When hearing about litigation or reading about it in the newspaper, I always have to remind myself that there’s a price tag attached.
Baseball is big in my house. It was big in the house of my youth. My brothers played ball, as did I–well, in the backyard. I married baseball fans–twice–though for different teams. I am not an avid fan, but discussions find their way into my ear because my husband is and loves to talk about the sport.
So when he read the headlines to me yesterday about the verdict in the Clemens perjury trial, stating that the seven-time Cy Young award winner was acquitted, I asked, “What does that mean?”
If you read through the plethora of blogs or listen to some of the sports talk shows, one of the answers to that question is it means steroid trials for professional athletes are a waste of money. Most bloggers and sports commentators I find believe that there was a whole lot of politicking involved in the Clemens’ trial, which some have called a “witch hunt.” The tab for the Clemens trial was $3 million.
Now the discussion has switched to whether or not, in light of all of this, he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His name is on the ballot and his fate lies in the hands of the 600 Hall of Fame voters, who are veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. While some contend his acquittal will bode well for his induction, others remain uncertain, adding that his reputation will forever be tarnished by the accusations of steroid use and the trials.
Getting back to the original question, what does the acquittal mean? It means the jury found Clemens didn’t lie to Congress when he vehemently denied his use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. While that should be that, like OJ Simpsons after his trial, it appears that a lot of sports writers, and I would venture the general public, don’t believe him. But we’ll have to wait until next February’s vote to find out.