Five Questions … Roger Clemens: The B-12 needle and the damage done?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Roger Clemens was found not guilty on all counts on Monday in his perjury trial, meaning he won’t face any more time in a courtroom as has been the norm for the last several weeks.

But, right or wrong, the questions in the court of public opinion — questions of whether he might have cheated baseball and himself — remain.

Being suspicious about amazing achievements we have seen on the baseball field in the last 20 years should be nothing new as we’ve seen angry denials before and we’ve seen tear-filled confessions, too. It’s been predictably the same in the past, but this time it’s different. His needles were apparently B-12 vitamin shots. His trainer of a decade apparently was dirty but Clemens was not. His performance defied his age as he became quite possibly the greatest pitcher in the history of the game.

Believe it or not.

There’s no denying the outcome on the field — it happened — and there’s no denying that it came against players who have admittedly cheated. But does this change anything for Clemens? It’s an interesting question — and the comments in various online outlets show that Clemens is probably going to be a bit of a polarizing figure for some time despite the outcome. (Need a Clemens checklist or OPG? Click here.)

I know how I feel on the issue — and I have my opinions on the Clemens case — but we’re interested in what you think about it and what it might mean to Clemens’ cardboard. Take a moment to answer our five questions after the jump.

Roger Clemens: Would you buy his baseball cards?

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Roger Clemens: Do you think he used PEDs?

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Roger Clemens: Would you vote him into the Hall of Fame?

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Roger Clemens: Do you collect him now?

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Roger Clemens: Would you collect him in the future?

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Have something else to say about Clemens? Leave a comment below …

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



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  1. Jim Whittaker 18 June, 2012 at 20:06

    He proved his case in a court of law. He sould be in the hall of fame. His card will go way up in value.

  2. Case Rocker 18 June, 2012 at 21:31

    His time with the Red Sox were Hall of Fame worthy years, and more than likely “PED” free. His time after the Sox he was hell bent on proving Dan Duquette wrong. Jose Canseco introduced him to the stuff with the Jays and he was juicing right up until his time with the Astros. He was washed up when the Sox let him go, then all of a sudden he’s lights out? It will be a very long time before this all sorts out and his cards are worth much. You can put a value on them but no one will pay that price within 30 years.

  3. ernest lantto 18 June, 2012 at 21:52

    clemens did not use PED’S and neither did bonds. went from a dead arm to 20 lbs bigger and a arm that was bigger-better and stronger over one season. BONDS went from a 190 lb 5 tool player to a muscle bound freak like conan the barbarian, even had muscles on his head. both lied one got caught and the other cried so hard my grandchild had nothing to do for a couple of years. CHEATERS ALWAYS GET CAUGHT.

  4. Keith Schimke 18 June, 2012 at 22:13

    I believe he should be in the hall of fame. I’m not sure he will ever make it, because the writers will more than likely not vote him in, and the veterans committee will never vote him in.

    As far as his card values, they will always lag where they should be for a player with the career stats he has. Maybe in 50-75 years, he will get the love like Joe Jackson.

  5. steve emerick 18 June, 2012 at 22:27

    Innocent. First Ballot HOFer, greatest pitcher of my generation Period!

    Belongs with Unit and Pedro in Cooperstown

  6. bearcatlawjd 18 June, 2012 at 22:58

    As someone that collects cards from the 1990’s I have very little interest in any of my Clemens’ cards. For me the guys I want to hold on to from that time period are Jeter, Griffey, Larkin, Ripken, and Mattingly.

  7. Richard 19 June, 2012 at 01:05

    McGwire, and several other, have never been proven to have taken anything, but he is still not in
    because the writer think they did. It will take a while for forgiveness/acceptance and it might not
    happen while they are alive.

  8. Jeff B 19 June, 2012 at 01:23

    The argument that I’m hearing now is that Clemens inclusion in the Mitchell Report was based on the testimony of Brian McNamee. If he was just acquitted (on all 6 counts) on the testimony of the same McNamee by a court of law, doesn’t that suddenly question the validity of 1) Clemens even being included the Mitchell report and 2) the Mitchell report itself?

    How much is true, and how much has been exaggerated? How can we consider the Mitchell report to be truthful regarding every player named?

  9. Cincyscott 19 June, 2012 at 06:34

    I always wanted the 84 fleer XRC card of Clemens but its always been over priced

  10. Stevie Nixx 19 June, 2012 at 07:25

    Its an odd situation with many players who have admitted to or been suspected of using steroids, HGH and the like. It was VERY commonplace during the late 90s and 2000s to have used. Point is, it was the time. If these drugs were available to Mantle, Aaron and all the holier than thou players of the past, they likely would have taken them too.

