Americans love their three-day weekends. How happy do you suppose the jurors in the Roger Clements perjury case were to get Memorial Day weekend off from testimony? They could go home and watch the Indianapolis 500 on TV, sneak in a couple of NBA playoff games, or just catch up with routine doings of their favorite MLB teams. They could cut the lawn. They could take out the trash.
Don’t laugh. Compared to the happenings in the trial, it seems quite possible that lawn-cutting and trash-toting might rank higher on the entertainment list for the jurors than the trial that will make a huge difference in how the former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees pitcher is perceived by baseball fans and how his legacy is treated by Hall of Fame voters.
In the big scheme of things, as citizens struggle to put food on the table or pay rent for the roof over the head, and Americans are still dying overseas in Afghanistan, not a lot of people really care what happens in this court proceeding in the effort to discover, or prove, whether or not the one-time fastball king lied to Congress about his habits involving performance-enhancing drugs.
The trial has been going on for weeks and let’s just say that when it comes to courtroom shows this has been neither Perry Mason nor Judge Judy for drama. At last report (and counting) the presiding judge has caught three jurors napping during the live action. Don’t know whether or not snoring alerted the courtroom boss, but three jurors nodding off is kind of embarrassing. You also have to wonder if others didn’t sneak a little bit of shut-eye in the halls of justice, but avoided being caught.
During the course of his 24-year pitching career Clemens won 354 games and struck out 4,672 batters. An 11-time All-Star, he earned the right to be viewed as one of the best players in baseball history. This trial goes to the credibility of his results, just how much he accomplished on his own and just how much may have been aided by supplemental drugs.
Clemens was good at punching out batters, as strikeouts are sometimes referred to, but it seems the goings on in the courtroom are good at knocking out listeners. Did Clemens take drugs or not? Did Clemens lie about it or not? Did his accusers come off as credible or not? It would be ironic if jurors decide they have to ingest performance-enhancing supplements laced with caffeine to make sure they can stay awake long enough to decide if Clements took shots in the butt to allow him to stay sharp long enough on the mound to win so many games.
I don’t know about you, but it seems pretty bizarre that people like workout guru Brian McNamee would keep used needles and other paraphrenalia for years after injecting The Rocket Man with boosts. There’s sports memorabilia and there’s sports memorabilia, but this would be the weirdest collectible in all of the sport’s history.
Of course, Clemens is not actually on trial for taking steroids or another drug. He is on trial for allegedly lying to Congress about what he did. In the arena of public and baseball assessment, it is the same thing. It just doesn’t seem as if the public cares much about the outcome of this. The case does not seem to exactly be generating the buzz of a trial of the century, or even this week’s trial of the century.
The best I can glean from reading comments by the judge or legal analysts is that we have about two more weeks to go before the season finale, and hopefully, the series finale. Stay tuned.