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What if Roger Clemens is telling the truth?

The steroid age in baseball has been a very ugly ordeal for the sport, to say the least. Many stars have come up dirty, the latest being Roger Clemens and his ongoing battle to prove his innocence regarding steroid use.

Clemens had opportunities to steer himself clear of doing any jail time if he just admitted that he used performance enhancing drugs. But as we all know, Roger did not and is still very passionate in maintaining that he did not cheat.

This has been a very long, drawn out process that could have been put to bed long before now, or so we would think, right? With all of the evidence and testimony against Clemens, one might ask, Why not just admit it, and accept the ridicule and judgment that would come with your confession? Sounds simple. But just for one small moment, take the time to ask yourself this question: Is Roger Clemens possibly telling the truth?

From my vantage point there are two ways of looking at this, the first being the obvious. Clemens is too embarrassed to just tell the truth and move forward with his life. But the other way of looking at this is that the man is facing up to 12 to 15 months minimum and up to 30 years maximum in prison with the shame of jail time validating to people that he did cheat.

To me, if a person is willing to sacrifice his freedom maintaining what he believes to be true, that's not something to be taken lightly. What if, when the dust clears, it comes out that Clemens was indeed telling the truth? I wonder what the headlines will read and what impact it will have on his career and his life? Just something to think about, in my humble estimation.

Whether Roger Clemens used or not, I will hold off on judging him until all of this is said and done. How does the law read? Oh, that's right. Innocent until proven guilty.

By LaVar Arrington  |  August 30, 2010; 11:33 AM ET
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He aint Lavar, he aint.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | August 30, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Muhahahahahaaaa ahahahaa an honest baseball player?

Next you will tell me you know an honest politician? LaVar, the sport is about cheating. Any edge you can get without getting caught is allowed.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | August 30, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm with LaVar on this one.

In the court of public opinion, Clemens is indeed guilty as charged and has been for quite a while. The pivotal moment for me was Andy Pettitte's admittance, obviously a long time friend, teammate and most importantly training partner (and student) to Clemens. Along with other circumstantial evidence and the fascination with the steroid era diminished in the mind of the average fan, whatever happens to him in a real court of law almost seems trivial at this point. This is what is so sad about this, he might really be innocent and most of us really won't care one way or another. I've been to Cooperstown, to see Ripken and Gwynn get inducted on my birthday a few years back, and even I know when I visit next in my minds eye I'll see an asterisk next to the plaques of many of the players inducted from the steroid era.

Posted by: JimGoldbloomVA | August 30, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It's refreshing to see a member of the media refrain from judging people without hearing the facts first. It seems the Mariottis are glorified for slamming athletes in print and on national tv without hearing details. I support your views on this topic.

Posted by: JoeyMac40 | August 30, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey LaVar, you still listen to Tool when you're working out?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 30, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and O.J. is going to find the real killers on one of those golf courses he's been searching.

Seriously, just look at Clemens. And it wasn't embarrassment that kept him from telling the truth. It was hubris.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 30, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

It's conceivable that McNamee offered Roger's name to avoid a stiffer penality, but what about Petitte? He had nothing to gain from implicating Clemens. And by all accounts, Petitte appears most honest out of the whole lot of them.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 30, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I've been waiting for someone to say this and you are absolutely crazy, !!!!!! BUT.. You are absolutely.... RIGHT!!!
The way he handles himself is amazing.. and the biggest thing in his favor is Canseco says he is INNOCENT. That dude chucks everyone under the bus.. but he can't fit a rocket under there.

Posted by: Timo17 | August 30, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Two words. . . Andy Petitte.

Forget about McNamara, Petitte is the real key here.

If Clemens is telling the truth, then Petitte has been lying. And if Petitte has been lying, the question becomes "Why?" What does Petitte have to gain by throwing Clemens under the semi?

Given a choice between Clemens and Petitee, most media members are going to choose Petitte over Clemens. Why?

Because they've met and talked with both guys throughout their careers, and for them, Petitte is a much more believable guy than Clemens.

