Yesterday former major league pitcher Roger Clemens was found not guilty on all counts of perjury with respect to the accusation that he lied to and obstructed Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career.
In a very long and tedious litigation process that included lots of expert testimony, tax dollars being spent, a mistrial in 2011, and jurors being excused from the proceedings because they fell asleep during the trial, the public still doesn’t have the truth about how widespread the steroids problem in baseball truly was distributed. Clemens isn’t the only one at the center of the controversy – Ryan Braun found himself involved as well.
Lots of money spent, no concrete answers, and the problem is still here.
As Buster Olney writes in his review of the Clemens trial outcome (premium content – sorry):
“The entire institution of baseball — the union leaders, the owners, [Bud] Selig, clean and dirty players, those who covered the sport in the media — failed to respond quickly as the use of performance-enhancing drugs grew exponentially during a period of about 20 to 25 years.”
I think Buster points out an overall systemic failure – not attacking problems as soon as they start to surface. To review, Toyota Way Principle #5 states:
“Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.”
So because of a failure to act early, the costs of acting late are far, far higher than they should be.