Beyond Golf — 19 June 2012 by Jim Street
Pondering Rocket’s HOF vote

Not guilty? You gotta be kidding me.

That was my first reaction when I heard that a jury in Washington, D.C.,  had acquitted Roger Clemens on the six charges he faced for, among other things, lying to Congress.

First of all, I have wondered for a long time why it is OK for Congress to lie to the people, but not OK for the people to lie to Congress. But I regress.

Anyway,I was not totally surprised because the government’s lawyers already had botched the case so badly that anything but acquittal would be stunning. If the feds couldn’t prove that Barry Bonds was a PED cheater, then how in the heck would they prove Clemens was a cheater?

I think the Congress should concentrate on far more important things, such as the economy, than spending millions of dollars on trying to prosecute athletes.

Now that The Rocket has been found “not guilty” by a jury that probably wants his autograph, it’s time to move on and the next phase of this story occurs later this year when the Baseball Writers Association of America sends ballots to the 700-plus Hall of Fame voters.

I am one of the fortunate ones that get to vote and my decision has not yet been made on whether or not I will vote for Clemens – or any of the others associated by the PED issue. That includes the likes of Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Jeff Bagwell. I have not yet voted for any of them.

Now what?

A court of law has ruled that Clemens did not lie. If that’s the case, the Mitchell Report is totally bogus and MLB should apologize to each and every person mentioned in the report – except for those who already have admitted that they used PED, i.e. Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte.

But even that wouldn’t help me all that much in deciding who deserves my HOF vote.

Clemens clearly was the best right-handed pitcher I saw during my 40 years as a sportswriter. (Randy Johnson is the best left-hander I saw). The Big Unit is a shoo-in for the HOF. A first ballot selection for sure.

What to do about Clemens – and the others PEDers.

Right now, I am leaning against voting for any of them – unless the HOF decides that any elected player that played during the so-called “steroid era” would have that included on his HOF plaque. That would clear the way for me to vote for the likes of Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and eventually A-Rod, just to mention a few.

Another approach would be to attend the HOF induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next month and take a poll of the already-inducted Hall of Famers on whether they would vote for anyone associated with PEDs.

Regardless, it will be a tough call and not one I am looking forward to making.

Related Articles

Share

About Author

avatar
Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

(0) Readers Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *