Now that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner has been acquitted in federal court, will ‘the Rocket’ make it to the Hall of Fame?
Rogers Clemens may have beaten the Feds in court on all six charges stemming from allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs and lied about it to Congress, but he must battle criticism as he waits to be voted into the MLB Hall of Fame.
Roger Clemens is the latest in a series of high-profile sports figures to frustrate the federal government’s attempts at prosecuting those suspected of using steroids.
Roger Clemens battled accusations that he used performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormone (HGH) for 4 ½ years after his former trainer Brian McNamee told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he had injected Clemens with steroids and HGH between 16 to 21 times during 1998, 2000 and 2001.
A jury of eight women and four men acquitted Roger Clemens Monday on six counts of lying to Congress and obstruction of justice.
Now that the trial has ended, the public must consider whether or not they will witness Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, in Cooperstown.
“A guilty verdict would have damaged his reputation,” NBC’s Bob Costas replied when asked about Clemens. “It remains to be seen how much or if this verdict helps it.”
Costas will not have a ballot as only veteran members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America have the ability to vote for admission into the Hall.
“I think some people will assume that he may very well have lied, but that the government couldn’t prove it,” stated former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent. “They may have real reservations about his record in light of those questions. But I think it modestly improves his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame.”
Current MLB commissioner Bud Selig has not issued a statement regarding the verdict.
It is not clear whether Clemens will be elected to the Hall of Fame as his reputation has taken a severe hit in recent years. Even with stellar career stats, his status as a Hall of Famer is far from concrete.
Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro have already learned that allegations of steroid abuse can prevent one from reaching the Hall. Both were looked over for admission into the Hall despite distinguished careers.
“I think the voters have already spoken, with McGwire and Palmeiro. I don’t see him getting into the Hall of Fame as a first-year eligible,” said ESPN baseball analyst and reporter Tim Kurkjian. Kurkjian, a Hall of Fame voter, plans to vote for Roger Clemens.
Allegations of steroid abuse aside, Roger Clemens career as a pitcher is historic. With a 354- 184 record, 3.12 career ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, Clemens would make an excellent first-ballot Hall of Famer. But only time will tell.