Skurka's Spin: Roger Clemens' place in Hall of Fame at risk
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:59AM EDT
The baseball season has started and there is renewed excitement that the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada's only major league baseball team, may win the World Series. Even a loss to the Boston Red Sox in the team's home opener hasn't dampened fans' spirits.
One of the greatest players to ever wear a Blue Jays uniform was Roger Clemens. Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young award winner and appeared to be a lock for future Hall of Fame status. His spot in Cooperstown may forever be blocked, however, by his alleged involvement in the steroids scandal that tarnished the sport of baseball.
In 2008, Clemens volunteered to testify before a Congressional committee investigating the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. Clemens denied under oath that he had ever used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone. Charges were subsequently brought against Roger Clemens with the U.S. government contending that he lied to Congress. Similar to Barry Bonds, Clemens was charged with engaging in a coverup rather than being complicit with using performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens' first trial on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements ended in a mistrial after prosecutors inexplicably presented inadmissible video evidence to the jury. The retrial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on April 16th at the U.S District Court in Washington, D.C.
The trial will receive prominent focus in the media and will present a daily sideshow to the baseball season. The star witness for the prosecution is Andy Pettitte who will testify that Clemens shared with him in confidence that he had taken a performance-enhancing substance. Pettitte is a current member of the pitching staff of the New York Yankees.
The trial has enormous consequences for Roger Clemens. His reputation in baseball lore and his place in the Hall of Fame are at risk. Most significantly, Clemens faces the real prospect of being sentenced to prison if he is found guilty.
It would represent a precipitous fall for a man who some consider the most accomplished pitcher in baseball history.
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