Never one to shy away from controversial topics, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen cast his support for Roger Clemens.
“People say not guilty. That’s it,” Guillen said. “They’ve got the numbers. You cannot change that. I know it’s upset a lot of people. Obviously he put a cloud over baseball, but now that cloud is moving away.
“If he’s not guilty, he’s not guilty. That’s the bottom line.”
After a 10-week trial, a jury acquitted Clemens of six counts of perjury for lying to Congress in 2008 when he testified that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs. The verdict came Monday.
“A lot of people will take whatever they want to take, but the reality is not guilty,” Guillen said. “And those people are wasting their time. That’s what it is. He’s got my vote [for the Hall of Fame], because that guy pitched well enough to do that. And I respect people who vote for him.”
Some other assorted nuggets from Ozzie’s chat before Tuesday’s series opener at Fenway:
On pitcher Steve Cishek, a local product who attended Falmouth High School and is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 29 appearances this season: “Cishek? He’s having a very nice year, and one of my best players. This kid’s got an opportunity to be a very high-quality pitcher. This man we put in a lot of different situations, handled it very well, very nice. This kid has a great future.
I can put this kid into close a game, start a game, in the middle, bases loaded. We’ve put him in very tough situations, and he’s pitched very well.”
On his bullpen: “Hopefully we don’t need them, the way we were pitching in the beginning and through a few weeks ago. The bullpen, they should be fine.”
On Fenway Park: “To play? This is an amazing place. The fans on top of you, they love baseball. You’re a player, you enjoy it. Very interesting place to play, and there’s so much history here. So many nice things happen, and a lot of ugly things happen too. A lot of people just remember the good ones.
“The players who come through this organization, how many players play in this ballpark, a lot of history. It’s a little different than any place else.”