Roger Clemens was acquitted on all charges that he lied to Congress about using performance-enhancing substances.
Defending himself against scurrilous charges found in the disgraceful Mitchell Report, Clemens has won. As Buster Olney in his ESPN blog wrote, Clemens was included in the former senator's report based solely on the word of one person that is named Brian McNamee.
Enough members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will reject the jury's decision. They will prevent Clemens from getting into the Hall of Fame. Enough writers will draw conclusions based upon incomplete evidence or ignore fairness. Most Americans will approve of the writers' actions.
The fact that less proof is needed to indict Clemens in the "court of public opinion" illustrates the patent bias and iniquitous views of most Americans. The concept of innocent until proved otherwise is being eroded in the court system. It almost is non-existent with respect to athletes.
Clemens claims that he never used performance-enhancing substances. The fact that some of his greatest seasons occurred after he was 34-years-old is cited as evidence that he must have done something 'wrong" to regain his form.
In 1996, Clemens had a terrible season, at least by standards adhered to by "experts" that draw erroneous conclusions.
Clemens was 10-13, but the evidence that a pitcher's won-lost record is one of the least accurate measurements of his effectiveness is growing.
Clemens worked 242.2 innings, allowing 216 hits or only eight innings per nine innings. He had a magnificent 139 ERA+ and led the league with 257 strikeouts. That folks, is more than one strikeout per inning.
He had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 7.7, which was second best in the league. His bad 1996 season was one of the best ever by a losing pitcher in baseball history.
In his two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Clemens won 20 games each season. He had an amazing 222 ERA+ in 1996 and an excellent 174 ERA+ in 1997.
When he joined the New York Yankees, Clemens' production dropped off precipitously. He won only 14 games, his ERA+ dropped from 174 to 102, his WHIP dropped from 1.095 to 1.465 and his strikeout total went from 271 to 163.
That folks, is what happens to pitchers, even the best ones. Clemens rebounded, regained his form, and finished his career as one of baseball's greatest pitchers.
As Ken Davidoff of the New York Post pointed out, "...if Clemens never gets his day in Cooperstown, does that say more about Clemens, or does that say more about the Hall of Fame voters?"