TigsTown Roundtable: Clemens' Story

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: In your opinion, did Roger Clemens use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
On one hand, Brian McNamee's accusations are strong, and Roger Clemens has denied any wrongdoing, and is going to great lengths to try and clear his name. On one hand, he seems to be working hard, diligently trying to clear his name at every turn - the desperate attempts of an innocent man being wrongly accused, not that of a guilty man being accused and just being worried about his "legacy". But Clemens certainly wouldn't be the first to deny having taken any banned substance and then proven to have taken it. In addition, many have always remarked how Clemens is in many ways a freak of nature, being able to pitch so well so late into his age, unlike almost any other pitcher with the possible exception of Nolan Ryan. Clemens using steroids or other banned substances to keep his career going would seem plausible. Ultimately, this will likely come down to a he-said, she-said battle, and is an unknown trainer's word stronger than one of the best pitchers of all time? Seems doubtful, but we'll probably never know the real truth.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Its hard not to believe that Clemens did use something of that nature, just because the validity of McNamee's claims has been verified by at least a couple of admissions to what he stated in the Mitchell Report interviews. The vehement denials by Clemens seem sincere, but we've seen posturing of this nature before -- Rafael Palmeiro anyone? There is nearly as much circumstantial evidence surrounding Clemens as there has been Barry Bonds over the last few years, but there seems to be more of a hesitancy in condemning Roger in the court of public opinion. Just as I have held off final judgment on nearly every 'suspected' PED user until definitive word has come to light, I will grant Clemens the same luxury; but things don't look terribly promising at this point in time.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'm not sure what to make of Clemens' situation. In his lawsuit against Brian McNamee that was filed on Sunday, Clemens believes that McNamee was pressured by investigators to implicate him, or face federal prosecution, but it would make no sense for McNamee to wrongly accuse Clemens, given what the fallout would be. Also, if it was proved that the government had forced McNamee to falsely accuse Clemens, it would be a huge black eye on the entire Mitchell Report, which already has critics given the question of due process for those players that were asked to speak with the senator. There could be more legal wrangling between Clemens and the government if the pitcher's allegations were proven true. This is only the beginning of the story. Will Clemens testify before Congress? If he does, will he reaffirm his story, or will this be another Mark McGwire situation? McNamee and his lawyers have been stedfast in not backing off of the steroid allegations, and were looking at a countersuit. One thing is for certain, this story won't be going away anytime soon, and has makings for a gruesome ending for both sides.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!


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