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“You should be rewarding Roger Clemens, not prosecuting him”

Jun 12, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Rusty Hardin

If you looked at that headline and guessed “things Roger Clemens’ lawyer said during closing arguments today,” well, you’re correct. Which, while a little over the top, isn’t terribly surprising. The defense attorney is always going to paint his client as virtuous and the opposition as evil.

Which is why it was rather strange to hear the prosecutor, in his closing argument, kind of going after Andy Pettitte, basically calling him a liar despite the fact that Pettitte was a prosecution witness.  And boy, that does seem like a long time ago when that happened, doesn’t it?

Ken Davidoff has all of the details from the closings. As expected, it was a lot of the defense calling Brian McNamee a liar and the prosecution telling the jury to use their common sense. Which is what it all boils down to: do they ignore McNamee’s clear credibility problems and convict Clemens because Occam’s Razor suggests that, yes, he did take PEDs, or do they ignore the Occam’s Razor explanation and acquit because the credibility of the person suggesting it is fatally flawed?

And when they do it, are they going to remember to put their finger on the scale in favor of the defense because of the prosecutor’s burden of proof?

We’ll likely find out this week, as the jury gets the case starting today.

  1. sdelmonte - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    This is America. We prosecute AND reward, though usually not at the same time.

  2. Jack Marshall - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    This is Casey Anthony all over again. The defendant is guilty and despicable, but the prosecution didn’t prove its case…which, in Roger’s case, never should have been brought anyway.

    Who is more likable: Roger, Barry Bonds, or Jose Canseco?

    • mississippimusicman - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      A bad case of shingles. Definitely more likeable.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Except Casey Anthony murdered a baby, and Roger Clemens is a retired athlete who maybe cheated, and maybe lied about it when Congress decided the most important issue facing our country was Congress getting to meet star athletes. Then they felt bad because they thought maybe one of the star athletes wasn’t their new BFF because a drug dealer called him a big fat liar head. Then Congress started feeling all insecure and inadequate and decided to use their collective penis as a gavel and bring Clemens to justice so America could be safe again from aging athletes trying to hang onto their glory years.

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Brilliant summation, counselor.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        Let’s relax. He was clearly only comparing the circumstances of the case in that a person is clearly guilty, but there’s not enough evidence to convict. No reasonable human being thinks he was comparing steroids to infanticide.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        I was not trying to jump on the original poster, only trying to illustrate the relative frivolity of the Clemens “case” when compared to a real crime.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        Lying to Congress is a real crime. If you did it you would be in jail. If anything he’s getting off light because he’s Roger Clemens.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        If Congress had such little evidence that I lied, I would never be brought to trial. People commit crimes all the time that are not prosecuted because (a) the case is unwinnable, or (b) the “criminal” and “crime” do not pose a threat to society. This case has the distinction of fulfilling both A and B, but Congressional egos can’t let it go.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        I woud disagree that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute. He does have syringes that have, without a doubt, be inside Roger’s body. The argument comes down to what those syringes were filled with. As a sensical human being you and I both know what was in them, in a court it’s up for debate though. That said if a confirmed distributer of steroids says you took them and has needles with your DNA on them that’s enough evidence for trial.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        A drug dealer testifying for immunity, with old needles stored in a can that he kept so he could burn his client. He could also have created that evidence for the same purpose rather easily. Trainers give guys shots of lots of things (B12, lidocaine, cortizone etc. This is all the very definition of reasonable doubt.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        Reasonable doubt prevents a conviction it does not prevent something from going to trial.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        The inability to meet the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is what should prevent a trial. This seems like little more than a public smear campaign: get some attention, accuse a guy of lots of stuff and air his dirty laundry. They won’t get a conviction, but his life will be worse for wear thereafter. If that is the case (and it is difficult to see what else this is) that is an egregious abuse of the powers bestowed upon the government in this instance.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        The level of reasonable doubt to keep a case from being heard by a jury and an acquittal are wildly different. There was clearly enough evidence to bring this to trial.

        That said I have no problems with Roger Clemens having his name dragged through the mud. He asked for the congressional hearing. Then he lied to their faces. He deserves a punishment, but won’t get one because it’s all circumstantial. Im sorry that there are consequences for pulling that, but there are.

        And his name was dragged through the md anyway. He clearly cheated. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        And those are fine opinions to hold as someone posting comments on a baseball blog; i would hope that people in charge of prosecuting citizens of this country would take it a bit more seriously. If they can proceed with a punitive prosecution, What is to say that will not call me a child molester, release statements to the press and only show at trial that there is no real evidence? It is a pretty serious responsibility they have, and in this instance it seems they are using their power frivolously.

