Curt Schilling and the American justice system

Royals save us from ourselves
Hank: 'Prior? We don't want no stinkin' Prior.'

Won’t he just shut up?

Roger has denied every allegation brought to the table. So as a fan my thought is that Roger will find a way in short order to organize a legal team to guarantee a retraction of the allegations made, a public apology is made, and his name is completely cleared. If he doesn’t do that then there aren’t many options as a fan for me other than to believe his career 192 wins and 3 Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end. From that point on the numbers were attained through using PED’s. Just like I stated about Jose, if that is the case with Roger, the 4 Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations.

Innocent until proven guilty? Or guilty — based on the testimony of one man — until proven innocent? Think what you will about Roger. Hell, I’ll concede that it’s in a way naive to dismiss the possibility that McNamee’s testimony is the truth. However, the burden is not on Roger. He’s accused without a shred of hard evidence. Any court in the land would throw the case out as it currently stands. Only when we see further evidence of his use should we even begin to consider the idea of him forfeiting his awards.

Even if Roger did assemble a legal team to demand a retraction from McNamee, he in all likelihood wouldn’t get it. Schilling himself explains exactly why:

The two men that fingered multiple players, from my understanding, both testified with immunity, but only if they told the truth. So these guys had every reason in the world to NOT lie.

So if McNamee was to retract his testimony, then he lied. Which means he likely spends time in the slammer. His entire reason for giving up Roger and Andy was to avoid just that. So why would he cave to Roger’s legal team? The outcome would end up being the same as if he didn’t give up any names at all.

There’s been a lot of talk of players’ legal rights in this case, and as a layman, I’m not in tune with much of it. But I have to think that McNamee won’t retract and apologize.

But this is all beyond the point. Roger shouldn’t have to defend himself until he’s presented with evidence that compels him to do so. The testimony of one man — no matter the accuracy of any other aspect of his testimony — is not sufficient evidence. At the very least, he needs a corroborating story. And to date, we’ve seen none.

Yet (yes, there’s more), Schilling tries to equate Clemens with Bonds:

Whatever happens now though, can you separate what Barry is accused of from what Roger is accused of?

Yes. There weren’t dumpsters full of doping schedules for Roger. There was no BALCO lab. There was no Game of Shadows. There is one man and his word. That is all.

I’m sorry. I don’t want to keep talking about steroids, and I really don’t want to talk about Curt Schilling. But this is really about neither. It’s about hearsay, justice, and windbags with an audience spouting off unfounded opinions.

Royals save us from ourselves
Hank: 'Prior? We don't want no stinkin' Prior.'
  • Armand C

    what a tool.. he should really keep his useless sourgrapes opinions to himself, we should take away his statistics for being a douchebag, there’s way more evidence of that than what roger has going against him.

  • bostonsucks@life

    Schilling is a jerkoff, who’s to say his name wasn’t going to come out but that’s right mitchell works for the red sox. How silly of me. The worst part of this is, it was only a matter of time before this cock monger opened his mouth

  • JRVJ

    I say we waterboard Schilling until he admits to taking Steroids.

    Since waterboarding is not torture, as per the Government Schilling has steadfastly supports, I’m pretty sure that Schilling will admit to his being a roider thanks to this interrogation technique…..

  • JRVJ

    That should be “steadfastly supported”.

  • Bo

    Picking out and commenting on a Schilling statement and giving common sense thoughts must have taken 6 hours to do.

  • Chuck M.

    Nice post, Joe! I’m really, really tired of reading statements from people assuming that, because McNamee named Clemens, Roger is automatically guilty. Don’t we have something called “due process” in this country, or am I just hallucinating again? McNamee is a felon; a man who is singing like a canary to keep himself out of jail! I consider myself an honest man, but there is very little that I would NOT do to keep myself out of jail.

    Besides, a legitimate case could be made that McNamee was making stuff up, in court. Aren’t clubhouse guys occasionally treated really shabbily? How do we know that Clemens didn’t piss him off by throwing a towel at him or forgetting to tip him or something like that, and McNamee isn’t holding a decade-long grudge?

    • Joseph P.

      While the grudge theory might fit Radomski’s motives, the relationship between Clemens and McNamee is well documented.

  • Jim Johnson

    Honestly, I kind of fall on Schilling’s side here.

