Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Roger Clemens Acquitted

Roger Clemens was found not guilty in his perjury trial. And I don't care. I didn't need or want the Federal Government to punish Clemens. I didn't need or want the Government involved involved in the steroid issue at all. Although it did give Congress less time to screw up the country.

It would have been hilarious for Roger Clemens to go to jail. He did lie to Congress when he denied using PEDs. And that's inexcusable. As much as I disagree with Congress poking their noses into sports, that doesn't give Clemens the right to lie to them.

Clemens is a scumbag. And a fraud. That's his punishment for taking PEDs, and it's well deserved.

His rebirth in Toronto was due to his violating the rules. All the adulation, all the ESPN ball-washing he got from 1997 to 2007 was ill-gotten. He's paying for that now as his reputation is tarnished, his Cy Youngs are tainted, and his Hall of Fame credentials are questionable.

Clemens was great in the late 80's and early 90's. He won three Cy Young Awards with the Sox. He also won an MVP. But he started to slide, both on the mound and in terms of his physical shape. In 1993 he was 11-14 with a 4.46 ERA. In strike-shortened 1994, he was 9-7. He was 10-5 in '95, then 10-13 in '96. The Rocket seemed out of gas. Or maybe it was too heavy to take off.

Dan Duquette famously said Clemens was in "the twilight of his career."

He signed with the Blue Jays in 1996. He seemed motivated to make Duquette eat his words. We all thought that Clemens' much improved physical shape was a result of this motivation. Little did we know.

Clemens won the Cy Young twice in Toronto. He was traded to the Yankees. He won the World Series there in '99 and 2000. Then he won another Cy Young in 2001. He was 38 years old, and was in much better shape than he was at 28. We all thought it was due to his extreme training regimen.

He had another career rebirth in Houston. He won his 7th Cy Young with the Astros. He was 41. He pitched until he was 44.

Steroids and PEDs do more than just help players build raw muscle-mass. They help the body recover from injury. Which allows an athlete to train harder and spend less time recovering.

In some ways, steroids can help a pitcher more than a hitter. Throwing 100 pitches is a form of injury. And it typically takes 4 days to recover from it. A pitcher on steroids will be able to recover more quickly and more strongly than normal. Especially an older pitcher.

Steroids make exercise easy. I once had to take them for my eyes, and found myself on an exercise bike for 90 minutes at a time, close to 20 miles. And I wouldn't even feel tired. I'd have to tell myself to stop. It was a breeze.

I can't even imagine the effect of steroids and PEDs specifically designed to enhance athletic training.

It's probably a good thing Clemens didn't wind up in jail over this. As much as I dislike the bastard, I never wanted him in prison for cheating, even for lying about cheating. Maybe for having an affair with a 15 year old country music singer, but not for this.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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