    • ftbramwell - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Who’s more likeable . . . a pitcher who threw a shard of jagged wood at another team’s star player, a slugger who never felt the need to endear himself to the media, or a tattle-tale? As far as I’m concerned, I’ll take the slugger every day of the week.

      BTW, if you’re going to prosecute Barry, you better make sure you prosecute Roger when he engages in similar behavior.

    • sasquash20 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      Canseco is to me. But all three are trash

  3. nonmendacium - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    think you’re using occam’s razor incorrectly…the simplest explanation (based on the fewest assumptions) is that roger clemens was really talented and worked out a lot, not that an accused rapist, convicted tax cheat, and ex-dirty cop kept a syringe for such and such years…

    • ftbramwell - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      And somehow got Roger’s DNA all over the syringe to boot!

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:26 AM

        and dont forget there is noway the so called evidence could have been tampered with!! NOO WAY!!!

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      1. Let’s not act like Roger is a saint. He threw a splintered baseball bat at another person. Had that happend anywhere outside of a baseball field he would have been arrested.

      2. It’s irrelevant because any reasonable human with 2 eyes and a brain knows Roger Clemens cheated. I knew it 10 years ago.

      You can have your own opinion on whether or not Clemens taking steroids is notable, but you can not have your own facts.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Occam’s razor is an assumption. The prosecution needs to prove its theory beyond a reasonable doubt. Brian McNamee is pretty much the definition of reasonable doubt.

    If Clemens gets convicted in this, I will buy a shotgun and as much ammo as possible, gallons of drinking water and a year of canned food and go live in my basement for the next few years, because it will mean that the government can convict anyone of anything.

  5. El Bravo - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    What does this have to do with pie?

    • ltzep75 - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      Is it possible that Roger is being served…humble pie?

      Or that maybe he gets convicted and will need this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_ellis/1234579267 (I know it’s a cupcake, but bear with me)

    • raysfan1 - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      Cake > pie

      • El Bravo - Jun 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        thats just not mathematically true

  6. charlutes - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Lawyer talk. he’s guilty of purgery, end of story.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      guilty of puking in the dean’s face? I thought that was Flounder.

      • mcsnide - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        You, sir, made me LOL.

      • pepefreeus - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:54 PM

        Out with it!!

    • purnellmeagrejr - Jun 13, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      purgery – it’s one of those words that isn’t but maybe should be.

  7. drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    • drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Aaaand it didn’t keep the correct times. Sigh. Try 0:22-0:34.

  8. Max Power - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    If I’m not mistaken, the Government never proved Clemens had a third ear growing out of his forehead. Therefore, he must be acquitted.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Depends. Did they question Pedro Gomez?

  9. buffalo65 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Can Clemens please just fade to black and disappear. I am tired of this good pitcher turned great thru steroid use.

  10. Kevin Gillman - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    The government needs to figure out how to cut the deficit, and how to secure more jobs in this country than worrying if an athlete did some drugs. Don’t get me wrong, what Clemens did was bad too, but come on. Let’s move on from these court cases.

    • pepefreeus - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      And this trial is the only thing stopping them from doing all of those things.

  11. buffalomafia - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Screw Roger Clemons! The government needs to worry more about creating jobs!

    • sasquash20 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      Thank you. The money wasted on this investigation and trial is crazy. Get back to work on important things please.

  12. lostsok - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    If that last few years have proven anything, its that fans don’t really care. If it’s a player from another team, especially a rival, that is accused or proven to have used PEDs, then fans love the opportunity to boo. If its their guy, they shrug or excuse it. Either way, the game goes on just fine.

    Yes, it has put a lot of asterisks in the record book (imaginary, but squint and you can see them), but otherwise…it was just another interesting chapter in American’s most interesting game.

    Spending all the money to prosecute a douche like Clemens is a waste of time, however. What is really going to come from it? Frankly, Clemens biggest mistake was not doing PEDs. It was making the mistake so typical of a politician. He broke the ultimate golden rule of public figures:

    Never commit a felony to cover up a misdemeanor.

  13. raysfan1 - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    No fan of Clemens but as folks keep mentioning the splintered bat, I have to think that if he had intended to actually hit Piazza that he would have hit him.

  14. madhatternalice - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    UPDATE: Clemens not guilty on all six counts. Sigh.

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