>This is an Oped printed in the NY Times a few days ago. It has relevance for Yankee fans because one of their own may soon face a similar set of events. Roger Clemens is accused of lying under oath about whether or not he ever took steroids.
Without being judgmental about Clemens, one can safely say that with the trainer’s testimony – the man who has nothing to gain and already has lost much credibility – and recently retired Yankee pitching sensation Andy Pettit the prosecution has the better case. Time will tell. Roger has done one thing well in his favor. He has been consistent. He has never hinted at taking steroids. In fact, he insists he is innocent. For whatever it’s worth, his wife, an athletic trainer, will also testify of Roger’s innocence.
As a former college and semi-pro player who loves the game of baseball I’m biased. I feel it is a great assault for a player to cheat – which using drugs amounts to. How many of those home runs could Barry Bonds have hit – how many victories did Roger Clemens chalk up – due to steroids, no one will ever know. I would say for a hitter to beef up, as they do while using drugs, it is a much bigger advantage than for a pitcher because command is so much of the game of baseball.
Can you throw the ball harder when you’re on steroids? Yes, maybe for a while. But the body deteroriates under added stress. I would say a year or two of that and you get a sore arm every time you throw a ball because you are putting more pressure on the arm than it can handle beafed-up or not. So, I believe any steroids a pitcher would take would not benefit him as much as that for a power hitter. So what do I know?
My thoughts are not at all germane because that’s not the issue. The issue is did they take the drug or not and did they lie about it before a court or in Clemens case before Congress.
To all of it I have a tendency to say, so what? We as sports fans and former players have our own lives to worry about. But fair is fair and if we hope to maintain some sort of decency in the sport it is important to prosecute the offenders. It is important to have these cases adjudicated, if for no other reason than as a deterrent for future players and a strong statement to our youth. Don White
Selecting Jury for Bonds Is Hard in Giants Country