MLB

Let's deal with the real bad guys

Watch as Roger Clemens reacts after his acquittal on federal perjury charges.
Watch as Roger Clemens reacts after his acquittal on federal perjury charges.
Share This Story

Jen Floyd Engel

Jen Floyd Engel, selected as the top columnist in the 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest, started working at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997 and became a columnist in 2003 before joining FOXSports.com. Sports opinions? She's never short of them. And love her or hate her, she'll be just another one of the boys. Follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

MORE>>
 
   
 

We have been choking on righteous indignation lately, big fistfuls of perceived sports injustices feeding a beast of fury.

So when a jury found Roger Clemens not guilty of perjury Monday, anger was swift, as were threats to exclude him from the Hall of Fame. We’d show him, that affected, arrogant SOB. How unfair that he walked when everybody — OK, almost everybody — knows deep down he used steroids.

ROCKET SCIENCE

Look back at Roger Clemens' career in pictures.

We live in indignant times, everybody in a rush to be offended by something. We were offended when Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted an actual rap lyric, remain offended less that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife and more that he seems to have lost custody of his talent in the ensuing divorce. We recently became reoffended when the United States Anti-Doping Agency reminded us that Lance Armstrong might have used steroids.

We use this indignation to troll for apologies, confessions. We use this as a reason not to like a certain athlete, or athletes in general — they all lie and cheat, right? — or just life. How many people do you know who are mad about everything?

Everything is a scam. Everybody is cheating. Everything is unfair.

The danger of all this indignation is how quickly it numbs us. We are so angry about every little thing that we miss the really big things that should infuriate us. The things that should wake us at 3 a.m. in a fit of fury get muted in the bright lights of all of that white-hot rage about very little.

I say this because a monster might be on trial right now in Pennsylvania — not a made-up steroids boogey man, but an actual monster, if the testimony offered by young men in the care of Jerry Sandusky is to be believed.

If I were on that jury, the case would have been decided when Victim No. 4 testified June 11 that Sandusky made him feel like "I was part of something, like a family.”

Sandusky allegedly used this facade of care to entice that adolescent into sexually compromising positions right until the point he was sent to foster care.

“He never contacted me,” the alleged victim testified about Sandusky.

The witness said he became angry that Sandusky "could just forget about me, like I was nothing, after all that.”

I know there was more gut-wrenching testimony given, more sexually depraved acts described. Yet this tugged at me because it accuses Sandusky of grooming kids who were desperate for love for his own creepy purposes.

Anyone found guilty of using football to steal innocence deserves our indignation. Anyone found guilty of using steroids to increase his home-run total deserves apathy.

Clemens certainly has mine. Barry Bonds, too.

I do not care anymore, and I am hardly alone.

I remember reading “Game of Shadows,” way back when, feeling all frothy with indignation about Bonds. The list of what he was said to be taking — the Cream and the Clear, insulin, HGH, Mexican beans, a female ovulation drug and a cow steroid, for starters — made me angry because of how unsporting it all seemed. Taking down Hank Aaron’s record this way felt like hunting with a laser-sighted assault rifle.

Then I had a realization: Why do I care about the sanctity of baseball’s records when baseball so clearly does not? Why do I care about Bonds and Clemens and Armstrong’s integrity? Why do I care about their testicular health? Why do I, or we, care about steroids at all?

Snort steroids. Mainline it. Rub it in or shove it up. Most Americans do not care, certainly not enough to volunteer tax dollars for trials to further convolute an already flawed investigation.

Armstrong has been tested, like, 457 times — all clean.

Clemens was acquitted on all charges. A jury failed to render a verdict about whether Bonds lied about steroid use, instead finding him guilty on one count of obstruction of justice for giving an evasive answer. Doubt remains about their overall cleanliness, a cloud of suspicion remaining no matter what tests or juries say. And this feels unjust, so we angrily declare how they will never get in the Hall of Fame.

Why exactly? For doing what baseball turned a blind eye to?

Bonds was a Hall of Famer before he took a single steroid, and I do not care if Armstrong is right now blood doping with lighter fluid to help him win a triathlon.

He beat cancer. He stared down a death sentence and won and from that brought hope and help to thousands upon thousands of cancer survivors. That is his legacy, not whatever he pumped into himself to win a race.

As for Clemens, well, he was a good player who cheated. This makes him unique how?

If I am indignant about anything in this whole Clemens mess, it is that my money was spent trying him. I can think of 457 better uses of my taxpayer dollars. I know the argument is we cannot let people just walk into Congress and lie because it sets a bad precedent. By all means, let us make sure nobody lies to the liars.

And why is Congress never on the front end of these things, anyway? Always holding hearings way after the fact, all indignant about this or that and talking all tough long after whatever already has happened.

“Hey, Enron guys, we are really angry at y’all.”

“What a tragedy about Gabby Giffords. We need to tone down rhetoric.”

Campaign finance, pork spending and on and on. So if Clemens wants to “misremember” a little dalliance with HGH, well, who really cares?

I would have respected him more if he had told them to fix the schools, secure borders and then get back to him about whether he took steroids while playing baseball

Did he take steroids? Probably. OK, he most likely did. I base this solely on what his former teammate Andy Pettitte originally testified. What I know for sure is I no longer care.

There are too many real monsters out there, as testimony tells us about that creep in Pennsylvania, to be too indignant about people who are really just cheating themselves.
 

More Stories From Jen Floyd Engel

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..