    This is a modern-day witch-hunt. With steroids and HGH and rumors and he said/she said stuff flying around grabbing headlines every day, it’s falling on the players to defend themselves.

    Every day, the public becomes more and more jaded as their favorite athletes are caught red-handed, caught cheating and caught in their own lies. It’s gotten to the point where it’s really not a stretch to imagine that anyone in the game is or has taken steroids (ok, David Eckstein is safe). So if someone, anyone does something as small as simply point a finger at a player, we are officially at the point where we’re expecting a player to prove his innocence at the slightest bit of provocation.

    Tejada have a few good years in the late 90s, then fell off? People were demanding that he prove he’s not on roids even before his name was in any report. Clemens’ career was over then he suddenly became the best pitcher in history in his late 30s? Even before the Mitchell report, quite a few people were assuming he was juicing. And so forth.

    Remember all the people who have been named previously? There were blusters, there were denials, there was outrage. But legal action? When it came down to actually taking action legally (where it really counts), no one really stood up and said “that’s not true.”

    If you follow the letter of the law, then no, it’s not right for an athlete to have to defend himself unless there’s some kind of notable evidence. But in this day and age, when an athlete stands accused and he doesn’t take the legal version of unleashing Hell to defend himself, then he’s going to be assumed guilty in the court of public opinion. That’s just the world in which we’ve made for ourselves. It’s a combination of McCarthyism and mob-mentality. Not right, but that’s the way it is.

    • Joseph P.

      “Clemens’ career was over then he suddenly became the best pitcher in history in his late 30s?”

      I’m sorry, but at no point until 2007 was Roger’s career “over,” despite what Dan Duquette said.

      • steve (different one)

        exactly. this is my #1 pet peeve when it comes to the re-writing of history on Clemens. Roger’s last season in Boston was a typical season for a hall of fame pitcher.

        it’s as if in 2007 people still don’t know to look beyond W-L record to analyze pitchers.

        as for Schilling, Roger will give back his Cy Youngs when Schilling gives back the WS Co-MVP he won on the heels of a series winning hit from THIS guy:

        give me a break.

    • Casper

      Jim – Hypothetically… How do you suppose a player “defend (himself)?” Should he “organize a legal team to guarantee a retraction of the allegations?” Ah, yes… I remember the watershed case of Jackson v Anson, when Jackson sued for “retraction of allegations.” The simple fact is: It would be near-impossible for Clemens (or any other player) to win a defamation case against the Mitchell Investigation (and an incredibly unpleasant and painful experience, to boot). I hesitate to go this route because I know it’s condescending (you can blast me for it anyway of course) but people really seem to think the legal system is this magical panacea that will cure all ills. There are rules, and if someone like Schilling is going to come out and make grand statements and rile people up, he should probably have at least a rudimentary understanding of those rules. The man is a public figure with a forum to espouse his views, and his use of that ability is irresponsible.

      I’m not saying whether I think Clemens used PEDs or not, but Schilling’s opinions are uninformed. Think what you will about any player accused of using PEDs, but there really is little recourse for these guys. Coming out in public and flatly denying allegations seems to be a relatively rational response.

    • Clay

      FYI Clemens last horrible year in Boston, he was 33 and he had more strikeouts and a better ERA+ than any year he was in the Bronx.

    • Ben K.

      How exactly was anyone “caught red-handed”? Clemens is guilty, in your eyes, because of the words of one man forced to testify under threat of extended jail time. Where’s the “red-handed” evidence? Where’s the Smoking Gun?

    • Casper

      Very good article on shysterball (via mlbtraderumors) regarding Schilling’s comments:

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I’m more offended by the phone calls Schilling placed to Massachussets voters right after the 2004 WS supporting Bush. Can we remove a Cy Young or bloody sock for that?

    He who yells loudest probably has something to hide. I do remember a slightly above-average pitcher for most of the early 90’s who’s career “suddenly” took off. Didn’t that guy get traded from the Orioles to the Astros to the Phillies, or something like that? I wonder what that guy’s name was….

  • Chip

    I’m sorry Jim but how can you be on Schilling’s side when he actually did come out and deny all of this? He has thus far been the player fighting it the most. And just because a lot of guys did come forward and admit to it doesn’t mean all the guys in the report are guilty. That’s like saying all black men are murderers just because a larger portion of their population are in prison than other people, guilty by association just doesn’t work in this country.

