel Clemens will somehow get away with cheating the game, the public, and himself. Selig, it is up to you to right the wrongs, whether it is reinstating Rose, or staying consistent to your ways, and banning Clemens.