Like most real Americans, I spend time in the sports section and regularly am bumfuddled by the level of ignorance and, frankly, determined stupidity by the athletes quoted, especially regarding the criminal justice system of the nation for which they perform. This article contains a classic and common assertion by a guy only the most hard-core baseball fans would know, but he speaks (and is quoted) with the authority of someone who should receive serious attention. The topic of the piece is the impact of the steroids craze that has tarnished baseball recently, although some of us stopped being the diehard fans we grew up being because it was so clear to anyone with a brain what was going on. This clearly did not apply to this gentleman. He expounded on how Bonds and Clemens will probably draw attention from the lesser known names also implicated and then spoke to its unfairness: As for Clemens, in particular, Ausmus said, "It's just amazing to me how someone's reputation and everything he's worked so hard for can be ruined by the word of one shaky witness. How could that ever stand up in a court of law?"
. . . sorry. I was throwing cold water on my face and slapping the paddles to my chest. First, at the risk of disturbing Grits for Breakfast who has staked his own claim to judgment on this topic and with whom I respectfully differ in part on this, Roger Clemens has been right up there with Bonds in my mind since back when the club owners were turning their eyes the other way and Clemens was going off on umpires like a lunatic in playoff games. The bathead hurled at Piazza was all the proof I needed (I've made it through over 54 years of life without requiring a court judgment beyond a reasonable doubt before deciding things and so far, so good). So I'm not really bent out of shape by the report, regardless of the thug who's playing chief witness, and everything Clemens has done since the report just confirms my belief. I didn't think OJ or Pete Rose or Marion Jones, who acted amazingly similar after being confronted, were innocent either despite their original claims and/or court judgments.
But that's not my point here. My point here is the amazing ignorance that we have a system in which literally thousands of people are in prison with no evidence BUT that of a shaky witness. (This is NOT contradictory to what I said above--sometimes, believe it or not, bad guys do tell the truth. The key is to look at the other evidence that would support or reject what the bad guy is saying, see Clemens, bad head, better at 40 than at 30, ad infinitum above. If it's JUST the bad guy and their handlers, no way. That's why the Constitution requires TWO witnesses of the same act for treason.) I think it's safe to say that 99%+ of the people of this country could and would say pretty much the same thing as this clueless brainiac if asked. And as such, his statement stands for everything that has allowed our criminal justice [sic] process to become as malformed and corrupted as it now is. Until it is engrained in everyone's brains that the sort of thing he laments happens all the time every day, we'll never get it to the justice and legitimacy that we have to have to keep our whole system viable. Which I guess is likely to be the epitaph.