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In our view / Tale of two pitchers

Justice served, high & hard

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At age 49, former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer became the oldest player to win a major league game Wednesday as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. It's a great feat, accomplished by an athlete who is respected on and off the field.
Meanwhile, at age 49, former pitcher Roger Clemens and his legal team prepared for his perjury retrial by the government on charges he misled a House committee during hearings on steroid use in sports in 2008.
The Tale of Two Pitchers is instructive; the perjury retrial, not so much.
We have the hard-working hero, Moyer, never overpowering on the mound, but crafty and consistent. We have the anti-hero Clemens, who was once a hard-throwing, seven-time Cy Young-winning star known as a "headhunter" and "expletive deleted."
Clemens has long denied any steroid use, even as former teammates lined up to confess.
So why isn't it satisfying to think of Clemens being challenged on his denial of steroid use, which no one believes?
What could stir up some sympathy for Clemens? A belated, overzealous, costly congressional court proceeding, that's what.
Just as Congress got all outraged at the spendy Las Vegas antics of the General Services Administration this week, prospective jurors in the Clemens retrial also questioned the cost, and use, of pursuing the case.
Clemens is accused of lying when he said he never used steroids at the 2008 congressional hearing and at a deposition that preceded it. The mistrial was called after the government showed the jury evidence that had been ruled inadmissible.
One potential juror said he felt "it was a little bit ridiculous" when Congress held hearings on drug use in sports because he felt the government should have been focusing on bigger problems, Politico reported. Asked whether he thought it was wasteful for Congress to hold the steroid hearings, he responded, "Yes."
He was kept in the juror pool, as was the woman who recalled the 2008 hearing by saying, "At the time, I remember thinking it didn't seem to be a great use of taxpayer money," Politico reported.
Americans like winners, which is why Clemens was so popular while he was playing. But Americans don't like cheaters, liars, poor sports or losers, which is why they soured on Clemens as his career wound down in non-superstar fashion and entered the legal realm.
But Americans also have short memories, embrace second chances and dislike "Big Goverment." Clemens' career and reputation are forever tainted, retrial or not. The anti-Clemens, Jamie Moyer, continues to play and win. Justice seems to have been served without Congress.

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