The Problem With Talking About the Past

08/20/2010

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress about using steroids.

Clemens faces charges of obstruction of Congress, making false statements and perjury.

Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, testified under oath at a 2008 hearing before a House committee and contradicted each other about whether Clemens had used the banned substances.

McNamee told federal agents, baseball investigator George Mitchell and the committee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 to 2001.

Clemens has maintained that McNamee was lying.

By comparison, Mark McGwire also testified before Congress.  Although McGwire has now admitted to using steroids, in his testimony before Congress all he really said was he didn’t want to talk about the past.  At the time, people thought he was getting bad legal advice.  As a result of his testimony, McGwire’s popularity tanked and the value of my McGwire autographed baseball dropped more then my stock portfolio. 

However, the advice McGwire got doesn’t seem all that bad now. 

Neither McGwire nor Clemens may end up in Cooperstown, but Clemens may end up in jail. 

The Lesson:  When it comes to America's favorite past-time, if you talk about the past, you may very well serve time.