For many at Fenway, he’s now a candidate for Hall of Shame
There was no doubt in Kenny Doyle’s mind about what should happen to Roger Clemens.
“When I heard about the indictment today, I thought it was awesome,’’ Doyle, 61, said as he stood in line with his three children and grandchildren outside Fenway last night. “If he’s proven guilty, he should absolutely do the time.’’
His grandson, Kenny Doyle III, 12, felt the same about the six-count federal indictment announced yesterday alleging Clemens lied and committed perjury by denying he had used steroids or human growth hormone.
“I hate people who use steroids,’’ the younger Doyle said, clutching his mitt. “It takes away from the real people, who should own all the records.’’
It was hard to find anyone around Fenway Park yesterday who didn’t have a similar opinion about the pitcher who made his Major League Baseball debut with the Red Sox in 1984 and became one of the team’s greatest pitchers, before earning fans’ ire by defecting to Toronto for the 1997 season, and then to the Yankees.
However, Chris Griffen, 42, a writer from Pleasanton, Calif., thought that no matter how damning the allegations, Clemens should still be inducted into the Hall of Fame. After several short-lived retirements, he pitched his last regular season game in 2007, in a Yankees uniform at Fenway Park.
“I think Roger Clemens has had a great career,’’ Griffen said. “In the end, this is all going to be a little blip in that career.’’
But Kevin Krueger, 35, of Natick, a T-shirt designer selling T-shirts outside Fenway, said there should be no Hall of Fame in Clemens’s future now, that with the indictment, the pitcher is getting what he deserves. “When the steroid issued opened up to the public, the first person I thought of was Roger Clemens’’ he said. “I’m glad he’s been indicted.’’
Eric Hillz, 29, a teacher from Lexington, was slightly more accommodating: “I think he’s kind of a bonehead and should have said ‘sorry.’ ’’
Given the pervasiveness of the allegations against other top players in the game, some questioned whether making an example of Clemens would make a difference.
Amber Stephenson, 25, visiting from Texas, where Clemens grew up and eventually pitched for the Houston Astros, was cynical about whether steroids could really be removed from the game.
“The reality is there are still people doing it,’’ she said. “It’s just a matter of whether or not they’re getting caught.’’
Rod Sein, a Blue Jays fan visiting Boston from Canada with his son, said he often rooted for Clemens when he played for Toronto in the late 1990s.
“When the story broke, I lost all respect for him,’’ said Sein, 49, referring to the steroid scandal. “He’s just a greedy SOB.’’
He questioned whether his crimes were so great that he should serve time in jail, but he said there’s no way he should get into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s a real shame,’’ Sein said. “It really taints the game.’’
Sly Egidio, 34, stood on the corner of Lansdowne Street and Brookline Avenue outside Fenway Park, selling programs and shouting questions at passersby.
“Hey, what do you think: Was Clemens guilty, yes or no?’’ he asked about a half-dozen people walking past. They all said yes.
The vendor, who has spent 19 years selling programs at Fenway, waxed philosophical about the state of the game and said people put too much stock in athletes.
“Everyone looked the other way, because he was good at his job,’’ Egido said. “You can’t bring morals and ethics into the game. You just can’t.’’
He used to like Clemens. “Now, to me, he’s dead, because he cheated,’’ he said. “Most importantly, he hurt the game.’’
If jail is not in Clemens’s future, said the younger Doyle, “He should be given a million-dollar fine; he has the money.’’
David Abel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.