Other Ways Roger Clemens Could Have Saved on Legal Fees

Roger Clemens, whose federal perjury case was declared a mistrial in July, is seeking to recoup legal fees. Per Reuters:

“Only Mr. Clemens directly paid out of his personal funds to prepare for trial, resources now wasted through no fault of his own,” Clemens’ lawyers argued in a brief motion.

“The court can and should make the government, the party responsible for the need for a second trial, pay for the waste and loss incurred in connection with the first one,” they said. They did not say how much they were seeking but legal fees can easily run thousands of dollars per day, if not more.

Clemens’ team said that there is precedent for such payment. A spokesman for the prosecutors declined to comment.

Clemens should be counting his blessings that this was a mistrial as it almost assuredly would not have been had he not sprung for high powered lawyers who exposed the court’s incompetence.

With the help of a time machine, I have devised a few ways that Clemens could have theoretically avoided these legal fees in the first place so that he would not have to recoup them.

1. Abstain from taking steroids.

This would have have had the unfortunate effect of limiting the extent to which Clemens was able to exact revenge on the Red Sox administration, led by Dan Duquette who famously said that Clemens was “in the twilight of his career.” I know, I know–like everybody was doing it so that makes it kind of OK. Still, though, if he never took steroids he never would have lied about it in Congress, had his case declared a mistrial, and seek to recoup legal fees. Novel concept.

2. Publicly admit steroid usage and feign a sincere apology as soon as Brian McNamee’s Mitchell Report statements became public.

This would have maximized Clemens’ credibility in the court of public opinion and, once again, prevented him from ever lying in front of Congress. He could have even told half-truths in his apology like Andy Pettitte did, saying that he only used HGH to recover from injuries. Clemens and Barry Bonds could have curried public favor and saved themselves a lot of time, money, and personal anguish by faking humility and remorse. Could it be that they are delusional and not blatant LIARS?

Somewhere, there is a lesson to be learned in this; Clemens’ insincere apology could have gone something like this:

“I used steroids to gain an edge at the end of my career and regret it each and every day when I wake up and have to face myself in the mirror. While at the time I rationalized that I was doing this to level the playing field with other players who were using performance enhancing drugs and did so under the supervision of professional trainers, I have nobody to blame but myself. I apologize to all of my fans, teammates, and opponents who I have let down. From this point forward, I pledge to do everything in my power to promote safe, fair competition in the great sport of baseball.”

HOW HARD WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN? I just wrote that in less than three minutes.

3. Not lied to Congress.

Here, Clemens could have either taken the fifth, convicting himself in the court of public opinion, or he could have used this as his forum to come clean. Either way, this is where the insincere apology for Step 2 would have become absolutely mandatory, with an extra sentence added in about lying initially.

Unrelatedly, at this point the government should probably cut its losses and make some deal with Clemens’ lawyers such that this whole thing just goes away but they don’t have to reimburse Clemens’ legal expenses from the mistrial. Would anyone be upset to never have to read about Clemens again until he dies?*

*Stories about his going broke in 10 years are of course excepted. Those will be sad/funny/interesting.

 

 

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One Response to Other Ways Roger Clemens Could Have Saved on Legal Fees

  1. Billy K says:

    What you say is true, but if he hadn’t taken steroids to extend his career he may not have had as much money for the high powered lawyers. Therefore it is a wash, and a terrible person is really just a terrible person. Everything of course is bigger in Texas including the garbage falling out of their mouths, or in the case of the Red Sox clubhouse/dugout the cups of beer flowing into them.
    I think the root of the problem is the fact that these celebrities are portrayed as such. With a network like ESPN completely dedicated to sports coverage we elevate these people to obscene levels of fame, and then recoil in horror when this status is challenged. Realistically, a game of football is a WWF match in disguise. Sports is not a right or some sacred institution – it’s entertainment. Maybe there are drug tests (unless you are on the Cowboys in the 90s), but there are certainly not background checks. When you perform people don’t care. It is a futile leap of faith but realistically there needs to be a level of perspective for these people. They play a game for a living. If a CEO gets caught driving drunk you can be sure there are shareholders who will raise hell. When someone kills a man driving drunk in the NFL you make him sit on the bench a few games, allowing him to be part of the team and celebrate any victories that ensue.
    Cynicism aside, what the hell does anyone expect? In an economy like this people should be understanding of the idea of “cut throat” more than ever. These people are not getting paid to be role models they are getting paid to win. The idea that they might break the rules every now and then should not be appalling but expected.
    The real reason Clemens walked? You can’t put human nature on trial.
    But you can sure as hell broadcast a circus on TV.

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