Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 5/31/12

As the weeks go on and the Roger Clemens trial begins to be buried further within the marginalia of the sports page, I’ve started to wonder if I’m beating a dead horse. Is this really that important? Is the state of the game really in as much peril as I fear?

The estranged wife of Brian McNamee, Clemens’ chief accuser, was expected to take the stand as a defense witness in the ongoing trial as soon as Thursday. Today, Judge Reggie Walton told Clemens’ lawyers as well as the prosecutors that, before Eileen McNamee would be allowed to testify, both sides had to prepare briefs explaining their positions on why she was testifying in the first place.

I guess I’m not the only one who’s begun to wonder where the heck this is all going. At issue is whether Eileen McNamee will receive immunity for her possible role in a prescription drug probe that also involved her husband. Is there anyone involved here that’s above the board?

Like Andy Pettitte, Walton needs to figure out what Eileen McNamee will be or not be allowed to say. At question, is whether her testimony about her husband’s alcohol use will be limited or excluded as well as what she might potentially say about the FedEx box containing blood-and-steroid laced needles. Her estranged husband, Brian McNamee, testified the needles contained Clemens’ DNA mixed with steroids. The government produced witnesses from the labs that tested the evidence who confirmed that claim.

Hardin wants to ask Eileen McNamee about the “relevant conduct” of her estranged husband, including his alcohol consumption. Prosecutor Steve Durham wants to cross-examine Eileen McNamee, claiming she possesses “very valuable” information including first-hand knowledge of the medical waste.

Baseball is a sport where statistical comparisons of players from different eras have linked one generation of fans to the next. Stats are more than just numbers. They are biblical. Over the past few decades, there has developed more competition for fans’ attention as well as their dollar. The pursuit of these cherished records became more of an obsession as opposed to an achievement for athletes. Did the ensuing freakish exhibitions of talent drive people to the game? Absolutely. Frankly, it made the game relevant in an ESPN landscape. The question is, did it actually make it better?

I don’t think it did. The game was cheapened. Achievement is second-guessed on a daily basis and it frankly saddens me. This is in my opinion the worst thing Roger Clemens and players like him did. Even if they’re never actually convicted of something, their actions cast a pall on the game that will last long after we’re gone.

Eight men were thrown out of the game for similar reasons.

In the overall scheme of things, did Roger Clemens kill some one? No. Is he going to get off? Probably. Not because of guilt or innocence though. This is easily one of the thinnest trials I can remember in recent memory.

Are they trying to milk it, hoping the All Star Game will boost their ratings?

The point is, even though this trial lacks glamour or ratings pizzazz, it still shouldn’t just be swept under the rug. If we hope to pass this glorious game on to future generations, its integrity must be protected. Frankly, we can all be doing a better job of it.

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