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Former Congressman: Roger Clemens “has suffered enough”

Aug 19, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

Roger Clemens leaves the federal courthouse with attorney Rusty Hardin in Washington

Former Congressman Tom Davis, who was co-chair of the committee which recommended that Clemens be investigated for perjury following his testimony, said yesterday that he thinks the Justice Department should cut bait on the prosecution and that Clemens has already “suffered enough.”

The suffering, Davis said, was the millions in legal fees Clemens has had to pay plus the reputation hit Clemens has taken throughout the process.  He also doesn’t take the underlying act of a ballplayer taking steroids to be all that serious in the grand scheme:

“Everybody’s going 55, it says 40, all of a sudden then start enforcing it, you get caught. That’s steroids,” he said.

Interesting enough, I suppose.  Worth noting, however, that Davis chaired the oversight committee when it first called ballplayers before it way back in 2005 and is probably more responsible than anyone for making steroids in baseball Congress’ business in the first place. So if he’s now suggesting that it’s meaningless and a waste of time, it’s quite a change of heart for the guy, no?

  1. Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    I’m really torn here. I actually agree with the speeding analogy (and to take it further, they didn’t just start enforcing it, they went back and used times between EZPass toll plazas to determine who was speeding back when the cops weren’t enforcing it), and I want Congress to butt the fuck out (apologies for the profanity, but our honorable reps have that effect on me these days), but on the other hand, Clemens begged for the opportunity to testify and “prove” his innocence. For someone to actively ask for the opportunity to perjure himself as a PR stunt… that needs to be prosecuted, no matter how ridiculous we feel the underlying crime was. It’s far worse than anything Barry Bonds ever did.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      I put EVERTHING squarely on the shoulders of MLB. When they were trying to win fans back after the strike and Big Mac and Sammy were having their home run race (all the while both being as big as a house)…Selig (and MLB in general) turned their heads because the turnstiles were in perpetual motion. When it becomes P.C. to do so…they start slapping wrists for it. Now…they are going to deem it illegal…and start “random” testing. But again…when it benefits them…they turn a blind eye. We have far bigger fish to fry than this bullshit.

    • kellyb9 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      His legal problems have nothing to do with whether or not he was or wasn’t using steroids. It has everything to do with lying to congress.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        You mean like the South Carolina Governor, former New Your Governor Elliot Spitzer, the Congressman from (Utah I think) who was playing “footsies” in the Airport bathroom? I could go on and on. This doesn’t make it right….but I am pretty sure we didn’t see this Circus when they were “lying to congress.”

      • Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        None of them testified under oath to Congress about their transgressions. Roger Clemens is not being prosecuted for taking steroids. He’s being prosecuted for perjuring himself.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        stlouis, I agree with Kevin and you are making the same mistake that people made when they talked about how Bill Clinton is being persecuted by the Right for getting a blow job. That wasn’t it and everyone knew it, but sometimes when you say it over and over, it becomes “fact” Clemens lied under oath. If you don’t attempt to punish him over it, then the next guy says “Oh, Clemens did it, so I figured it was OK.” Sets a bad precedent.

    • nudeman - Aug 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

      1. The day before he testified, when Goober Hardin trotted him around on an autograph tour, he was warned by Congressmen “Don’t lie”.
      So went out and he lied. To Congress. Under oath.

      2. He should be re-prosecuted.
      If it was you, me, or our next door neighbor, we’d be preparing for a trial. Trust me.

      3. Millions in legal fees? Not my problem. Shouldn’t have lied.

      • nudeman - Aug 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        By the way, if you let this jerk go tiptoeing off into the sunset without a trial, he’ll be on absolutely every cable talk show, proclaiming his innocence, tell us – Mindy McCready aside – what a great husband and father he is, and trashing the gov’t and Roger McNamee.

        Anybody want to see that?

        Me either

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        3. Millions in legal fees? Not my problem. Shouldn’t have lied.

        Needs to be repeated over and over. This isn’t a persecution of Clemens due to race, gender, sexuality, etc. He lied to Congress.

        Also, while I agree with Kevin S and the statement about speeding, that doesn’t mean the cops should stop pulling people over either. If you break the law, you have to face the consequences if you are caught.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        I do agree that the cops should start pulling people over. I have a problem with going back and going after drivers they ignored at the time they were speeding.

  2. tuftsb - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    If the House gets around to prosecuting members of Congress for lying on their financial disclosure forms (which is perjury – Charlie Rangel, cough, cough), then I can agree with their pursuit of an indictment and trial of Clemens. Until then, “you can’t lie to Congress – only we can lie to Congress” means that this charade was a huge waste of time that could have been spent focusing on the economy, immigration, two wars…..

