Keeping Score

Three Strikes: Clemens Indicted for Perjury

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A federal grand jury has indicted Roger Clemens, the former star pitcher who was fingered as a steroid user by baseball’s Mitchell Report, on perjury charges relating to his February 2008 Congressional testimony, in which he denied using steroids under oath.

During that hearing, Clemens infamously said that his friend Andy Pettitte “misremembered” a conversation the pair had about Clemens’ alleged use of human growth hormone. Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former trainer who has said he injected the pitcher with steroids, and steroid whistleblower Jose Canseco, whose accusations of rampant drug use among players have mostly proven true, have recently testified before the Clemens grand jury.

Expect two reactions from baseball fans. One group will cheer Clemens’ indictment, and hope that federal prosecutors can finally punish the player who so brazenly cheated the game (lawyers aren’t having much success on the Barry Bonds case: Bonds too was indicted for perjury, but the case has dragged, and prosecutors have encountered several hiccups). The other will just yawn, as surprised or interested in this news as they were about Brett Favre returning to the Vikings. The retired Clemens has largely disappeared from public view. He’s irrelevant, and the public has clearly suffered some steroid fatigue.

Indicting Lance Armstrong would cause a stir. With Clemens, expect a bit of a shrug. Though the Rocket may clearly regret that day he coined the term “misremembered.”

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