Roger Clemens is maybe the best righty pitcher in baseball history, or at least the modern era that began sometime around the emergence of color TV and the decline of the British navy. He also frosts his hair. You can’t win them all. Now he’s being charged for perjury in a boring-ass trial more ill-conceived than the boring-ass trial that wasted all our good tax money trying to get Barry Bonds. Still, it’s news—or at least newsy—and people want to find out what exactly happened, so VICE flew its crack sports journalism squad in from Tripoli to observe the proceedings and get you this info. OK, just kidding, we didn’t go, or even ask the intern to read about it, but we’re getting the press releases, so we know more than you and can answer all of your questions.
Dipshit: What’s the Clemons trial?
*VICE: *You mean “Clemens” trial.
Sure. What’s the Clemens trial?
The Clemens trial is a spiraling series of judicial events wherein Clemens is being tried for perjury by the US government.
Why are they throwing the book at The Big Man? Isn’t he dead? Can’t Obama let him rest in peace?
No, that’s Clarence Clemons. This is the Clemens trial.
The CFL player?
No, that’s Pinball Clemons. This is a perjury trial, and Pinball is a Canadian citizen and therefore can’t go to jail in America.
His first name is Roger.
Who is Roger Clemens?
Roger Clemens is a philandering retired pinhead of a Hall of Fame baseball player. Actually, he’s more of a demigod than a Hall of Famer. He was that good. He’s from Texas and puts gel in his hair and was one of the greatest Astros in history. His sons’ names all begin with a K and his nickname is The Rocket.
Oh, the hockey player?
No, he was a baseball pitcher.
Oh, OK, I get it. Nolan Ryan, the athlete, baseball’s first million-dollar player, owner of the Rangers. I love him. Why would he lie about money?
No, not Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and he lied about taking steroids.
Oh, the Blue Jay! He’s great. Why’s he going to jail? He won the pitchers’ triple crown.
He was also one of the best Red Sox and Yankees pitchers ever, and he’s not going to jail yet. He’s on trial for possibly lying to Congress about having taken steroids.
Oh, OK. Obviously he took steroids, right? He was a baseball player during the Steroid Era. I found a pamphlet at the gym saying they all took steroids. Why isn’t he in jail?
Well, we’re not sure who did steroids then. We’re sure he said he didn’t take them, so we need to establish whether he indeed took them.
But what about the Mitchell Report? Didn’t some cop pump Clemens with ‘roids, along with that chef, Chuck Knoblauch?
OK, true, but Clemens protested that report and that’s why he was subpoenaed to testify before Congress. And that cop is Brian McNamee, who’s the government’s key witness. He’s saying Clemens took shit, and Clemens told congress he didn’t take shit.
What else happened?
The government called to the stand an 11-year-old boy who was at Jose Canseco’s pool party in 1998 where, apparently Clemens met McNamee and established a steroids relationship. There were photos.
Man, that sounds sick. Anything else cool?
Yeah, McNamee said he injected Clemens’ wife with HGH. And he kept Clemens’s waste from the injection on his own wife’s advice, and now they’re getting divorced. But, uh, the case is hitting a few snags.
What sort of snags?
Well, the trial started over a month ago and they are barely through the setup. Most of Monday was spent discussing the history of Coors Light beer cans. The jurors have been consistently falling asleep and the judge is saying the whole thing is taking “forever.”
What’s the judge’s deal? He sounds like a meanie.
His name is Reggie Walton and he presided over the Scooter Libby case. He’s also involved in the case of Steven Hatfill Vs. John Ashcroft, the singer of The Verve, and some shit involving two rocketry associations taking on the ATF. To say a case involving a baseball player lying about steroids is marginally below his pay grade is an insult to the department of justice’s bookkeeping department.
Wait, so he already tried and convicted Clemens?
You said he presided over The Rocket. Or are you saying that the trial judge is Clemens? Like a disembodied future version of Clemens with monkey claws and judge strength, and he’s come back to the past to take his revenge on that cop?
No, that’s only half true. The judge is just the judge.
So are these the same numbskulls who went after Barry Bonds and fucked it up?
No, it’s a different set of lawyers as well. Different results, too: Bonds’s case ended up in a mistrial on the perjury counts; he was found guilty of obstructing justice, though.
Why is Obama so sure he can get Clemens? What the fuck is being tried here? Clemens or the Steroid Era?
Technically Clemens, though it’s all on McNamee proving that Clemens took steroids. Clemens’s lawyer, whose first name is Rusty, was trying to make him look bad. It was classic Rusty. But the prosecution was allowed to mention that McNamee supplied HGH to two of Clemens’s teammates, one of whom testified before Congress in 2002 that he used HGH.
Does HGH make players better at baseball?