    And “won’t somebody please think of the children!”….wa as BS a reason for hearings. According to CDC stats from 2007, causes of deaths in US:

    alcohol – 40,000
    tobacco – 400,000
    steroids – 3

    • florida727 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      Great post “tuftsb”, How ironic: Clemens is being prosecuted for lying to politicians.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        Hahahaha! Yeah really. Pot…kettle.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      Outstanding post. I just read this and it is pretty much what I was referring to in my previous reply. But back to the steriods thing in general. It’s a huge joke really. It has nothing to do with what we think is right or wrong. It’s very simple…they were NOT deemed illegal and MLB did NOT test for it at the time. They turned their freaking heads while everyone was swelling up (pitchers included). Now…slap wrists, shake a finger and (gasp) “I didn’t know this was that prevelant in baseball.” Hypocrites.

  3. florida727 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    I think “stlouis” and “kelly” are both right on the money (not sure why the thumbs-down clicks). Major League Baseball very emphatically DID turn a blind eye when Mac and Sammy were hitting homeruns every other at-bat. And they get a free pass in all this? Especially Selig? And “kelly” is right because Clemens was never in trouble for USING steroids, only LYING about using steroids. Had he kept his mouth shut, this article (and countless others) would never have been written. His ego got in the way. Had he refused to testify, he’s protected by his constitutional right against self-incrimination, his image may have taken a hit, but his wallet certainly wouldn’t have. Bottom line: he really brought this on himself.

    • kellyb9 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      Alternatively, he could have walked up there and said “yes I did it.” Whether Congress had a purpose with this investigation is beyond me, but it seems clear that the only guys who aren’t admitting to any wrong-doing are the guys who are in line for the hall.

      • nudeman - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        There are a dozen things he could have done better/differently, including:
        - Not demanding to go in front of Congress in the first place
        - Taking the 5th (though that would have been a little odd, since the session was at his request)
        - Issue a statement, a la Mark McGwire, “I’m not here to talk about the past”; again, would have been weird
        - Testify truthfully. He’d have been killed in the press for a while, but by now would have completed his successful redemption tour. America loves a comeback.

        AND THE #1 THING HE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER:

        HIRE ANY ATTY ASIDE FROM GOOBER HARDIN

    • largebill - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Revisionist historians like to make the “why didn’t Selig . . . ” comments without giving any consideration to the response he would have gotten if he attempted to do anything that was not authorized by the CBA in place at the time. It is easy to look back now and say everyone “KNEW” that various players were using PED’s. Reality is at the time we had anecdotal evidence that in with the aid of hindsight we think is now overwhelming evidence of usage. From the late 80′s on guys started taking supplements available at GNC vitamin stores. At first it was just a few then it became more prevalent. Sure, Bonds seemed to bulk up overnight, but most guys and the league overall added muscle bulk over time. It is extremely simplistic to look back now and pretend Selig is the big culprit. Did he have his suspicions? Probably. Were his suspicions sufficient to take meaningful action? Not hardly.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        Yeah, a lot of people like to point to some letter that was distributed to all the clubs talking about how using prescription drugs without a prescription is against the rules of baseball…implying that steroids were not allowed in baseball since they were a prescription. But creatine was not prescription. Andro was not presctiprion. They were things you could buy right at your local GNC as was a lot of the PEDs that are now banned.

        So don’t throw it ALL on Bud…Donald Fehr deserves a lot of the blame as well. It was what it was…I don’t think anyone who used PEDs “cheated” because to me, “cheating” implies breaking the rules and I am sure there were a lot of guys who used over-the-counter PEDs that were not against the rules of the time.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        I appreciate your post but I can NOT agree. He didn’t pursue anything because (at the time) the balls were flying out of the parks at record pace. Turnstiles were finally spinning after the Strike. I rememeber they even went to the Baseball Manufacturer (I beleive in Puerto Rico) to find out “why.” Hahahah! I am not sure at this point what program it was…maybe ESPN. But they paid a visit to the Manuf. to see if they were making them differently.
        Come on…EVERYONE KNEW.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      I am with you 100%. He should have just refused to testify…even pulling a Big Mac would have been better for him in the long run.

  4. paperlions - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Maybe Davis is just sympathetic to Clemens because, being a politician, he understands how hard it is to keep your lies straight. Add that to how smart Clemens is not, and I imagine it has been a great mental and emotional strain on Clemens. In part, because of the struggle to understand the difference between what he says and the truth, and second, because of the confusion associated with people not believing everything he says.

