Roger Clemens, the king of Ks, ought to walk


The Roger Clemens circus has run its course. Call in the clowns. The fat lady is singing.

On July 14, his trial was stopped in its second day. Government prosecutors had allowed inadmissible information to be seen. The judge remarked that they had made a mistake that a first-year law student wouldn’t.

Hard to pick sides here: Bumbling government lawyers or an allegedly juiced-up major league pitcher?

On Sept. 2, lawyers will weigh in again with arguments on whether to start a new trial. By then, several million more dollars will have been logged on this case. Billable hours run amok.


Most legal experts think the mistake in the first trial was not enough to rule out a second trial. Most serious baseball fans, and most commentators — including this typist — thought it proper that this case be carried to its just end.

Clemens demanded a public hearing and then during that hearing was caught in so many inconsistencies that Rep. Henry Waxman, head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, recommended further investigation of possible criminal action.

The lesson: Don’t lie to a bunch of congressmen and expect to skate.

But there comes a time to cut your losses. Enough is enough. Taxpayers would rather their money be spent on things more significant than the ego and foibles of an entitled professional athlete.

Want your pension next year? Sorry, that money was spent on Roger Clemens’ trial. No more Medicare for Aunt Nellie? Sorry, but we sure showed that Clemens guy.

How many people might be employed now with the money spent on determining whether Andy Pettitte misremembered, as Clemens put it?

Let’s stop the bleeding. Our tax dollars have suffered enough.

It’s not like a verdict either way will make much difference in public perception. In this case, the innocent-until-proven-guilty thing isn’t as applicable. Clemens’ story, situation and plight are so public and so well-documented that a guilty verdict would pretty much bring a teenage daughter reaction: “Ah, duh.” And a not-guilty verdict would have the media scrambling to see how many O.J. jurors made the Clemens panel.


The Mitchell Report named Clemens 82 times, and nobody has ever questioned George Mitchell’s credibility. Clemens threw his own wife under the bus in the congressional hearing, and when he tried to bring a defamation lawsuit against his trainer and the main witness against him, Brian McNamee, the courts tossed that out.

All that being said, Clemens didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t rob a bank or embezzle funds or put a bunch of nuns out on the street.

His sin, a truckload of evidence says, was to cheat millions of baseball fans out of the truth, and their ticket money, then lie about it when questions were asked by the federal government. He took a shortcut to fame and fortune. He stepped over other players who played fair. He got the big money andrecognition they might have. And in the process, he sullied a national treasure — the game of major league baseball.

When it was time to be penitent, Clemens was arrogant.

Others in his situation — Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire among them — eventually saw that they had played loose with something bigger than themselves and, as best they could, said so. With Clemens, we have yet to see any indication that he thinks there is anything bigger than himself. This is, after all, a man who named his four sons Koby, Kory, Kacy and Kody to pay homage to his strikeouts, or as baseball calls them, Ks.

Baseball’s steroid era seems to be over. Players hit home runs in reasonable numbers now. Pitchers no longer stand on the mound looking like Godzilla. Mitchell and Bud Selig have stopped it, at least for the moment, or until the next era of cheaters finds a new group of chemists it can employ.

We don’t need a guilty verdict and a picture of Clemens in a jail jumpsuit to know what we know and feel what we feel. The Clemens verdict has been a public conclusion for quite some time now.


Let’s get smart here. Let’s spend the money on Aunt Nellie’s Medicare.