When a federal judge declared a mistrial in the Roger Clemens case, a messy situation got even messier. Will there be a retrial? Is Clemens getting off scot-free? Is it going to be impossible for a proper trial to take place?
There are no answers yet, but ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said that the mistrial ruling was great for baseball.
"[The Clemens trial] cannot help baseball in any way, [though] today certainly helped baseball," Kurkjian said on ESPN, as captured by SportsGrid.com. "Baseball does not want that snapshot of Roger Clemens entering a jail cell some day. He's the greatest pitcher that most of us have ever seen, and certainly that is not going to happen from what I'm told. But today was a good day for baseball. They want this to go away forever."
That's certainly a different tune than the popular refrain back in November 2007, when New York Times columnist Dave Anderson wrote the indictment of Barry Bonds was "a good day for baseball."
"If Bonds is convicted," Anderson wrote, "it will be an even better day for baseball."
The apparent divide among the media's reaction is being met with heavy criticism by some, including Jason Whitlock, who has a nose for controversy.
"[Kurkjian] just said today was a good day 4 baseball. No one in baseball wants a pic of Clemens going to jail," Whitlock tweeted. "Same thing said about Bonds?"
In a word, yes.
Here's a snippet of Tim Kurkjian's column from May 28, 2006:
In a way, it is sad and unfortunate for Bonds and for baseball. Under normal circumstances, we would be carrying this guy around on our shoulders and proclaiming as he walked down the street, "There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived." … [The way Babe Ruth's career ended is] how it would ideally end for Barry Bonds. But in most places, sadly, it won't.
There's likely going to be some hypocrisy in the media regarding the coverage of Clemens as compared to Bonds, but for now, Kurkjian's not a part of it.