  5. largebill - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    This sounds like a great idea. From now on prosecutions will be terminated based on opinion of self-important former congresscritters.

    Okay, I guess the sarcasm was too heavy there, but who the hell is this goof to decide at what point in a case there has been enough suffering. We have laws against perjury not out of a desire to see liars suffer, but because we correctly believe the need for honesty in legal cases is that important.

  6. yizudien - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    roids aside, he needs to be brought to justice for lying to a grand jury. Who cares if this costs him every dollar he made in baseball? this guy thinks he is above the law, when the stigma of him using roids will follow his career for the rest of time.

    Do I think that congress should waste time looking into the matter? No, but they did. Then Roger makes a few statements that may have been against the law. If they can prove he took roids, then Roger needs to face the music just like any normal person would that gets called in to testify.

    Laws are laws, no one should get a free pass cause they spent enough money in legal troubles.

  7. Jonny 5 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I’m more concerned with the fact that they charged him with this in the first place with nothing more than leveraged testimony (get out of jail for the right testimony card) from a person with a very bad track record. On top of “crooked cop”, he was also caught diddling an incapacitated woman high on Rufinol in the pool. Hmm I wonder how that happened?

    They knew it would cost millions to prosecute on the testimony of a criminal and rapist. One who was promised leniency for the right testimony. Not the best case to pi$$ all that money away on imo. If only the court system had tried this hard to convict Casey Anthony on something……..

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      What he said….

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Bottom line is this, Clemens is a MLB God and they should be building a seperate wing for him at the HOF as we speak. Mcnamee is a liar, there is no evidence here, just the words of a proven liar. Now everyone bow their heads and praise the Rocket!!! Yeah!!!

  9. Old Gator - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    I agree that he’s suffered enough. Put one in his brain.

    • spindervish - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      OG indeed.

      No half-measures, eh?

      • Old Gator - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        It’s something I tell all my boys. Always put one in the brain.

  10. edpeters101 - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    My solution is for Clemens to apologize for lying, and drop the case. Then bring cases against all the people in congress who have lied to the American public!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      I don’t believe the words “I apologize” have ever come out of Roger Clemens’ mouth.

    • Old Gator - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      Gasp! You brought politics into a sports blog!

      …but I appreciate the clever Libertarian gambit to rid us of virtually all of congress at a single stroke. Proudhon would have been proud.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:47 PM

        Two problems with that strategem:

        1. Members of Congress are protected while performing their dutes (even if they’re lying). So much for the argument that Congress can only do what’s stated explicitly in the Constitution.

        2. Do you really think their replacements would be any better?

    • kellyb9 - Aug 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      Well its fortunate for Clemens that you’re not his lawyer… right now his only option is to continue lying. Jail time can be a realistic possibility for the crime Clemens committed.

  11. tuftsb - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Clemens should get the same punishment Rep. Charlie Rangel did – be forced to sit in fornt of Congress and be told he’s a bad boy. That was all that happened to Charlie, who is back to shaking down the populace for more ridiculous programs – and still combing his hair every morning with buttered toast

    • tuftsb - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      you don’t like toast – warm buttery toast?

  12. anybodyinhere - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Probably a personal prejudice here, but I have disliked Clemens and his arrogance for so long that I relish the trouble he finds himself in. My dislike for the guy started way back in ’84 when the guy was still a rookie. My cousin was waiting tables at a restaurant in BWI airport and the some of the Sox were in the restaurant for a meal; Clemens walked out on his check. Because waiters are responsible for their customer’s checks, and my cousin would have had to pay for the meal, he ran out after Clemens and confronted him. Clemens laughed at him and then threw money at him. Clemens had a lifetime record of 3-2 at the time and was already a jerk. Granted, the story is second hand and could have been a little exaggerated when it was first told to me, but because my cousin told me about it right after it happened and not 27 yrs later, I tend to believe him on this one. I barely knew who Clemens was at the time, but he’s represented the worst in arrogant sports figures for me ever since.

    • nudeman - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      anyoneinhere-
      I have no trouble believing this. As far as it being early in his career, remember the man was a big star at U Texas, a #1 draft choice (I believe) and even at that early point, had been coddled and catered to like a diva.

      Some of the stuff that came out about him was exceptionally disturbing, beyond the PED usage. I know many MLBers are philanderers, but an ongoing affair with an UNDERAGE country singer, while publicly presenting himself as the ultimate family man?

      During his Congressional testimony, it was obvious he thought he could starfuck his way through the hearing; thought the Congressmen would be awestruck by his great presence. Elijah Cummings dismantled him.

      Rocket me as something of an entitled dummy. And he’s also had unimaginably terrible legal counsel.

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