"What if Roger Clemens is telling the truth?" really isn't the interesting question. Not so much because no one believes Clemens, but because believing him requires disbelieving Petitte.

Who would you believe if your life depended on it, Clemens or Petitte?

The hard question is the question that everybody is asking: Why, assuming Clemens is guilty, does he continue to profess his innocence?

And the answer to that is simple and yet complex, and is also two words. . . Pete Rose.

In fact, read Pete Rose's response to Clemens'.

Very revealing from a guy whose actions Clemens seems to be duplicating almost step-by-step.

Posted by: kalinferno | August 30, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

LaVar -

Do you have the authority to get rid of chad dukes? if so, please do us all a favor. Thank you in advance.

Posted by: the_shocker1 | August 30, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

let me pose to you a third way of looking at this lavar: who cares?

let's say (and why not?), there's a drug that enhances, by a factor of 2 or 3, your intellect. the drug is illegal, and has some potentially nasty side-effects (say, oh, your left gonad falling off).

let's also say, for the sake of discussion, that your doctor, president or engineer takes this drug on the sly. your doctor's left gonad falls off, but he also discovers both the cause & cure for all cancers. the president tells really bad jokes incessently, but comes up with a plan for world peace, accepted by 6 billion people. the engineer continues to be dull as cotton wads, but invents, wholly from all natural products, a perfect, environmentall enhancing, substitute for all current forms of energy production. this results in a total reversal of global warming.

all three have committed a crime: using an illegal intellect enhancer, to help them perform their jobs better. all three have contributed to the betterment of our planet, and every human living on it.

given those facts and circumstances lavar, how many people do you think would give two nanny-goat sh**s about them having used that drug?

mr. clemons played a game, that had no appreciable effect on anyone's life (aside from providing a bit of entertainment), other than his own. it's a business, with profits for only a very few. who cares if they use drugs to help them? and does it really matter?

Posted by: cpinva | August 31, 2010 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Innocent until proven guilty is the standard for the legal system, not public opinion. We don't need to treat people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial for multiple homicide like they are the Humanitarians of the Year.

Lavar is of course correct that we should always be open to the possibility that Clements is telling the truth. If we were in the same position, we would want people to give us that benefit of the doubt, too. But innocent until proven guilty does not mean that we, the public, need to ignore the available evidence until the jury rules. We can form our own opinion and consider Clements in that light until new information is revealed.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | August 31, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Lavar, but it's really hard to believe the guy. We're supposed to buy that Clemens' trainer supplied his wife and good friend with HGH, and not him?

Posted by: Andymr | August 31, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I will not comment on Clemens. But Mr. Arrington and some comments that followed show how this US’ School system has failed its populous. It would appear that Schools completely dropped their Civics or Government curriculums.
"Innocent until proven guilty" What a misunderstood and overused catch phrase. First there is nothing in the constitution that specifically guarantees this. It is phrase and/or concept borrowed from French and English case law that the courts have said is supported by the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments. The specific Supreme Court case in which the phrase is uttered is from 1895 which for those keeping score at home was more than 100 years after the Constitution was ratified. Also those who believe “Judges legislate from the bench” this decision could be considered one of those times.
To be clear I am not saying it is wrong. My complaint is with the lack of knowledge or context that people, like Mr. Arrington, assert such terms.
Ok so in a court of law this simply means that a jury must presume BEFORE ANY EVIDENCE is entered that the state cannot prove its case. One word out of a witness’s mouth could convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant is guilty. But for some reason the great majority of jurors do not understand that standard either. There has been an ever heightening of this bar. Courts are not required to define this term as a result of various cases. The claim is normally that any definition will only confuse the jury instead of clarifying. If the State goes too far in defining the reasonable doubt standard it is likely to be overturned and returned for retrial. Sadly the great majority of the Judges who advance to State Appellate and all Federal Cts rarely interact with the citizenry who make up juries at the state level, the populous that their edicts affect the most. They fail to consider that an urban jury is made up of people whose education level rarely exceeds 12 years of Education and normally averages closer to 10 years (Soph yr HS). Instead they write opinions geared towards people with a minimum of 16 yrs and more likely 19-20 yrs of education. Leaving Lawyers in those courtrooms to explain to civics and make closing arguments at the same time. Lawyers regularly use making the decision to buy a house as an example of beyond a reasonable doubt. This too is lacking. Not to mention the increasing cynicism the populous has. Crime and Legal dramas show extremes, the innocent being charged and railroaded or the Defense confessing. As Americans we love the OK corral solution. The Law puts the criminal down with a justified shooting that brings finality and closure. But in real life juries find defendants Not Guilty because the testimony of an Officer “ain’t evidence.” Yes Mr. Clemens is innocent until proven guilty but proving someone guilty is not the monumental task such a phrase elicits.

