The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Rod Jetton in the 5 Hole

[Click here for a link to the entire RP Debate on Roger Clemens]

Yes, Roger Clemens should be admitted and given an extra award for being dragged through the dirt!
It seems the government and our Congressional leaders should have more dangerous criminals to track down and go after.
I fear this all started because a few Congressional leaders wanted some headlines and signed baseballs from the superstars.  I’m sure some serious steroid use was going on, and we know it is unhealthy for the players and should not be an example for the young kids, but surely we can let baseball police their own sport.
To me it was all a big waste of money and probably ruined many lives.

The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Artur Davis Cleans Up

[Click here for a link to the entire RP Debate on Roger Clemens]

I appreciate that Roger Clemens is no sympathetic character. Even before his brain and emotions might have been addled by steroids, he could be graceless to an extreme: the few black fans left in baseball winced after he stupidly said he wished he could crack Hank Aaron’s head open when Aaron had the temerity to suggest a pitcher shouldn’t win a season MVP award. It was a dumb, brutal joke that echoed the savage letters Aaron received in the throes of his home run record chase. There was also no grace in the Roger Clemens who could erupt at umpires or batters, and who tended to do it most when his skills weren’t working. There are a host of fans who see nothing but a perennial evader of responsibility in Clemens, and I sympathize.

But the Hall of Fame is a baseball venue and the only relevance of his misdeeds is whether they influenced the stats that make the player’s candidacy (I would say the same for Pete Rose, whose tawdriness never included betting to influence his own games).

Accepting the standard that it’s best to freeze Clemens’ candidacy as of 1998–pre Brian McNamee–I lean toward admission for Roger Clemens, but don’t see the baseball case as nearly as one-sided as some comments on the thread suggest. Clemens’ Red Sox career approximated 16 wins a years for twelve years–exceptional and consistent, but there were outlier years like the masterpiece in 86 balanced against a run of seasons in the early nineties when Clemens seemed past his prime, and an undeniable pattern of erosion. Then there is the mediocrity of his post-season work for the Red Sox, when the rap was that Clemens seemed to fatigue by October (a precursor of why he might have turned to enhancers). The two Toronto Cy Young years (and 41 additional wins) are clouded, perhaps unfairly, by the proximity to his alleged introduction to steroids, and the murkiness around when the cheating might have started.

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The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Artur Davis Cleans Up

The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Greg Harris Bats Third

[Click here for a link to the entire RP Debate on Roger Clemens]

I do not think ball players should be banned from the Hall of Fame for moral reasons not having to do with performance.  

As a Reds fan, which everyone knows is the greatest sports franchise on the history of the planet, it bother me that “hit king” Pete Rose is still barred from the Hall for activities having nothing to do with his performance on the field as a player.  (Ok, not totally relevant to this debate, but I just had to say that.)

As for players who took performance enhancing drugs, they should not be given a place in the Hall.  
Their stats were jacked because they were juiced.  But Clemens was found innocent, and it’s not for the Hall to try and convict him.  So let him in.

The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: The RP in the Second Hole

[Click here for a link to the entire RP Debate on Roger Clemens]

Should Roger Clemens be admitted to the Hall of Fame?

That’s a clown question, bro.

Clemens was one of the 5 best pitchers of all time, AND he’s been vindicated through an extensive and painful court process.  Whether or not the sportswriters agree with the jury’s verdict last week, that’s how our democracy works.

The tougher call– moral and practical — concerns whether others who have admitted, or have been suspected of, steroid use should be prohibited from entering the Hall of Fame.

I don’t believe that steroid use — and obviously then, suspicion thereof — PRIOR TO Major League Baseball’s crackdown on performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) should be a barrier to entry. This is a critical distinction.  Players such as Manny Ramirez are an easy case — he continued to use PEDs long after Baseball announced stiffer penalties — despite his contribution to the Red Sox resurrection in 2004, he’s done.  (Ryan Braun is a much tougher call, and not just because he’s my favorite Jewish player.  I agreed with the decision to reverse his suspension based on technicality — again, that is how our system of due process works — but I’m hopeful that in the years to come, the issue will be clairified.)

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The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: The RP in the Second Hole

The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Steve Schulman Leads Off

As an irregular feature, Mondays at The Recovering Politician are sometimes reserved for great debates among the contributing RPs and Friends of RP.  Click here for a link to the prior debates.
Today, the following question is posed:  Should superstar pitcher Roger Clemens, recently acquitted of lying about using performance enhancing steroids, be admitted to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame?
Steven Schulman, this site’s resident baseball expert — and the second best owner in his fantasy baseball league — leads off:
First, a few disclaimers:  Roger Clemens was for many years my favorite baseball player.  Until he signed with the Yankees.  Then he was dead to me.
Ok, that’s behind us.  The question is whether the acquittal of Clemens on the charges of lying to Congress and obstruction of justice make him more or less likely to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and, in any case, whether he should be elected notwithstanding the charges (both legal and moral) against him.
The realist point of view is that the writers who are empowered to elect players to the Hall of Fame are highly unlikely to be persuaded by the verdict in a criminal proceeding.  The prosecution’s burden in a criminal court is to prove the facts “beyond a reasonable doubt.”   For Hall of Fame voters, the burden appears to be “well, I personally think so, for whatever reason.” For their own reasons – either moral objections or simple embarrassment that they themselves failed to uncover (or to reveal their own knowledge of) steroid use – writers are objecting to anyone from the 1990s into this century who even has a hint of steroid use.
Jeff Bagwell – who ranks among the best first basement ever (in the major leagues, not just my Rotisserie baseball team) – has failed in two tries to be elected to the Hall of Fame, simply because his body type and the era in which he played raise suspicions of steroid use.  Accordingly, Clemens’s acquittal will hardly move the needle for the knights of the keyboard who guard the gates to Cooperstown. 

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The RPs Debate Roger Clemens: Steve Schulman Leads Off

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