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Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in Roger Clemens federal perjury case on Thursday afternoon. A hearing will be held on September 2nd to determine whether or not the case should be restarted or dropped altogether. For now, Roger Clemens is a free man, but should this case ever have gotten this far?
Perjury is indeed a punishable offense and shouldn’t be overlooked at all, however this case is about steroids. The topic of steroids in baseball is one that has caused a giant rift among fans of the sport. What do we do with the records from the “steroid era?” Should players that have used performance enhancing drugs be allowed into Cooperstown?
Questions like these certainly are ones that need to be answered, but is it really necessary to spend so much effort, time, and taxpayers money in order to bring these men up on charges? Will that really give us the answers we’re looking for? Do Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds really deserve to face jail time for breaking the rules? Maybe this whole situation has gone down the wrong road.
For arguments sake let’s assume Clemens will not be brought back into the courtroom. His legacy remains somewhat in tact, but these questions certainly remain.
Is the all time postseason wins leader, Andy Pettitte really not going to get into the hall of fame either? When Alex Rodriguez closes his iconic career, will he not be immortalized with a plaque in upstate New York? Is it feasible to have the all time home run king not in the hall? Maybe it is, seeing as how the all-time hits leader isn’t there either.
It’s a sad time for hall of fame nominations. Voters will constantly have to wrestle with the idea that some of the players did it “the wrong way.” Any good player from the 90′s through the 2000′s will have a giant question mark above their heads.
There is one day in the near future that will summarize everything that is hated about this era, the darkest example. Every fan should dread this day for what they will have to hear.
In a couple of years Ken Griffey Jr. will be put on his first ballot. It had been thought that “the kid” could be the first ever unanimous hall of fame choice in the games history. Everyone knew he had the talent and the charisma. He brought new meaning to fan favorite. Nobody hated Griffey the way they did Bonds. Everyone knew he did it the right way. Unfortunately the media will undoubtedly grab hold of the ugly question “did he do it too?”
Bud Selig has done a fine job in fixing the problem on the field. Regular tests are given, heavy suspensions and fines have struck fear into players that think about using PED’s these days, and yet fans are still forced to worry about how the past will effect the future.
A proposition for Cooperstown: treat this time as just another era. The “dead ball” era, the “live ball” era, the integration era, the free-agent era, the steroid era. Why should one of these be singled out?
There are countless players from all different times that are in the hall, and these players should not be victims of a calendar, punished merely for the time they played in and what happened during that time.
If fans are really so up in arms about it, put a little sign under Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds name that says “steroid era” on it. Heck, create a whole wing in Cooperstown just for these guys. What’s the difference?
The hall of fame is a place for fans of the game to go and relive times past. Learn about what happened in the game before their time. The greatest players can be enshrined forever in glory. It is of course a sacred place, but it is silly and naive to think that great players of the past weren’t using drugs or putting pine tar on their bats, yet they are not persecuted.
The point is, there is time to fix this flaw, the powers that be just need to admit that there is something wrong and that it should be addressed.
Nobody is forcing anyone else to like these players. If someone has a personal vendetta against Roger Clemens and the countless others for not playing the way they would have hoped, then so be it. That certainly does not mean that they were not fantastic baseball players.
The time is over, we can all move on, but we don’t have to forget. In 50 years, this will merely be a notch on the timeline of America’s greatest past time. Don’t let it be ruined by a silly needle.
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