    • Casper

      Chip might want to steer clear of the race-based analogies from here on out… lol

  • DB21

    An eyewitness is “hard testimony that stands up in court”.

    • Joseph P.

      Are you implying that, if Clemens were to hypothetically be tried for his steroid use, McNamee’s testimony would be enough to convict him?

      • Kevin23

        The last posting was intended to reply to past…oops. But:

        “Are you implying that, if Clemens were to hypothetically be tried for his steroid use, McNamee’s testimony would be enough to convict him?”

        Its a stretch to be certain, but after having worked on the innocence project (DNA testing for old criminal trials), I can cite dozens of cases off the top of my head where one person’s testimony sent a guy to prison for life when he was innocent. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is just as subjective as anything else sometimes. The “Preponderance of evidence” (more likely than not) standard in civil trial is much worst. You just never know how any given group of 12 people are going to act. And good lawyers know to pick stupid (easily impressionable) jurors.

        • ceciguante

          i’m compelled to point out that while all lawyers can find cases where a jury put someone away on meager evidence, those are exceptions to the rule that one person’s testimony — with nothing else — simply isn’t enough for a conviction.

          most lawyers (including me) agree that the mcnamee testimony wasn’t nearly enough to convict clemens. which makes it obvious that this whole thing was a $20M witch hunt in the court of public opinion (i.e., not a court at all).

          also, please don’t forget that mcnamee could say pretty much whatever he wanted, because it’s virtually impossible to prove his statements false. so, he sang for the feds to avoid jail, but nobody can realistically sue him for defamation by proving they DIDN’T do drugs. result: MLB gets it’s “expose”, congress gets its anti-drug headlines, the media gets their stories, and everyone else is drowned out in the noise.

          • Kevin23

            I’d say that’s a very fair assessment.

            I should also point out that Clemons would have the best representation money could buy. I’m not sure I’m so confident in our US attorneys these days.

    • Kevin23

      Joseph, you shouldn’t feel guilty about having some passion for this issue. It’s insulting. The media coverage especially. The narrative has already been written, and there is no way to stop the runaway train. In a perfect world, the media would see this as a giant opportunity to investigate and dig up some good information that isn’t tainted. Instead, they stick to the script and cherry pick their facts and fact-finders.

      And as for stories telling Shilling to “shut up” … I think there should be one every day. When they finally dig up the dirt on this guy, he’ll have to eat volumes upon volumes of his words.

      re: McNamee – No one knows why he made the deal he did with prosecutors. And no one really knows the priorities of the prosecutors themselves. Most of all, we don’t know why McNamee provided the specific info (true or false) he did. But we do know that once he gave the statements about Clemons, he’s going to stick by them or else lose everything he dealt for and open the door for civil liability. Let the he said-she said begin! It only gets worst from here.

  • Mike

    How soon Shilling forgets about the staged bloody sock event. What a phony.

  • frankd

    Schilling was an annoying ass—- when he was with the Phillies and has gone downhill since. His boyscoutish testimony before congress made me think he was positioning himself for politics. Now obviously relieved that Mitchell could not find a towel boy in Boston, that the Justice Department couldn’t squeeze, he can take advantage of the situation. Must have taken lessons from Giuliani.

  • ceciguante

    i think s( c )hilling gets his fun out of posting bullshit rants on his blog and playing up the “anti-yankee” sentiment at every opportunity, credible or not. if it’s true that this is the steroid era, and every 10th or 20th player is on PEDs, isn’t it obvious that shill must have seen and/or known many teammates that used PEDs? so, what does he do? point the finger at a yankee. predictable.

    hey, curt: you wanna take a moral stance? do everyone a favor and out the guys on your own team. they were suspiciously absent from the report prepared by an appointee from your team’s board of directors. because we all know that when you played with bodybuilder gabe kapler, his muscles were all natural.

    but really, the more attention people give this clown (on this blog and any other media outlet), the more he accomplishes his objective. we should all just ignore his ridiculous public statements as a matter of course. he’s just baiting the baseball world into paying him more attention, shining one more spotlight on him. marginalize him by ignoring him.