Posted by: Hank4 | August 31, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I will never believe that the Piazza broken-bat incident was anything but roid-rage.

Posted by: giscone | August 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Great blog LaVar

I am happy for you

I think you will do well



Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Welcome LaVar. You bring up a good point, why would he risk going to jail? Or maybe he's trying desperately to hold onto his legacy and hoping he's found not guilty.

Or maybe he is innocent, which would be a travesty of justice to have been pulled through the mud by a plea-dealing informant.

As you wrote, Clemens is innocent until proven guilty, so we'll have to just wait and see what develops.

Posted by: janet8 | August 31, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Federal charges are serious, and usually backed up by evidence. My bet is that at some point Roger will plea bargain, once he reviews the evidence, and is advised by his lawyer of the consequences. Sorry, Clemens is probably guilty as charged.

Posted by: 189AROD | August 31, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to think Clemens is hiding something. However, I think Arrington makes an excellent point for the following reasons:

Shirley Sherrod was a racist ... except she wasn't.

Three Duke lacrosse players gang-raped a stripper ... except they didn't.

Dr. Steven Hatfill was the anthrax mailer ... except he wasn't.

Richard Jewell was the Atlanta Olympic bomber ... except he wasn't.

All were tried and convicted in the court of public opinion before they were exonerated.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 31, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

SilverSpring8, I agree with those cases. The way the Duke Lacrosse players were slammed by the media and Duke faculty still upsets me to this day. The main difference between Clemens and all of those cases is that he brought all of this upon himself. After being mentioned in the Mitchell report, he demanded the Congressional hearings so he could deflect everything onto McNamee, Pettitte and even his own wife. He didn't offer up any credible evidence to back up his claims that everyone but him was guilty, except for saying that everyone else had misremembered everything. It's just really really really hard to belive that he didn't commit perjury.

Posted by: Andymr | August 31, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

SilverSpring8 is correct in those examples.

But to be fair:

Marion Jones said she never used steroids. . . until she confessed she used steroids.

Pete Rose said he never bet on baseball. . . until he confessed that he did.

Rafael Palmario swore he never used steroids. . . until he failed a drug test.

The evidence and facts will either exonerate or convict Clemens.

Posted by: kalinferno | August 31, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Clemens has reached the point where he's lied for so long that he now believes his own story. Unfortunately for him, George Mitchell, Brian McNamee, a grand jury and the federal government aren't buying it.

The word is hubris.

Posted by: drischord | August 31, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

whatever on the verdict about the truth/lies about steroid and/or hgh use. Pettitte can only testify to what Clemens and McNamee told him ... he cannot testify to actually seeing Clemens use. The pettitte testimony is certainly relevant, but not critical.

The lie that is going to hang Clemens is the one that he had no idea that anyone on the Mitchell investigation wanted to talk to him ... Pettitte testified in detail that his agent (the Hendricks Brothers, the SAME agent that serve Clemens) contacted him and told Pettitte that Mitchell wanted to talk to him. It is completely unbelievable that the agent contacted Pettitte and did not tell his other client Clemens!!

That is the lie that Clemens cannot escape... it was a stupid lie... and the one he just can't wiggle out of!!


Posted by: awakened2joy | September 1, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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