Roger Clemens: Persecution or Perjury?

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Roger Clemens: Persecution or Perjury?
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Roger Clemens is on the hot seat, again.

The former Yankee was indicted Thursday on perjury charges for allegedly lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Steroids and baseball were a match made in heaven, until science and drug testing got the better of them. Now PEDs are the bane of baseball’s existence, challenging the integrity of the sport for at least the last decade and a half.

This mess of a situation, that is, the allegation that Clemens used steroids during his lengthy career, arose again this week after what seemed like years of dormancy.

Major League Baseball has come down relatively hard on players caught using PEDs, administering a plethora of suspensions to major and minor leaguers. The Rocket should be given no latitude on the matter.

Steroids are steroids. If it is perjury, it is perjury.

There has been little rebuttal on the punishments dished out by the MLB, and it seems some fans and players are almost beginning to appreciate the “cleansing” that the sport is going through.

It is not about statistics or the World Series. It is setting the league straight after who knows how many years, or decades, of usage clouding the honor of baseball. It is making the right example for the young players of the future and playing the right way with respect to the game and all of its elements.

Many want it to go away, but this is the road that must be taken.

There can be no red carpet treatment for the superstars of the sport, and the 2007 Mitchell Report confirmed that. With that document close to three years removed from publication, the mark left on baseball from the Steroid Era is starting to wash away, though some smudges remain.

But Clemens’ still unsolved case, along with Barry Bonds’, are what many consider to be the remaining blemishes on a stained period of time in baseball.

To think that the Rocket’s treatment on this matter is persecution is to ignore the growth of one of the greatest games the world has come to play.

Forget the vanity of one man’s contribution to the game and consider the benefaction of a positive generation’s worth of players to baseball.

Countless former and current players have gone down the slippery and wretched slope that is coming clean to the fans, baseball, and its players, although not many of them are pitchers.

Most pitchers convey a distinct and resilient persona when on the mound, one of almost arrogance and tenacity, akin to what Clemens’ is portraying and has been expressing during the span of his entire investigation.

It is not unlike him to waver, but his steadfastness will keep the pressure on very tightly as well as continue to build some people’s rationalization for persecution.

Baseball moved on from the years of PEDs, and budding stars like Buster Posey, Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg are the new age. They have demonstrated dominance and an incredible amount of talent for their youth, and the bad blood of steroid usage seems to have vanished from the minds of the players of the future.

The pieces appear to be stacked against Clemens. Though thousands of fans would love for his name to be rinsed clean of these allegations, the Rocket could fall very hard and very fast.

In fact, his seemingly never-ending case will only stack higher the longer it persists. Baseball moved forward from names like Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi and Clemens’ teammate and good friend Andy Pettitte.

Would it be too much to expect the public to do the same with Clemens?

For the love of baseball, for the sake of moving forward to drool at the superstar talent in the coming years, to put the fans at ease to enjoy the game, judge, bang your gavel.

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