Sunday, January 06, 2008

Are the Individual Rights of Roger Clemens Being Violated ?

Major League Baseball, it appears, is filled with players who cheat.

Bud Selig's earlier statements to the contrary now sound like Claude Rains' comment to Humphrey Bogart in the film classic Casa Blanca -- he was "shocked, shocked, that gambling is going on in Casa Blanca."

One need only look at the transformation from skinny kid to superhero physique of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Jose Cansceco to know that something out of the ordinary was going on.
First, former Senator George Mitchell's long anticipated report names almost 100 major league ball players as users of steroids or human growth hormone based on potentially questionable testimony. Clemens is named in the report as a user of human growth hormone based on the testimony of a clubhouse trainer, and now the superstar is presumed guilty by the public at large.

The whole circus is painfully reminiscent of the Senator Joe McCarthy hearings in the United States Senate of the early 1950's, where reputations and careers were ruined by sometimes unfounded charges and allegations.

Apparently, a number of people don't like Mr. Clemens. He's an arrogant prima donna, they say. He's selfish, they say.

Perhaps so.

But even wealthy arrogant jerks who are American citizens are entitled to fair trials by jury conducted under rules of evidence.

California Congressman Henry Waxman, a Democrat and Chairman of a powerful committee in the US House of Representatives apparently thinks Mr. Clemens public denials of the allegations against him in the Mitchell Report require a public show trial, and has issued a subpoena to Mr. Clemens and his accuser, a former Yankees trainer, to adjudicate the matter later this month in public testimony before a committe of the US Congress.

Is this fair ?

I don't think so. It sounds like a circus, intent on creating headlines for politicians, and oblivious to the individual rights of Mr. Clemens, the trainer in question, and certainly not something likely to do very much to solve the problem of steroid and human growth hormone abuse in Major League Baseball.

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