Roger and Barry: Poster Boys for the Steroid Era

by John on December 16, 2007

“I’m not a crook.” Well, he didn’t actually say that. His lawyer did say that he wasn’t a cheat, though. Despite his denial of using performance enhancing drugs, Roger Clemens has now joined Barry Bonds as the newest member of Baseball’s Hall of Shame. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, was the most notable name on former Sen. George Mitchell’s long-awaited report on steriod use in baseball. The Rocket was singled out in nearly nine pages of the 409-page report, with 82 references by name, and accused of taking steroid injections in his buttocks. “Roger has been repeatedly tested for these substances and he has never tested positive,” said Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin. “There’s never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today.” At least Bonds is no longer the solo bad guy. I thought it would take several days to digest the Mitchell Report. Several days doesn’t make the stench any better, though. After watching Mitchell’s press conference on Thursday, I stayed with ESPN to watch the post-report commentary. Listening to the sports channel’s baseball gurus Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian’s vanilla analysis of steroid use rather disturbed me. But, then what else should we expect. Why would these guys want to shoot their golden goose. Gammons said, “Many of us have a problem with Mitchell throwing out names based on little or no proof other than hearsay.” Kurkjian sees no reason to deny admission into the Hall of Fame for tainted stars. No need for an asterisk for their records, either. Just a sidebar annotation of the era they played in should suffice, he said. So much for the sanctity of baseball records or the role-model effect of baseball heroes on American youth. The message sent is if you cheat, you get to be rich and famous. I finally got a dose of objectivity on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer later that afternoon. Commentator Jack Cafferty recalled Clemens throwing the splintered barrel of a broken bat at Mike Piazza as he ran to first base during the 2000 World Series. “I’m thinking what kind of professional athlete conducts himself like that? It’s not like there weren’t signs that something might be amiss,” said Cafferty. Cafferty asked CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin what should be done with the records? “You throw out the records. I think Roger Clemens doesn’t go to the Hall of Fame,” said Toobin, a diehard baseball fan. “I mean if baseball wants to show that it is really serious about people who break rules, let these guys answer the charges and establish that they’re not true or the heck with them.” I agree. What’s good for Marion Jones and Floyd Landis should be good for the Boys of Summer.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

deirdre December 16, 2007 at 8:42 pm

I lost respect for the Rocket years ago, so discovering him on the Mitchell report is just par for the course in Rogerland. Only statement I am surprised at is dopey Andy trying to mislead ignorant fans who don’t realize Human Growth Hormone is approved by the FDA for limited uses such as dwarfism in children, AIDS wasting or pituitary deficiencies.

“HGH should only be prescribed by a doctor; it is a highly controlled drug and one of the few that can’t be prescribed for off-label uses. It has very limited legit uses. An elbow injury would not be a government-approved use of human growth hormone.”

What a duo of losers.

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