In 2007, Former Democrat Senate leader George Mitchell produced a 409-page report filled with allegations of substance abuse by a handful of major league baseball stars, including Cy Young pitcher Roger Clemens and power hitter Barry Bonds.
Five years, roughly $120 million and hundreds of man hours later - man hours that include those of various members of congress – we have the game stats. In baseball terms, Congress struck out every time it went to bat save one foul ball that glanced off Barry Bond’s cup.
Mitchell lobbed the accusation that these men were guilty of injecting performance enhancing drugs. The players took the field and, ultimately, steroid accusations notwithstanding, knocked the ball right out of the hallowed halls of justice, making Mitchell and Rep. Henry Arnold Waxman, the Los Angeles Democrat that captained the congressional team, look like benchwarmers.
As of yesterday, Mitchell, Waxman, his congressional committee and a small army of prosecutors’ game against the baseball greats was over and the score is as lopsided as the national budget. Scoreboard: Congress- zip; Baseball Greats – massive attorney expenses and lost reputations; Lawyers – over a $100 million from taxpayers approved by congress.
Esteemed Rep. Henry Arnold Waxman of Los Angeles, member of Congress since 1975 and committee chairman presenting the Mitchell Report that accused MLB players like Roger Clemens of using performance enhancement drugs, only managed to put Barry Bonds under house arrest for 30 days with two years probation. That’s it.
For his part, Clemens, the prosecution’s primary target who they claimed lied to congress – insert pun here – was acquitted on all six counts of lying to congress. That would be the same congress that approved about $5.5 trillion in deficit spending since 2008, the year congressional hearings began against Clemens and the others.
Perhaps Bonds and Clemens should take the bar exam and start a law firm. They certainly have more talent than the hapless politicians who drew congress into the business of policing professional athletes.
In the end, the government had no real evidence to prove its case, only the ever-changing testimony of Brian McNamee, the strength trainer whose yarn even congressional investigators and prosecutors agree evolved throughout the trial.
McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and with HGH in 2000, but his story changed over the years and the only evidence was a hypodermic needle kept in a beer can for years.
While I don’t ingest illegal drugs and certainly don’t advocate others do so, Waxman represents a state that is running a $19 billion budget deficit in a country that has a $17 trillion collective deficit.
Clemens, otherwise known as The Rocket, played 23 seasons, hurled 4, 672 strike outs and won seven Cy Young awards, the most ever bestowed by major league baseball. Besides his outstanding baseball performance, he was his own flawless witness against massive government prosecutorial forces and a hostile congress.
If Henry A. Waxman and his congressional committee cohorts would represent their constituents like Clemens played baseball for his fans, perhaps more Americans could afford to attend a game now and then.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com