BOSTON (CBS) – It is, to me at least, one of the most uninteresting questions to have been the center of so much debate and costly legal maneuvering — did former Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens use performance-enhancing drugs during his career?

His former trainer and some of his former teammates say yes; Clemens says no, and has risked just about everything he has on that insistence.

He didn’t have to submit a deposition to the congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball, and he didn’t have to testify in person when they held their televised hearings.

But he did, and because his story is widely contradicted by others, he is now in federal court fighting off a possible criminal sentence for lying to Congress.

And based on what we’re seeing early on, the trial promises to chew up hundreds of thousands of tax dollars and make many rich lawyers even richer.

So while I do consider perjury a very serious crime, and certainly don’t condone lying to Congress, any more than I condone them lying to us, I have to wonder – is this really the best possible use — or even a rational use — of the court’s precious time and the public’s scarce resources?

I get it that Congress has a special interest in baseball’s integrity because of the antitrust exemption, but I recall their steroid hearings as a forum for political posturing and celebrity star-gazing.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

I see no reason why baseball shouldn’t just be ordered to clean up its act while Congress moves on to other matters far more worthy of their attention.

And I really see no reason why all this time and money should be spent crucifying Clemens, who should just take a polygraph test and if he flunks it, pay several million in fines and get lost.

Do we really want him taking up a prison cell from someone guilty of a more serious crime than being dumb?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (17)
  1. Stephen Stein says:

    Lying to Congress may be the most selectively prosecuted offense in history. Before going after Clemens, let’s start with RJ Reynolds CEO James Johnston for his 1994 whopper: “Cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definition of addiction.”

    Talk about blowing smoke!

  2. sick of hearing about steroids says:

    The only reason it might be worth it is so others won’t think they can get away with lying to Congress.

    Other than that, Why don’t we just give everyone who took steroids amnesty (to save all of the money spent on trials) because that was the culture back then, and from here on, we test players religiously.

  3. Pete says:

    Hey Keller, I’ll tell you why the trial is worth it…….for the young children out there who look up to these overpaid cheaters. Perhaps it just might teach them a good lesson

  4. tsal says:

    We do have so many other important things to worry about but then isn’t integrity important? There is so little of it – especially in sports. I agree with Pete’s comment. Clemens is bigger than life to many kids – partly because of talent and more so because of ego which kids do not understand. I hate that records of those using steroids are compared to the many truly talented baseball players who would never have considered taking steroids.

  5. BostonIrish says:

    There’s no question that Clemens has put himself in this position. But I believe that Congress needs to let baseball police it’s own. If baseball allows this sort of behavior to go on then maybe kids should be watching and emulating some other sport. And if baseball contimues to fail being rigid about testing for steroids shame on them. Football, same. Every sport should adopt an anti-steroid policy. But Congress doesn’t need to help sports with forcing good role models on kids.

  6. Boston Resident says:

    “Grossly Overpaid Cheaters” . Why dont we have these Cheats pay for the trial instead of wasting Tax Payers Money….

  7. Denise says:

    Lordy only knows they make enough $$ – they should pay for the expense!

    I think all sports should be regulated – from the salary caps to mandatory drug tests! These guys are over paid and unfortunately not the role models they should be! Who did you look up to when you were a kid – other than maybe your Dad and if you were lucky a teacher that made a difference…. Athletes! Atleast when I was young – you didn’t see the drama the athletes of today create! They’re a bunch of over paid “girly-men”! Grow up!!!

  8. Ed MacMillon says:

    they are ENTERTAINERS, who cares what they do or use to give a better PREFORMANCE. The real world will go on….

  9. jaygee says:

    A waste of money and a waste of time but it will still be worth it just so this pompous boor can be knocked down a few pegs. All he had to do was admit it but his ego wouldn’t allow it so now he has to pay the piper. Bye-bye, Rocket!

  10. blackbear1 says:

    All comments are logical, well stated and well thought out. We probably do not need to be spending public money on an over bloated fool like Clemens. However, my good memory does not forget his “bagging” his last 4 years in Boston and then going on to win a couple of Cy Youngs with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the worst possible example for young people mainly due to his dishonesty and lack of character.

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