  11. JonathanI 19 June, 2012 at 08:19

    If you want Clemens in the HOF, should we consider McGwire or Sosa? I hope so. I have a TON of Sosa cards I would like to see go up in value over the years.


  12. Matthew 19 June, 2012 at 09:14

    Any sanctimonious writer who stood by idly during the steroid era, not saying a word about what was going on, but is adamant that *suspected* steroid users should not go into the Hall of Fame doesn’t deserve to have a vote in the matter.

  13. Dray5150 19 June, 2012 at 10:44

    I was a kid during the steroid era. Although I will never condone or justify what these guys did, they will always remain larger than life to most kids who grew up in the 80s. I’ve paid premium prices for Clemens, McGwire, and Bonds graded RCs. It’s just a part of my childhood.

  14. chrisolds 19 June, 2012 at 11:31

    Jeff B: There was a lot of evidence not allowed in the trial for varying reasons. I say read the materials — Mitchell Report, N.Y. Daily News book, etc., and decide for yourself.

  15. kstjst 19 June, 2012 at 14:25

    it doesn’t matter already…public opinion as well as the sports writers that vote players into the hall have their minds set against anyone tied to any scandal in the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s.

    most players took PEDs in ALL sports during that time period. So, when you really look at it, it was a pretty even playing field. Does it matter if Bonds had a spectacular early career? Yes, he may have gotten in with his early numbers, 30-30 and all…but to prolong his career, he used PEDs…he wouldn’t have achieved greatness had he not. But people still say, “he should get in on his early numbers.” McGwire…he had 49 home runs as a rookie…when people didn’t suspect him of doing PEDs…but yet, he’s vilified and said he didn’t do anything without the PEDs…isn’t that the same thing as Bonds?! .

    I say let Bonds, Clemens, McGwire in…they all played the game at the same time, and they all faced opponents who used PEDs…even playing field.

  16. Jeff B 19 June, 2012 at 15:40

    Chris, I’m not saying that’s MY argument, but an interesting one nonetheless…

    Do I believe that he used? Yes I do. And I also believe that if they come up with a “PED negated Stat” calculator, (to help regulate the numbers) Roger’s numbers still would get him Hall entry.

    Still, Selig (up to this point) comes out smelling like a rose (but not that Rose). Admit to nothing, let the players juice, and collect the money. “Strike’s over boys and we’re coming out on top.”

    But then, with Congress breathing down his neck, he appears on Capitol Hill and (rather than risk the same scrutiny that Clemens and Bonds have) agrees to clean up the game.

    Meanwhile, the writers, who are supposed to be reporting what they see, say nothing year after year, about the juiced up players and their never-before-seen amazing numbers.

    And these same writers (not Selig) are now going to be the judge and jury to keep these guys out? Again, Selig accepts no responsibility.

    That’s the real crime against the game of baseball. The Black Sox were one team. Selig allowed it to happen on every team.

  17. chrisolds 19 June, 2012 at 16:12

    Blaming sportswriters doesn’t work in this case. They can only report upon what they know to be facts and what they are told by credible sources.

    Thomas Boswell did it with Canseco. Steve Wilstein did it with Mark McGwire.

    Read up on their deals and you’ll see how the establishment — writers included — reacted.

  18. jmc855 16 July, 2012 at 22:21

    Only pitcher to have 20ks in a 9 inning game, TWICE, the second time when he had a “dead arm” (lol) tell that to the 96 Tiger team, with the Sox, long before any of the alleged and disproven PED stuff came about. AL MVP, All Star MVP, 8 time All STar, and the ONLY guy with 7 Cy youngs, 3rd all time in Strikeouts, member of the 300 wins club, and won 3 Cys playing for an overall garbage Red SOx team. 3.6 era and 242 innings with 257 ks in last year with Sox and he was “washed up”,….SERIOUSLY?? Managed by Kevin Kennedy, on a garbage team of nobody that limped into 3rd? He wasnt washed up, his team sucked. Go find anyone besides The Unit in 96 with that strikeout to inning ratio. Clemens was the 2nd greatest pitcher of the modern era behind Nolan Ryan, and trailed closely by The Unit and Greg Maddux. He’s obviously a hall of famer…..arrogant, cocky for sure, but the best at what he did, end of story. This debate even existing is ridiculous.

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