Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Clemens should let McNamee lawsuit go

Roger Clemens was known as a real bulldog, a positive trait for baseball player, but one that is not serving him well in retirement.

The former New York Yankees pitcher has appealed the dismissal of most of his lawsuit against former trainer Roger McNamee. His name was mentioned more than 80 times in the report by former Senator George Mitchell about steroids use in baseball, in large part due to McNamee's information. Clemens has always denied McNamee's descriptions of his steroid use, even asserting his innocence in front of Congress in 2008.

Clemens really should let this go. Trying to revive his lawsuit only reminds people that Clemens has been outed as a steroids user. It also makes Clemens look like a bully. McNamee talked to Mitchell under threat of prosecution. He really didn't have much of a choice in the matter. Clemens does.

Keeping the lawsuit alive also doesn't serve Clemens well as he approaches eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Unlike with Mark McGwire, there are arguments that Clemens could get in based on his stats before his reported steroid use began. I don't buy that. First of all we don't know for sure whether Clemens steroid use began in Toronto with the Blue Jays or during his glory days with the Boston Red Sox. And since we don't know that, it's impossible to separate his career into clean and dirty phases.
I have consistently argued that players outed as steroid users should be banned from the hall. Clemens should not be an exception.
Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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