Friday, August 20, 2010
It's less surprising that Roger Clemens was indicted for perjury yesterday than it is that it took this long to indict him, but the legal process is not known to move at breakneck speed.
In a streamlined judiciary, a grand jury would have been convened within 10 minutes of Clemens' February 2008 appearance before a U.S. congressional committee on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, and he'd have been indicted, convicted and sentenced by suppertime.
It didn't have to happen this way. Clemens was the one who insisted on appearing before Congress, apparently believing that his star power combined with the time-honored "deny, deny, deny" defence strategy would both dazzle and bamboozle the committee members. Instead, bemused congressman heard the seven-time Cy Young Award winner deliver the lamest denial since notorious Hollywood womanizer Chico Marx told his wife he wasn't kissing another woman - he was whispering in her mouth.
It's a measure of the enormity of his ego that Clemens thought he could get away with any of it. Had he come clean or just kept his mouth shut, the worst that could have happened is that Clemens would be rebuffed by Hall of Fame voters, but he's so caught up in delusions of grandeur that he voluntarily put himself in a far worse predicament with substantially graver consequences.
Meanwhile, his lawyers get rich giving him bad advice.