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This week wasn't the first time Congress has placed baseball men before the bench.  It may be the last, may not be.  But whatever that, something has happened.  Barry Bonds is no longer a singular face of an ugly situation.  One on the mound.  One at the plate.  Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are now equally infamous bookends of a sordid tale of intrigue, lies, and deceit.

The members of Congress took sides -- they always do.  Republicans to try McNamee.  Democrats to try Clemens.  Neither prosecutor nor defender, inquisitors all, but with a better goal.

The issue isn't really professional baseball players cheating the game that has given them everything they have.  Important enough, but insignificant really.  The true issue is eradicating the drug culture.  It has ruined too many lives of people too young to know better, but failed by a society blind to the higher duties and obligations.

Clemens and Bonds were both Hall of Fame caliber players before they discovered the first steroid or HGH treatment.  But they wanted more.  Like other players they saw a path to renew and empower their games.  It didn't matter that the path was risky.  Apparently, it didn't matter that the path had already caused death and misery for former pro athletes but also for teenagers destroyed before they reached adulthood.

Protecting our youth is the job of parents mostly, but society has a role.  If society fails to help provide the right environment then no amount of good parenting is enough.  Clemens said before Congress he is worried that he can never regain his image.  He touted his efforts to council youth.

He did council.  He lived his life to provide an example -- an example of cheating!  His image was tarnished through his own actions and what we thought we knew of the man was a lie.  We now know Clemens as a man willing to sully anyone and everyone to protect himself.  He'll throw his wife, his nanny, and his best friend all to the public wolves to protect himself.  It takes a lot to make a former cop turned drug pusher appear a sympathetic man.  Clemens did his dirty work well!

It is time to destroy steroids and HGH use in sports.  It is time to permanently rid the game of the uncertified fake trainers who dole out prescription medication like candy, and with no more concern than a vendor handing out a snow cone.

It is against federal law for anyone but a certified doctor to write a prescription for controlled drugs.  Over-the-counter medications are the only ones legal to use without a prescription.  If a doctor prescribes a drug outside its written guidelines then the doctor will lose his license to practice medicine.

Brian McNamee is not a doctor.  He isn't legally authorized to administer steroids and HGH, or for that matter, B-12 shots or Lidocain.  Only an arrogant and foolish athlete would think it matters.  But, McNamee did not administer vitamins and pain killers to Clemens.  Whether it was steroids, HGH, or by the tortured logic of a failed pitcher B-12 or Lidocain, it was illegal for McNamee to purchase and administer them and for Clemens to ingest them.  They are criminals all; men fairly disgraced.

Let us talk no more of them.  Let us wipe them from the record books and ban them from the Hall of Fame.  Let us remind ourselves this is an evil chapter in baseball, and sports in general.  Their gravestones need to read, "Here lie Roger and Barry, traded honor for drugs!"

Then, when we have done what we must do to them, let us endeavor to reconsider the merits of honest players out in the cold.  The ultimate act in pummeling Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds et al the cheaters, should be a vote for Jim Rice and Dale Murphy to the Hall of Fame.  Then, baseball restores its dignity.

More importantly, we reaffirm the sanctity of honor and give our children role models worthy to live by.

-- Ken Stallings

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