Clemens, the AL’s big weekend, Perfect games, no hitters, and one hitters galore, and much more from a big week in baseball.
On Monday afternoon the sad and embarrassing saga of Roger Clemens‘ perjury trial was put to an end. The “not guilty” verdict that was handed on down on all six counts brought against Clemens by the Federal Government. This verdict effectively ends Clemens’ legal battles regarding whether he did or did not use PED’s but the in the court of public opinion he will be tried for decades. To judge whether or not the Federal Government “wasted” millions in taxpayer money isn’t really appropriate. Federal Prosecutors have a job to do, and in an ideal world must bring charges against those who they feel have violated Federal Statutes. In what is now and forever will be known as the “steroid era”, it has become obvious to just about everyone that the use of PED’s was rampant and that some of the baseball’s all-time greats used these PED’s. Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Andy Pettite have all been linked to PED use. Whether or not these players are voted into the Hall Of Fame is a question that only time can answer. My feeling about whether or not these players will be voted into the Hall Of Fame is that eventually they all who deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame based on their numbers will be voted in. They’ll all be “punished” by the writers by not being voted into the Hall Of Fame in their first year of eligibility and possibly for as long as a decade. At some point though, I believe that the perspective that time will provide will soften the view on these players and their actions enough to allow their entry into Cooperstown. They’ll get their yearly visits to the gathering on the famed veranda at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, where Chef Gregory will prepare them an incredible meal while they sip beverages looking out over Otsego Lake.
Nothing about this era, its criminal trials, apologies, or aftermath has been positive for the sport. Its causes can’t be traced to one specific event or person. Every player who used PED’s had his own reasons and rationalizations for doing so and to those who think that all or most of the violators have been named? I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you very cheap. It is normal and expected for people to want to blame someone or something for this era. Selig and the owners? Yes, it is very safe to assume that some of them had an idea about what was going on. The players themselves? Of course, They knew what they were doing to their bodies.
While many have stated that players were forced to do this to compete and keep up with those looking to take their jobs, it isn’t a good enough reason. Lets just make sure that we all take a look at ourselves before we assign that blame. While there were a scant few who hinted that perhaps all was not kosher with the increase in home runs, batting averages, and speed of fastballs in MLB during this era, most of us wanted to believe that this was legitimate. Most fans and writers looked the other way and suppressed that little voice in their head that was saying “this isn’t possible”. Did I know that it wasn’t logical that all of a sudden guys named McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds were suddenly supposed to possess so much power? Yes, I did. Did I know that most pitchers weren’t all of a sudden supposed to be humming fastballs in the mid to high 90’s? Yes, I did. Did I push these thoughts back deep into my mind? Yes, I did, and I don’t think I’m different from anyone else. Most of us loved the exciting power, action, and performances that this era provided us as fans and we didn’t protest or call these performances into question. It is my fervent belief that most people who express anger and outrage over what these players did are really just as angry at themselves for being taken in by this era.
I have made it clear since the departure of Jesus Montero that the Yankees need to add a legitimate hitter, advocating for Chase Headley, Seth Smith, Clint Robinson, Billy Butler & Daniel Murphy among others. However, since Cashman seems intent on signing an over-the-hill DH from the Free Agent trash heap that still remains, I have a recommendation for him. Give Manny Ramirez a look.
This article from MLB.com explains Manny’s situation as it seems Oakland is zeroing in on him:
Baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com that A’s officials recently traveled to Florida to observe Ramirez’s workouts. If the two sides reach an agreement, Ramirez would earn slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000, according to the Associated Press.
We already know all of the reasons not to sign Manny, but under the circumstances, almost all risk is mitigated. He will make absolutely nothing – available for the league minimum. And although he will face a 50 game suspension, he is permitted to play in Spring Training games and Extended Spring Training Games. So the team that signs him will get a long look at him to evaluate what he has left in the tank. If it’s nothing, he can be dropped at anytime for no cost since I don’t believe he can even collect his salary while suspended. Billy Beane may be making a wise move even though he already has plenty of options at OF and DH. Manny will be eligible around June and if he shows promise, Beane will trade him to a contender.