Former New York Yankees pitcher and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens was acquitted on all six federal counts of perjury today after 10 hours of jury deliberations.
Clemens was indicted in 2010 on “three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress” stemming from 2008 testimony he made before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating the use of performing-enhancing drugs in baseball.
The jury, made up of eight women and four men deemed Clemens was also not guilty of all 13 obstructive acts alleged in the obstruction charge. Clemens’ first trial ended in a mistrial due to prosecution error.
The story goes back to the 2007 Mitchell Report in which Clemens was named as user of steroids and Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Clemens testified before a Congressional committee that he did not take performance enhancing drugs of any kind.
Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee became the focal point after that as he sat before the same group and claimed he did in fact inject Clemens with performance enhancing drugs from 1998 – 2001 while he pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays (’98) and the Yankees. Clemens countered that McNamee only injected him with vitamin B-12 shots.
The next star witness was Clemens’ good friend, teammate and current Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. Pettitte initially told Congress of a conversation he had with Clemens in which he believed Clemens told him that he used HGH. During the trial when the defense asked Pettitte if there was a 50/50 chance he could be mistaken of the actual conversation, Pettitte answered “I’d say that’s fair.”
After the verdict was rendered, Clemens had this to say:
“It’s been a hard five years,” Clemens said. “Obviously for the last four and a half, five years, I wasn’t able to say anything. I’m really thankful for the (friends) that took time to get on a plane. And all you media guys that have been following my career…” Clemens then choked up before continuing, saying he had put in “a lot of hard work in that career.” – via NY Daily News
Clemens won 354 games in a 24-year career, five of which he spent with the Yankees. He is #3 on the all-time strikeouts list with 4,672.
Check back here tomorrow as the Yanks Go Yard staff will give you their reactions in a round-table forum. The question I put to them is simply, “What is your reaction to the Clemens verdict?” We’re sure to have mixed feelings about this. What are your thoughts? Please let us know in the comments.