Cle­mens wor­thy of honor

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

I vividly re­call a snarling Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, Mary­land Demo­crat, tak­ing baseball pitch­ing great Roger “Rocket” Cle­mens to task in a con­gres­sional hear­ing for re­fus­ing to ad­mit to hav­ing used pro­hib­ited sub­stances, as al­leged by Brian McNamee, a for­mer trainer. In the man­ner of shys­ters, Mr. Cum­mings darkly re­minded the wit­ness that he was un­der oath.

In­deed, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors sub­se­quently brought a crim­i­nal case against Mr. Cle­mens for “ly­ing” to Mr. Cum­mings and, af­ter a mis­trial and a sec­ond trial, Mr. Cle­mens was ac­quit­ted. This might lead a fair-minded sports writer to con­clude that Mr. Cle­mens was at least as be­liev­able as Mr. McNamee on the is­sue of pro­hib­ited sub­stance use.

How­ever, Thom Loverro reached the op­po­site con­clu­sion (“The shame of adding Bonds, Cle­mens to the Hall of Fame,” Web, Dec. 27). Mr. Loverro pro­nounced Mr. Cle­mens un­fit for top hon­ors be­cause when he “had a chance to take the stand and clear his name in a defama­tion suit filed by his ac­cuser and for­mer friend and trainer from the Mitchell Re­port, Brian McNamee, [Mr. Cle­mens] in­stead opted to set­tle.” So, strate­gi­cally set­tling a ha­rass­ing law­suit is deemed proof of guilt, but ac­quit­tal in a par­al­lel crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion doesn’t count as proof of in­no­cence? No won­der the press nowa­days has so lit­tle cred­i­bil­ity.

GREGORY L. LEWIS Bal­ti­more

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